Friday, May 9, 2008

LASIK Post-Surgical Update...

I have been meaning to update the blog with regard to my post LASIK surgery recovery, but kept forgetting.  I can think of one word to sum up the experience: wonderful!  When I returned to Tylock’s office 2 weeks after the surgery, everything was good.  I was noting some dryness in my right eye and was still seeing halos and starbursts at night, but my vision was great!  It has been a little over two months since my surgery and things are looking great.  I returned for another post-operative visit recently and my vision is now 20/15.  The halo and starbursts are just about gone…either that or I don’t notice them as much.  The only time I have dryness in my right eye now is when I have been driving for a while with the convertible top down or if I haven’t gotten enough sleep the night before.  A few saline drops and I am good to go.

 

The doctor said my flaps look great and that the eyes are doing so well that I don’t need to be seen again for another six months…unless of course things change between now and then.

 

Everyone who has LASIK comments about being able to see the bedroom clock at night, and they are right.  It is awesome to be able to see the clock sitting across the room in the middle of the night.  But there are so many other times that make you relish your new & improved vision.  Like being able to see the numbers on the scale (or maybe not, depending how it reads), or seeing pin-points for stars at night instead of fuzzy blurs.  I am enjoying being able to read the fine print from quite a ways away, whether on signs, posters or just seeing the TV clearly from out in the yard.

 

A few words of advice, though.  As all of the surgeons are offering 20/20 or it’s free guarantees, if you feel your vision is borderline 20/20 or worse, you may want to get a second opinion.  Studies have shown that the greater the initial correction, the greater the likelihood of needed one or both eyes “tweaked”, or corrected again.  Sara, my lovely wife, needed her right eye tweaked some months after the original surgery.  She still doesn’t feel like they are quite 20/20, but we are outside the warranty period.  So, if you get LASIK and aren’t happy with the level of correction, A) tell your doctor and B) maybe have another, unaffiliated doctor give you an eye exam to determine where you are.

 

I heard recently that the FDA is investigating the safety of LASIK and I hope they do a very thorough job, because there have been problems.  Most of these appear to surround patients who were not suitable candidates for LASIK in the first place.  Fortunately, I heard that 95% of LASIK patience are satisfied with their experience.  Count me among them…

 

Economic Stimulus Calculator...

The IRS has their Economic Stimulus Calculator here: http://www.irs.gov/app/espc/, but it is fairly in depth. Here is an excel spreadsheet I threw together to get an idea of how large (or small depending on your income) the stimulus payment would be. Note that this calculator is overly simple, but assuming you paid taxes in 2007 it should be pretty accurate.

Here is the Excel Spreadsheet. 2008_Economic_Stimulus_Worksheet.xls

The Excel formulas are somewhat complex because of the nested IF statements, but the bottom line is this:

$300 per child
+
$600 per adult (e.g. $600 single filer, $1200 for married, filing jointly)

5% of your income over $75000 for single filers, or 5% of your income over $150,000 if you are married, filing jointly.
=
your Stimulus Payment

Now the question is: if you are getting an Economic Stimulus Payment, are you going to spend it on goods and services, thusly stimulating the economy or are you going to pay off debt? I think I will do mostly the latter, but given that the money will be put back into the banking industry’s hands, that should ultimately stimulate the economy as well, right? And I may buy some landscaping bricks too…