The miracle that is vision!

Category under: About Jim Carroll, Blog

Two years ago this week, almost to the day, I walked in for the pre-24 hr checkup for a Lasik surgery that I had committed to.

Stream of digital data with a human eye
“My vision is now truly is marvellous, and I owe all this to the tenacity, dedication and sheer professionalism of Dr. Sheldon Herzig and the team at the Herzig Eye Insititue. Truly a world class operation that lives up to their promise to return you to a life of perfect vision.”

Just a few minutes after our final pre-surgery consultation, my wife and I decided I should cancel the procedure, and we walked out.

We’d gone into this meeting with some about the organization — it was a member of a ‘chain’ of Lasik companies, and I just didn’t feel comfortable already with  some lack of information, the fact that charts from my own eye doctor had not yet arrived, and other issues. This meeting confirmed my thinking.

Leaving, It was a pretty depressing day. I’d been wearing contact lenses at that point for some 34 years, and glasses for several years before that. With age, my eyesight was becoming less reliable. I had thought to myself that within 24 hours I would have had a solution to that. Now, I did not.

My wife and I chatted that weekend as we drove to the cotttage; I still wanted to do something to try to ‘fix my vision.’ And in one of those serendipitous moments, a commercial came on the radio for the Herzig Eye Institute in Toronto. It caught my attention; and by the middle of the next week, we had made an appointment for an assessment.

We met with one of the optometrists, Dr. Jeffrey Tolmie, one of the nicest, most courteous and patient optometrists I have ever met. After examination of my eyes with a whole series of fascinating machines, I was advised that my corneas were just on the edge of being a little too thin for full Lasik. He was instead recommending “Lens Replacment Surgery” (aka “Refractive Lens Exchange” instead.”) Basically, cataract surgery before you get cataracts — with the added benefit of almost immediate better vision.

I was also given the option of going with monovision — that is, one eye set for distance, and the other set for close, so as to avoid the use of reading glasses. That certainly sounded appealing!

Of course, I immediately went home and started doing my own homework — with the main observations being that this is the most common type of surgery in the world, and the second observation that with monovision, most patients brains eventually balance out the different vision distances….

In December 2013 I took the plunge and had the surgery, performed by Dr. Sheldon Herzig. Within a few days, my right eye could see distance extremely well, while my left eye could read the tiniest of tiny print. So far, so good. But to be honest, my brain was having a hard time figuring things out; some moments, the different eye settings were barely noticeable, but at other times, very difficult to deal with it.

And then I went on stage for an event in Las Vegas in January 2014, and it didn’t go so well. I couldn’t see the audience through the lights; I struggled with the floor monitor; my ability to hit my stage marks didn’t seem quite right. After that, I started wearing a 1.0x power contact in the left eye, on my own initiative, which seemed to make things easier, and went for my 3 month followup appointment with Herzig.

And at that point, I began to learn that Herzig really sticks to their “vision guarantee.” It can take the eyes some time to optically stabilize after surgery. By the 3 month point, Herzig came to the conclusion that both my left and right eye could use a bit of Lasik “tweaking” to get closer to their goals of 20/20 on the right, and reading vision on the left that my brain could better balance.

I had two more Lasik’s — the right eye was now incredible — I could see things at a distance that I had seen in decades…… yet this took time, as I had to fit these procedures into my tight speaking schedule.

But still the left eye just didn’t seem right; I still stuck to wearing a contact. After another visit, Dr. Tolmie suggested, and then Dr. Herzig confirmed, one more Lasik touch up to the left eye…. and I had that done just over a few weeks ago in mid-June.

I’ve now been living for six weeks without any need for any type of contact lens. I have occasional need for reading glasses in low level light — but the rest of the day, I get up, go to work, golf, cycle and live my life, with what to me seems to be near perfect vision. Every once in a while I stop and ponder; my world view is marvellous and crystal clear and unbelievable. And monovision works completely!

I can read my iPhone without the need for reading glasses, and interact with my computer(s) without any vision aids. I’ve got the best of both worlds — clear distance vision and close vision.

My vision is now truly is marvellous, and I owe all this to the tenacity, dedication and sheer professionalism of Dr. Sheldon Herzig and the team (particularly Dr. Tolmie) at the Herzig Eye Insititue. Truly a world class operation that lives up to their promise to return you to a life of perfect vision.

Thank you Dr. Herzig!


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