In all my moving out excitement I forgot to tell you all how my Lasik consultation went!

I arrived at the center, and was promptly given some forms to fill out and asked to sit outside. After waiting in their lobby with my filled out forms, the first thing is they made me look into this machine that had black and white stripes all along the inside, and I had to open my eyes wide without blinking as the machine focused first on one eye and flashed some lights repeatedly, then did the same for the other. Then they sent me back to the lobby.

They finally called me back and did the regular exam. She measured my eyes again for something, and checked the prescription on my glasses, as well as checked what my current vision was. (And no, I didn’t get a copy of a new prescription. Bummer.) Turns out my vision has barely changed. Yay!  (My biggest worry was that my vision isn’t stable enough, and wouldn’t be a candidate.) I was particularly amused when she told me to hold a card in front of me that had a bunch of letters in different sizes, and asked how far I could read. I only got through the second line without squinting. Before sending me back to the waiting room she gave me three different drops to dilate my pupils, and then remembered she forgot to measure my eye pressure. (That was fun, considering I was already having trouble keeping my eyes open after getting all those drops.) Then I waited some more.

The final part of the exam consisted of the doctor checking out my dilated eyes with a bright light. This time was particularly interesting, because I was able to see the back of my eyes! (Just a bunch of veins, I think.) Anyway, she reported I have very healthy eyes, my corneas are thick enough, and I’m an excellent candidate for their Lasik surgery. She showed me a video about the procedure and answered a few of my questions. From beginning to end, it only took a couple of hours.  😉

All in all, without the money factored in, I think I would do it. My vision is bad enough that when asked to look at the sign on the wall and identify the letter, I couldn’t even tell it was an “E”! (You all know the sign I’m talking about, right?) Even if I got this surgery and didn’t come out with 20/20 vision it would be amazing to be able to function without glasses. Something I haven’t been able to do for over 13 years.

Then came the money talk.

The procedure is $5,000. There are cheaper procedures, but that’s what she recommended for me. It would correct any abberations (sp?) I may have, including my slight astigmatism. These are my eyes, so I’d feel really odd bargain hunting on something like this. Any mistakes or complications and, well….they’re my eyes!! The center I went to is internationally known, so it is THE best in the city, and I know at least three people that have gotten their Lasik procedure done there.

So, now the question…..should I do it?

If done, I’d be looking at January, so that I can take advantage of Flex Spending benefits (using the money to pay for it pre-taxes). Insurance is not a factor, since they don’t have any contracts with insurance companies (bummer). And it’s definitely worth waiting until January….15% (my tax bracket, at the least) on $5,000 is a nice chunk of change ($750). I’ll be honest though, I DON’T have the money saved up. With flex spending I’d have at least $420 taken out each month, which is more than I have slated for savings, even now. I DO have money in my emergency account (about $9k right now), but that would mean my downpayment would have to be used as an emergency fund, since $4k (what would be left if I used $5k for Lasik) wouldn’t support me very long.

I have slightly less than 4 months to decide what I’m doing. In December I’ll have to submit my new Flex Spending paperwork so that is my decision deadline.

$5,000 for a life without any more glasses or contacts. Should I do it?