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LASIK Surgery One Year Later

July 20, 2007

Filed under: life — Terry Wohlers @ 16:23

I first wrote about LASIK surgery one year ago after I had it done. My one-year eye exam was last week and I’m seeing about the same as I did the day after I had the surgery. My vision is 20/15* in my left eye and about 20/25 in my right. With both eyes open, I’m seeing 20/15, which is better than 20/20. The slightly underpowered right eye was not planned, but it has come with a benefit: It provides a small amount of monovision, if you’re familiar with it, that enables me to see well when reading. I’m 49 and I’ve never used a pair of reading glasses. At some point, I will need them, but I’m fine for now.

If I had it to do over, would I have the surgery? Absolutely! For me, the results could not have been much better. Objects at a distance are crystal clear. I do not experience halos or starburst effects at night. I’m completely lenses-free for the first time in decades. People often say that it’s nice for outdoor activities, such as swimming or scuba diving, which is true. I find the convenience of not having to hassle with lenses every morning and night to be worth the time and money invested in the surgery. Also, I no longer have to carry lenses, solutions, etc., when traveling.

Over the past year, I’ve experienced some minor eye irritation from time to time, especially when my eyes are dry or tired from a short night’s sleep. They are somewhat sensitive to dust particles, but it’s no worse than when I wore contact lenses. The eye doctor said that this is normal and that some people have more sensitive eyes than others. Surprisingly, my eyes are now less sensitive to bright sun light than before.

Is LASIK surgery something you should consider if you are nearsighted? Possibly. I recommend that you talk with others who have had the surgery, interview eye care professionals, and read the commentary I wrote one year ago. Consider it only if it’s right for you, not because someone else experienced success. I’ve heard a few horror stories, so you need to know the risks and possible complications associated with the surgery.

* What exactly does 20/15 mean? The system of measuring eyesight was created long ago and it was explained to me like this: Letters 15 units in height were fastened to the side of a building. If you could read them at a distance of 20 feet, you were seeing 20/15. The next larger size letters were 20 units in size, the next 25 units, and so on. Your vision is 20/30 if the smallest letters that you can read are 30 units in size.

Truth About China

July 8, 2007

Filed under: future,life — Terry Wohlers @ 09:07

This was the title of an article authored by Guy Sorman and published in the April 20, 2007 issue of the Wall Street Journal. Sorman lived in China in 2005 and part of 2006. He spent time not only in the cities where striking expansion is underway, but also in the countryside and small villages where few Westerners go. He spoke with countless Communist Party officials, dissidents, and ordinary people. His conclusion: the 21st century will not belong to the Chinese.

Sorman stated that an estimated 200 million in China are increasingly enjoying a middle-class standard of living. The remaining one billion, though, are among the most underprivileged and oppressed in the world. The Party is no longer totalitarian, but it remains cruel and unfair.

Sorman goes on to discuss China’s many problems, including hundreds of thousands dying from AIDS. Meanwhile, an explosion of revolts is occurring in the vast countryside. The government estimates 60,000 of them per year, but some experts believe that it’s closer to 150,000 and rising. Moving to a city is a possible way out for some Chinese, but finding a permanent job can be difficult. The government requires many types of permits and the only way to obtain them is to bribe the bureaucrats.

Other problems: China’s one-child policy subjects women to shocking brutality. Unemployment may be closer to 20% than the officially recognized 3.5%.

China’s challenges are much deeper and wider than what many of us are led to believe, according to Sorman. Notable economic growth is underway in China, but it may pale in comparison to the overwhelming difficulties faced by this developing country.