Friday, February 22, 2008

Seeing things differently

Running long distance events with contact lenses or glasses can create problems. Contacts can dry out, or get blinked out on the trail. Glasses work OK but if it's raining, and it rains a lot in Washington, your vision is obscured by water on the lenses.

When I ran CCC 100 I wore my contacts for about 32 hours before I took them out. Tuesday of this week I eliminated that problem by having Lasik Surgery. I'm still healing and at the end of the day I feel like I've been wearing my contacts for 32 hours. My vision is 20-20 and my eyes are getting less and less sensitive as they heal.

After putting anesthetic drops in your eyes the doctor put tape strips above and below my eyes to prevent any eyelashes or eyebrows from sneaking in the mix. Then they slap some metal eyelid forecepts on the eye they are working on to hold your eye open. I didn't expect them to stick a big old suction cup on my eye. Apparently this holds your eye very still. It also caused my vision to go entirely black. Normal said the doctor as he swung me under the flap laser. The flap laser creates zillions of little bubbles under the tissue of your eye that can be peeled away. Once the flap bubbles have been made (7 seconds) you are moved under the lasik laser for the big burn. By burn I mean I could smell the tissue being removed as it shaped my cornea to focus light properly. They don't tell you that! Only took 20 seconds per eye and then the doctor flips the flap back over and smooths in out. Couple of drops of antibacterial solution and you have 20-20 vision. Only problem is it's like you are standing in a London fog. The fog cleared by morning.

I went running yesterday at night on a paved trail and didn't have any problems. I'll be running a 6 hour run this weekend with a minimum goal of 26.2 and a 50K or more hope.

Have a great weekend!

15 comments:

Meghan said...

Wow, you are brave! I know so many people who've done this, but I just don't know if I could. Glad to hear the healing is going well and good luck with the weekend's long run!

Meghan

angie's pink fuzzy said...

oh yuck. but yay! enjoy!

robtherunner said...

Like I said, if your vision goes bad we can always tie a rope around your waist and guide you along the trail. See you in the a.m.!

shawn said...

After all the times I've run with you I can't remember whether or not you usually wear glasses. Your surgery sounds slightly painful, glad it didn't last long.

You'll probably be a lot faster now that your glasses aren't creating any wind resistance.

Darrell said...

Very cool. I've been toying with the idea for a long time. You may have helped push me towards actually doing it. Keep us posted on the healing process and clarity of vision.

Backofpack said...

I keep thinking about it, but then you go into detail, like here, and then it freaks me out! I'd need a sedative to do it.

Sarah said...

I hope your recovery continues to go well!

Laura H said...

I had it done in 2006 - one eye only. My doc wouldn't let me play my horn for THREE weeks - due to intra-ocular pressure? I cheated and played at two weeks, but not before apologizing in advance to our host if my eyeball blew up, thereby messing up his new paint job in his living room. All is good! Enjoy the new vision!!

Joe said...

Thanks for the excellent description, Eric. I've worn contacts for 40 years now and have wondered about Lasik. Do give us an update in a couple of weeks. I'm interested.

Anonymous said...

Yea, you finally took the plunge!! I have it done 6 years ago - and haven't regretted it all . . . loved it enough I had it done to my daughter (glasses since Kindergarten) for Christmas/Birthday a couple of years ago . . . she called me the next morning just absolutely shocked and thrilled that she "could see!!!"

Jane

Gotta Run said...

Luckily I can still get away with having no glasses or contacts in while I run. One day that will not be the case. Great descriptive info for those who may be considering this procedure now.

Now that I read that you will be running at least 26 miles I feel even more slack for cutting mine back to 13 miles this weekend. THANKS A LOT!!! Now I must go and run some more :)

Annette said...

With a description like that, who could resist such a pleasant little procedure?

Happy contact-free running!

scott keeps running said...

congratulations on the thingy with the eyes.

have a good six hour race.

aquaasho said...

"I could smell the tissue being removed".
Lovely, Eric. I'm about to eat dinner and you hit me with the smell of burning tissue. Lovely.

;-)

Anonymous said...

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