The Gratitude Project: Visualize

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been severely nearsighted. I think my parents discovered the problem when I was in 3rd grade and couldn’t see the chalkboard. So I went to the eye doctor and got my first pair of glasses.

Then I got to high school and started running and playing raquetball, and broke more than a few pairs, so my parents switched me to contact lenses.

And so it goes…

About 10 years ago, I asked my eye doctor about LASIK, and he told me to wait. The technology was good, but not great, and he was worried about night driving (I was working an overnight shift at the time) and pupil dilation. 4 years ago I asked him again, and he told me to go for it. He recommended a doctor who he knew would correct my vision all the way to my max dilation, and thought we’d be a good fit.

So I had the green light, and the recommendation, but not the money (Doc is top of the line and does NOT come cheap), and insurance laughed me off the phone. Corrective laser surgery is considered cosmetic, and not covered.


So on Thursday, March 27th, I go to my optometrist for a pre-op. They set an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Alan Berg of Berg-Feinfeld.

This man changed my life! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

On Monday, March 31st, I go to see Dr. Berg. He sends in a doctor to see me, then two, then a third… and then he comes in and takes their notes and runs his own diagnostics on my eyes and compares notes. He tells me I’m in great shape for laser surgery (I haven’t worn contacts in 6 months), and sets my appointment for Friday, April 4th.

I scrape together all of my pennies (this surgery is not cheap), and hope for the best.

Friday, April 4th, I go about my day and get as much done as humanly possible. In the late afternoon, I head out to see Dr. Berg.

And there are more tests. Lots more tests. Dr. Berg’s team (of doctors and specialists) measures my eye every way in the human world…

And about an hour and a half later, I’m ready for surgery.

I pop two Valium (which I SWEAR ARE NOT WORKING) ask for a blanket and lay down on the table. The procedure went something like this:

Numbing drops

“You’re doing great. Watch the red light.”

I’m watching the light. I guess something is happening. I can’t tell. Then…

“You’re going to feel some pressure.”

I feel the pressure. Dr. Berg puts some plastic looking thing around my eye and everything dims and GOES.BLACK.


And just as I’m about to cuss out loud… my vision comes back… clear.


“The worst part is over.”

It is?

He swings me under the second laser. Some more stuff happens. I’m still looking at the flashing red light. There’s some lovely cold stuff being dripped into my eyes, and then it feels like a cool brush is going over my eyes (turns out, that’s the doctor putting back the LAYERS of my eyeball, that the laser had peeled back. OMG).

Then he does the second eye, and I’m done. Just like that. Total procedure time is 10 minutes. I stand up with the help of two other doctors/nurses, and although I’m looking through a fog (I imagine it’s the drops he put in my eye), I can see EVERYTHING clearly. And I mean… EVERYTHING.

So I get driven back home, and fall into a coma. I wake up 5 hours later, take medicated drops, go back to sleep. 12 hours later, I open my eyes…

For the first time in my life, I can see the alarm clock! No glasses, no contacts. And you guys, my eyes were BAD. -5.25 in each eye. Anyone who has a crap prescription knows what I’m talking about. Astigmatism in both eyes… just a mess. Now everything is clear. EVERYTHING. I have no irritation, no dryness, no halos, no moving targets, nothing but clear vision.

I have a stack of rules that I have to follow (no eye makeup for a MONTH. Who’s idea was this?)… but I can do brows and face makeup.

This is two days after the procedure. My eyes are still a bit puffy, but there’s no pain at all. And there’s a few red spots on the whites of my eyes, but I’m told those will go away. The spots on my left eye are already fading. So far, so VERY VERY GOOD. I am ever grateful for this procedure, and my new vision, and Dr. Berg (and Jeannette, and Stella, and Dr. Lee and all the other people who made this possible).

This has been a very… ABUNDANT… time for me. And I am not blind to the blessings. I can see more clearly (both physically and spiritually) than ever before.

And for that, once again, I am Grateful.



  1. Helen says:

    Oh my goodness, Woman! What an experience! (Great write-up too!). Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you’re feeling well and that the procedure was such an instant success. And you still look great! What lipstick are you rocking in that photo?

  2. Thanks Helen! The procedure was amazing. I’m still getting used to having such sharp vision! LOL I can read the closed captioning on the television screens from across the gym… it’s insane.

    I’m wearing Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Stoned Rose.

  3. aisha says:

    Shahada that’s so great! Miracle vision. Thanks for the info. I’m a -6.00(l)/-5.75(r) . . . yeah. 🙂

    • Aisha I completely understand!!! Crap vision is the WORST. I was a -6.00 in my left eye about a decade ago, but my vision seems to have improved over time. My last exam (two weeks ago) put me at -5.25 with astigmatism in both eyes.

  4. BooBooNinja says:

    Congratulations! Whew — I’m glad everything went smoothly.
    I’m the only person in my family (immediate, uncles, aunties, 1st cousins, fiancé’s immdediate family) who doesn’t need glasses. I hope to never have to. *knock on wood*

  5. Thanks Boo Boo Ninja! 🙂 I’m glad too. I never considered complications, so I guess it’s good that there weren’t any. LOL

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