A stranger in my bedroom convinced me to get LASIK

Posted by: West Georgia Eye Care Center in Frontpage Article on October 30, 2015

“For one patient, LASIK was a matter of keeping her sanity.”

For the past decade, I have counseled patients on refractive surgery. The individual stories of personal motivation for seeking LASIK never fail to fascinate me. Almost all of them express a desire to be free of the inconvenience of glasses and/or contact lenses. For most patients, LASIK is a safe an effective option to reach that worthwhile goal. For a few patients, however, the incentive for LASIK runs far deeper than mere convenience, and for one patient in particular, it was a matter of keeping her sanity.

This patient was the wife of a deployed US solider, caring for their children alone while he was away. One night, she awakened to the blurry sight of a strange silhouette in her bedroom doorway. Without her glasses or contacts, she was unable to see any details but she was instantly aware that she was in danger. Thankfully, her abrupt awakening frightened away the intruder, but the lingering memory of his presence continued to be an intrusion in her thoughts.

In the following days, the patient reported to incident, but because she wasn’t wearing vision correction at the time, she couldn’t provide the police with a single physical description of the invader. The patient later recounted how stressful and frustrating this was, and how fearful she became. What if this happened again? What if she couldn’t see? She began suffering symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, becoming anxious and depressed and unable to focus on daily activities. She became acutely aware of anyone who invaded her personal space during common scenarios (e.g., in line at the grocery store). She was always on the defensive, always suspecting. She could never know if a man standing next to her was that man. 

In the end, she decided to get LASIK so she could finally experience peace of mind. She never wanted to be that vulnerable again.

There are a lot of great reasons to consider LASIK surgery, and this one struck an emotional chord for me. I was thrilled to contribute a small part to the process of helping this woman reach her goal. What’s your reason for wanting LASIK?