2021 Twenty: Get Laser Eye Surgery




I’ve had glasses since I was 10 years old. That’s nearly 30 years of wearing glasses or contacts - and I’ve hated them the entire time.


I have two physical things about myself that I really struggle with, and one of them is having to wear glasses. That’s why (unless you drop off your kids to the same school as me, first thing every morning) you will seldom, if ever, see me wearing glasses.


I was raised to have thick skin. To “suck it up”, “deal with it” and to "carry on". My father taught me that “sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you”. I think we all know NOW that this is not true. Growing up in the 80s was a totally different experience than it is today. There wasn’t the same emphasis or spotlight cast on bullying (or perhaps ANTI bullying).


Now while I believe I turned out just fine, and I have no grudges with anyone I went to school with, the reality is - if we use today’s metrics - I was bullied a lot growing up and it always surrounded or had to do with my glasses.


Furthermore, I was athletic and played Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, Skiing and Track & Field - all with glasses. I was scared shitless of breaking my glasses, because I knew my parents didn’t have money to buy a new pair for me. But it eventually happened, and just writing this story out, brings so much guilt and anxiety back to the surface for me.


Working in a commercial kitchen for 15 years with glasses was awful too. Just imagine driving on a wet highway with no windshield wipers. Every time a car passes you, it kicks up some water and maybe a little dirt and mud too. You may not notice at first, but before long you can’t see out your windshield. That’s what it was like for me. There were meals where I was locked on the line for three or four hours without a break, running the kitchen at one hundred miles an hour, and finally when things died down, I would walk off the line and check on the exhaust fans, because everything seemed so foggy or smoky around me, and then I would realize it was just my glasses. I would go wash them, and be amazed every single time at how crystal clear and in focus everything became as I returned to the kitchen.


I hate glasses. Contacts are much better, but they can still be a pain too. I have arguably the best daily contacts in the world. My optometrist thinks I could be an Influencer for the brand I wear because he’s never heard of anyone putting them through the tests I have. 20 hour concert/event days in dry, dusty venues filled with C02 cannons, hazzers, fog machines, and smoke. The one time after having my contacts in all day long, I even got on an airplane at 5:00AM and flew back home. I fell asleep on the plane, and didn’t remember or realize I still had my contacts in until several hours after I was back home - which by then had been well over 24 hours. But they do eventually irritate the eye. I often rub them out when I forget I’m wearing them. I always have to remember to pack them, and they cost a lot of money too.


I’ve always dreamt about getting laser eye surgery done. The idea of being free from lens has been so appealing and nothing short of a fantasy of mine for years now. But then in 2010 and again in 2012 I got optic neuritis - an inflammation of the optic nerve that left me 80% blind in my left eye for over a month each time. This would become the first concrete, diagnosable symptoms of MS for me. Then my optometrist gave me even more bad news when he told me that it was unlikely I would qualify or be an approved candidate for LASIK surgery because of the permanent damage to my optic nerve.


But I have never given up, and just hours ago I went through a very thorough assessment with the surgeon and was told that I DO qualify and would be an acceptable candidate for the surgery. It’s ridiculously expensive for me (the price varies for patients based on this assessment) and health insurance will only cover a portion of it, but it is possible. Recently I heard the quote “how do you know what to ask for, if you don’t even know what you want?”. So true… but it doesn’t apply to me. I know what I want, I just don’t know how to get it.


So, for my sixth goal this year, I’m going to ask for LASIK eye surgery. As I’ve previously said, I don’t believe you’ll accomplish ANYTHING in life, if you don’t set goals for yourself. So until I make this a goal for myself, I don’t think it will ever come to fruition. It may not happen in 2021, but I’m already heading down the path, which means I’m further along than I was yesterday.


It would have been a pretty sweet goal to have last year, right? Obtain 20/20 vision without corrective lens in the year 2020?!? I dunno… is 20/21 vision a thing? Probably not… but this goal is going on my #2021Twenty.

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© 2019 by Dale Allen Berg