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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Refractive Eye Surgery – (Part 1 of 2): Getting My Eyes Did

I am going stir crazy.  I have not trained in more than a week in what has been my longest break from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the Best Damned Sport in The World ™, in several years.  Until recently, I suffered from the debilitating disease of myopia.  Blame it on poor genetics.  Blame it on reading too much in dimly lit rooms.  Blame it on doing what little boys do.  Hell, blame it on Cain.  I had poor eyesight, and I was sick of wearing contact lenses. 

Thankfully, I do not live in the Paleolithic era, and was not cast into the wilderness to die a horrible and lonely death because I could no longer provide for my tribe.  In these modern times, we have options, that is, glasses, contact lenses, and radically invasive surgery into our corneas. 

If I chose surgery, no longer would I have to, mid sparring session, blink out my contact, put it into my mouth, and finish delivering an ass-kicking prior to walking over to the mirror and replacing my lens.  No longer would I have to stumble into the bathroom to purge myself in the middle of the night, and wake up the next morning wondering why the guest towels were covered in vomit.  No longer would vision prevent me from joining up with the Navy SEALS, rather, my inexplicable sensitivity to cold water would disqualify me, a malady to which no surgery yet exists.

I am prone to risk-taking, and decided to lay my current vision on the line for the potential of super vision.  I was not promised any specific results or vision improvement, however, I could read between the lines of the legalize, and was assuming that, barring any problems, I would be able to see 360 degrees, in high definition, in pitch black, predator style, and quite possibly, into the future.  I would see with X-ray vision the envy of the most twisted of TSA agents.  I would experience visual beauty with a crystal clarity that would leave me in a state of ecstasy.  I would see even the most emotionally charged events with complete objectivity.  I would see it coming.  I would see right through you.  I would see everything.  I would be omniscient. 

Or my eyes could get totally fucked, but gambling money, pride, and physical pain was losing its luster.  It was time to gamble one of my five senses.  I had already allocated a great deal of pre-tax income into a flex spending account for this purpose.  It was time to get my eyes did.

I shopped around for eye surgeons and settled on “Dr. Assil,” eye surgeon to the stars whose luxurious Beverly Hills office was filled with pictures of famous people thanking him for the gift of (better) sight.  He’s the official eye surgeon for the Los Angeles Lakers, whatever that means, but I imagine it involves a hefty retainer, locker room access, and input into the starting lineup. 

The good doctor and I discussed my options:

1)      Pussy-Lasik (aka Lasik) using wave front technology.  Virtually pain free.  I would most likely have 20-20 vision the next day, along with a flap on my eye that takes up to a year to fully heal, but will require a month off of BJJ.

2)      Man-Lasik (aka Epi Lasik).  Burning awful painful recovery that will seem endless, will make me doubt the surgery did any good, and might drive me insane.  Vision will improves post surgery whenever my eyes decide to heal, and will alternate between getting better and worse, but will eventually stabilize after a few months.  No corneal flap.  Less cornea removed.  I could train again in a week or so.

Bottom line, Man-Lasik is the wise choice for martial artists.  With Lasik, though unlikely, an eye poke could turn nasty if flap damage occurs.  For those of us with corneas on the thin side, it's good to have some extra cornea because it could come in handy down the line, which reminds me of a joke I made up while recovering:

What do you get when you have an eye surgeon with a bad sense of humor?  Someone who makes cornea jokes.

Corny-a jokes...heh heh.

Next week, I’ll discuss the operation and recovery process in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Refractive Eye Surgery – (Part 2 of 2):  Sympathy for Oedipus.