Setbacks after eye surgery have a humbling effect


There once was a girl who lived in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. One of her greatest joys was reading. However, there was one thing holding this girl back — her eyes. The girl grew up and got married, and after a time, she decided to have surgery to correct her poor vision. No longer would she need finicky contacts or pencil-thick glasses. The surgery went well and all seemed fine. But the recovery did not go as planned, and her vision became temperamental at best.

I don’t usually write about my personal life on Cracking the Cover, but as I sit in my office typing at 300 percent magnification, I feel like this is one life event I should share.

Eleven days ago I underwent PRK. I won’t bore — or gross you out — with all the details of the surgery, but here’s a little background. PRK is the precursor to LASIK and uses the same laser to treat the eye. The difference comes in the incision. Instead cutting a flap (LASIK), the outer layer of the cornea, or epithelium, is essentially scraped off and a contact bandage is applied following the procedure to aid in healing as the cells grow back.

My actual procedure went fine, but the recovery period has been rocky. There’s been pain and lots of frustration leading up to this point. My vision fluctuates from “good” to “bad” at the drop of a hat. At one doctor appointment my vision reached 20/40, but at the next visit, it was 20/70. It’s still not good enough to drive and I couldn’t even attempt a return to work until yesterday.

This has been a humbling experience on multiple levels. I’m an independent person, and it’s been hard to depend on others to not only cart me around but to read menus, explain what’s going on in a TV show, or examine a piece of fruit for bruises at the grocery store.

Whenever I get sick, I like to curl up with a good book and whisk myself away from whatever is ailing me. In this case, I can’t do that. And that has to be one of the most frustrating elements of all. I have piles of enticing books I can’t wait to get my hands on, but I can’t read the type — it’s too small.

Prior to surgery, I wrote my little heart out, making sure I’d have posts ready for when I was laid up. Those posts have now run out. Over the next days, or possibly weeks, you will see fewer posts from me. I finished three or four YA and middle-reader novels prior to surgery that will be reviewed, and I have a number of larger-type picture books that I can explore. But the whole process from reading to writing to laying things out takes quite a bit more time when looking through blurred vision.

My eyes will heal — so I’ve been told — but it seems that I need a lesson in patience. I ask that you, too, will be patient. It’s been a full year since I started Cracking the Cover, and I don’t plan to quit anytime soon. Thank you all for your support, and happy reading!

© 2012, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.


  1. Wow, sorry for what you are going through. I’m glad your eyes will recover though, and you’ll be able to get back to doing what you love. In the meantime, enjoy your interactions with friends and loved ones — I’m sure the love surrounding you is great.

  2. Gee, I hope your eyes get better soon! I know from an episode I had years ago how frustrating it is not to be able to read, when there you are not at work and surrounded by books!

  3. So sorry to hear that! 🙁 Have you considered trying audiobooks? The Bloody Jack series is fantastically good on audio… By the time you finish healing up, you might be hooked on them 😉 I know I am.

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