By Ivo Henfling
One of the best things I've ever done for myself: Lasik eye surgery. When you move or retire to Costa Rica, you migth want to do yourself a favor and see if you're a candidate for Lasik Eye surgery. Costa Rica offers lots of medical tourism, and you can get yourself new teeth, new eyes, new eyelids and many other new " things" for yourself at half the cost of what it would cost in the US or Europe. Costa Rica medical services are very much up to date, as the following blog will show you.
I've used glasses since I was like 9 or 10 I believe as I had myopia. I always hated it. I've always done lots of sports (I know, you wouldn't tell right now) and nothing worse than having to use glasses. As a kid, I've broken plenty. How can you expect from a kid who is invited to a soccer game on the street to tell his friends to "hang on, I need to go change glasses".
I remember when my dad used to hit me for something I'd done wrong, my mom would yell "be careful with his glasses". Those glasses saved me sometimes, rarely though, but I grew up to be a strong Dutch boy anyway.
In the army, using a gasmask with my regular glasses didn't work and I couldn't see anything to my regulatory glasses either, so shooting at the range was something my sergeant didn't want me to do. Try to put on a gasmask with hair to your shoulders, because we Dutch were allowed to have long hair while being a soldier, keep your regular glasses on ans still shoot straight.
It was rightout dangerous. When, after 18 months, I had completed my army obligation, someone remembered I had to fulfill my shooting test before leaving I finally had my fun shooting at all the wrong targets.
When it rained or when it was cold outside and you would walk into a room that had a warmer temperature than the exterior, my glasses would fog up. Oh Dutch winters, I just hated them because of that.
I remember, with my first girlfriend, the damn thing would always be in the way. Of course, after a while, I would just take 'em off. I was Myopic and did not have hyperopia.....
When contact lenses were invented, I tried a couple of times but I could never stand those things in my eyes.
At 40, I started to have problems using the computer, I needed reading glasses. That made it even more difficult, because I would always find myself using the wrong glasses. What a terrible hassle, I'd never been so dependent on anything as much as my glasses. It wasn't like I couldn't see anything without the right glasses, it was just annoying to barely be able to see well at anytime. Thank God that by then I had stopped practicing sports and having girlfriends.....
Suddenly, in 2006 and beginning 2007, I saw several people around me suddenly not using glasses anymore and they all told me they got Lasik, an eye surgery through Laser. But operating on my eyes is serious business I thought, real estate is not an easy job when you're blind. Honestly, it scared the sh.. out of me.
In March2007 I took the decision and made an appointment with Dr. David Flikier, an aye doctor or ophtalmologist. He operated the eyes of several of my friends and acquaintances, at the Instituto de Cirugía Ocular, in San Jose. Dr. Flikier did all the tests and seeing how his institute was filling up with people, I felt more comfortable. It looked like half the population of Costa Rica was getting Lasik.
Investigation time now, so checked out his website and read up on the issue. Its a pity the website is Spanish only, though Dr. Flikier speaks fluent English, so you could read up on him, its impressive. I liked what I saw and took what has probably one of the ballsiest decisions I have taken in my life (except for getting married twice): I booked surgery for April. The cost of this surgery at the time was $750 for each eye, so $1,500 for me, because I have two of 'em. I would spend that kind of money on glasses every two years. And in Costa Rica we don't have all these fashionable glasses for every occasion, like they do in Europe.
Apparently all went well at the surgery because I couldn't see anything.... I got these Stevie Wonder glasses and was sent home. My eyes felt like they had sand in them, something I could easily live with, I seem to have a high pain tolerance. It was the fact of not being able to do anything that day. I couldn't read, I couldn't watch TV and worse, I couldn't even do my emails. I couldn't even look at the ceiling for God's sake.
The next day, though the dear doctor told me to take the week off, I was back to email. I could do 10 - 15 minutes email like every hour and that would keep me from going nuts.
Did it worK? Was the surgery positive? Of course it was, I wouldn't be writing this. Its awesome. Though the doctor says I have 20/20 vision, I think its about 19.95/19.92, I have never seen so well when I used glasses. Oh yes, when I do too many computer hours my eyes go a little red. And yes, my eyes dry out a bit more than before. Am I happy? I'm excited, I'm exhilarated, I'm the happiest man in the world because I can see better than ever before.
Its now 4 years later. I didn't wait for my new eyes to have their birthday to write this blog, it just happened to be. But I'm still very happy. Never had a problem with it. I go back to Dr. Flikier once a year, just to check them out.
So if you are wondering if you can do this for yourself too, give it a shot. And once your eyes get better and you have some money left to buy a property, call me for a property tour of homes in Escazu and Santa Ana, as this is what I do for a living. I can show you some pretty awesome Luxury homes and Mansions at very good prices. Contact me now.
Ophthalmologist Dr. David Flikier
Instituto de Cirugía Ocular
100 south of Pizza Hut paseo Colon
I'm sure you'll be as happy as I am.
Ivo Henfling, your Escazu and Santa Ana realtor.