My Grandfather and Lasik

When I came home from college for the Thanksgiving holidays, I was very surprised to hear that he had undergone a Lasik operation for his vision. It came to my attention immediately, as he was wearing sunglasses on a rainy Maryland afternoon. Apparently one of the possible temporary side effects of the Lasik procedure is a sensitivity to light. After talking with him privately, he hadn’t actually had any of the side effects that his Lasik physician had described, but was having a wonderful time making the family think that he did. What a character.

Granddad is one that always enjoys new gadgets, people’s sympathy, and the chance to tell another story to anyone willing to listen. It almost seems that the Lasik procedure was tailor made for him, especially since his Lasik operation was essentially trouble free. In addition to the sunglasses, the doctor that performed his Lasik surgery gave Granddad a pair of goggles to wear at night so that he would not rub his eyes in his sleep. Granddad also wore them at breakfast and for most meals, saying that a possible squirt in the eye from a grapefruit or wine glass was not allowed in the Lasik manual. I should mention that we don’t usually drink wine, and that he was not given a Lasik manual.

Two of the more common temporary side effects after Lasik surgery are sensitivity to light or to glare, especially at night, and some possibility of fluctuating vision for several days after the Lasik procedure. I have never seen a man milk so much out of a combination of one or both of these symptoms, though he never had either one.

He couldn’t clear dishes from the table because his fluctuating vision may have him drop the plates, and he couldn’t drive to the convenience store at night because… well, you get the idea. I do wonder why I was told the real story of his Lasik procedure, but I guess a secret partner makes the stories all the sweeter.

As it turns out, the only real post Lasik symptom that he actually had was dry eyes, and he had eye drops for that. As it turned out, he needed to get a second type of eye drops from his Lasik physician since he needed a thicker prescription to get through the night comfortably. Granddad was surprised that he seemed to be a model Lasik patient at his age, though his doctor said he had done a number of very successful Lasik surgeries for clients into their seventies, and even a few in their eighties.

I am surprised that Granddad bothered to look into a Lasik operation, for I never noticed that he had a problem with his glasses. He says it was because Lasik would reveal the handsome man he is more clearly to the ladies, though he has been a widower for twelve years and seemed fine with that.

He did say though that the clarity of vision that the Lasik procedure gave him is better than any he has had in over thirty years. Perhaps that is true, for my post Lasik grandfather is more interested in things and more active than I have seen him in the last few years. Perhaps Lasik is a part of that.