Perfect vision

One and a half years ago (is it already that long ago? amazing) I was hiking up a mountain on Yakushima island with a Japanese guy, a slightly older Chinese man and a Dutch guy about my age. The Chinese and Japanese guys only spoke Japanese so I had to translate between them and the Dutch guy. As we were walking the topic chanced upon wearing glasses, as Miro, the Dutch guy, was wearing glasses and Hou, the Chinese man, did not have any. Hou asked me in Japanese to ask Miro why he didn't have laser eye surgery. Miro answered that he wasn't really sure of the risks yet as it's a fairly new thing.

I figured that was the end of it but Hou kept pressing me to insist upon Miro that he should take laser eye surgery, RIGHT NOW as far as Hou was concerned. Hou said that laser eye surgery changed his life and it would make Miro a better person and give him a whole new outlook on life. I told Miro about this at first, but Miro wasn't interested and Hou kept insisting. In the end both Miro and I got annoyed and I refused to translate for Hou, who didn't want to drop the topic.

At the time I let the whole discussion whoosh past me as it was none of my concern. After all, I had perfect vision, why should I care about glasses or laser eye surgery? I ended kind of agreeing with Miro about the risks of LES, but in retrospect I seem to have agreed with Miro simply because Hou was being so annoying.

Yesterday my buddy Kamil dropped by. It was the first time I saw him wearing glasses. He told me that he was shocked when he found out that he needed glasses because he always assumed he had perfect vision. Then a friend let him try out his friend's glasses and he found out that he could see better with glasses. Yesterday Kamil let me try his glasses, and I found out that I can see better with his glasses than without. And so the glasses meme propagates.

And suddenly the whole laser eye surgery discussion seems urgently topical. I was immediately reminded of that strange conversation on top of the mountain that I mentioned above. But now I've changed my mind: laser eye surgery is a good idea. Why would I settle for glasses if I can get the problem fixed properly right now? Glasses are a quickfix, a dirty hack. Laser eye surgery is the proper way to fix it. And even if there's complications maybe 10-20 years from now then I'm sure they'll have found a way to fix it properly by then.

One thing my friend did tell me was that I would lose my confidence. The thing I once thought was perfect turns out to be less-than. I do find myself suddenly asking many questions. What if other parts of my body will also turn sour? What if I start wearing glasses and my ability to see without glasses decreases even more? What if I go traveling and my eyesight deteriorates to the point where I cannot read the road signs in the distance? I never considered these possibilities before but now I have to.

That said, I am not planning to get laser eye surgery any time soon. I might get glasses, although I wonder if I'll end up using them a lot since my eyesight is still good enough to be used in daily life. One thing I can be sure about is that my eyesight won't improve by itself. It requires fixing. And when that happens, I will be sure to post my experiences here.


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