Remember a few months ago when I talked about one of my biggest vulnerabilities as a solo female traveller being my eyes? I did something about it. I got LASIK.
Yes, people! I am now glasses-free! Hallelujah!
OK, let me catch you up on how I got here.
It was while I was riding on the back of a Go-Jek that the thought took root. If the bike hit a particularly bad bump (which was totally conceivable) and I jerked so hard that my glasses flew off (a little less conceivable behind a visored helmet but some of those visors didn’t work so well), I would be at a serious disadvantage. I had no-one looking out for me to go find my glasses if I was ever in a situation where I got separated from them so I had to make it so that my eyes were no longer a liability or a security risk.
I prayed on it for four months before I left Indonesia. (I seriously find myself at a place where I don’t want to undertake activities, big or small, unless I feel that they’re OK with God. I don’t mean to sound super-religious but it’s the reality of how I live my life now so please take it as me just being honest.)
I came to the conclusion that laser eye surgery was a dream that God put in my heart. The reason I came to this conclusion was twofold. First, my Canadian friend did the procedure a good 6 or 7 years ago and, at the time, tried to convince me to do it, too. “Kris, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself!” she said. I pooh-poohed her and said no way, because I didn’t want anyone messing around in my eyes. My significant other at the time also tried to convince me to do it, but I think his motives were less about my health and well-being and more about his opinion that I looked more attractive without glasses. No matter what anyone said, I was very comfortable with my very poor eyesight and accompanying glasses, and had no interest or desire to change my situation.
Here’s the second reason why I came to the conclusion that laser eye surgery was OK with God for me. Back in mid-2015 while I was on my way back to Jamaica from my 2-month healing sojourn far and wide (I promise I’ll tell you all about that soon), I bought my 2016 daily planner (yes, I still use those). At that time, while I was still uninterested in having anything done to my eyes, I felt lead by the Lord to write what you see in the picture to the right in the 2017 calendar at the back of the planner, even before 2016 began. I wrote it then I promptly forgot about it.
Cue the Go-Jek ride and suddenly the practicality of eye surgery became glaringly obvious (pun intended) and I started putting serious thought and prayer to the idea. In the final analysis I decided that, whereas my Kilimanjaro trek was God’s fortieth birthday present to me, new vision was my forty-first birthday present from Him. I couldn’t beat that!
So while I was planning JEXIT Stop 4, I researched laser eye surgery in the area of New York that I’d be visiting and made an appointment. That was the appointment I had in the city on my first full day – a consultation with a laser eye surgeon.
I went into the appointment with no expectations but was pleased to hear that I was an excellent candidate for the procedure, despite my terrible vision, because my corneas were healthy (and other technical reasons, I’m sure). They wanted to perform the procedure then and there but I told them that I needed to mull over the information they had given me and I would contact them again for an appointment soon. A few days later, when Auntie and I hit Atlanta, I called and made the appointment for mid-January 2017. I could have done the surgery immediately as they wanted me to, but God had clearly told me to get it done in 2017 (go back to my day planner calendar above) and I felt that if I was obedient in this small matter of timing that seemed inconsequential, then He would trust me with more responsibility.
So it was that I boarded the plane from New York to Jamaica in the wee hours of January 3rd this year, knowing full well that I would be heading back to New York about two weeks later.
And that’s exactly what I did. I arrived back in New York on a Thursday night, then on Friday afternoon I hopped on a train headed towards another in the countless series of life changing moments that happily constitute my existence these days.
I read and signed all the paperwork, which told me all about what to expect post-operatively and about my responsibilities to ensure a speedy and problem-free recovery. One of the doctor’s assistants (no idea what their positions are called…visual assistants?) re-confirmed my eye measurements and readings and before I knew it, it was go time.
Over the next 7 minutes, from the time I walked into the operating room to the time I walked back out, my life changed yet again.