20/15 Vision Twelve Years After LASIK
As a 22-year-old wrestling coach, John Burke hadn’t given much thought to his eyesight. Whether it was good or bad never really occurred to him. That is, until one of his wrestlers asked him to hold his glasses during practice.
“I decided to put them on, as a joke, and I noticed there was a mural on the wall that I had no idea was there. That’s when I realized I needed glasses for distance. So, I got glasses.” That was 1976.
Twenty-two years later, in 1998, he upgraded to contacts. “I saw my wife wearing contacts and I thought, ‘I could probably do those too.’” And while he was able to put up with glasses for a number of years, John hit a breaking point with contacts after just six.
“I got my wetting solution and washing solution confused. I put the contacts in my eyes, after they had been in the washing solution, without rinsing them. I had to teach a college class and my eyes were totally red. They hurt so bad.”
Knowing there was a better solution to his vision troubles than “putting [his] fingers in [his] eyes,” he began to look into LASIK surgery...and started to imagine the day he could finally get rid of contacts and glasses forever.
Turning to the Internet, John found good information online, but it was his friends who’d already had LASIK provided the best, first-hand information. But it was one comment, in particular, that convinced him to go for it:
“Someone said to me, ‘there’s one thing you don’t want to go with the low bid on, and that’s your eyes. Don’t look for the cheapest way to get LASIK surgery. Go to somebody who’s got a track record of doing it well.’”
That turned out to be Dr. Grene at Grene Laser...by a large margin: “It just kept popping up that Grene was the way to go. Everyone I talked to was completely pleased with what Dr. Grene had done to help them.”
After rearranging his busy schedule, John consulted with Dr. Grene, personally, then scheduled his surgery. Impressed with the efficiency of the entire process – from pre-op to surgery to recovery – Dr. Grene exceeded John’s high expectations.
“The efficiency of the entire thing was slick. You show up on time, you’re out in a few hours. You’re home. You’re resting. Right after the surgery, I looked at the clock across the room and it was crystal clear.”
By leveraging his medical reimbursement account, he was able to offset 75 percent of the total cost of the surgery. But in the end, it wasn’t about the money. It was about reputation.
“I hadn’t seriously considered anybody else. Dr. Grene’s former patients told me, ‘go to the best and don’t trust anyone else with your vision.’ They were right.”
It’s been a little more than 12 years since Dr. John Burke, superintendent of Haysville schools, got LASIK. At his most recent physical, his doctor confirmed something he’d known for many years: “All these years later, I’m not 20/20. I’m 20/15!” he says.
Aside from being able to brag about great vision 12+ years on, Dr. Burke says it’s the little things that matter most: not having to wear glasses at sporting events, not worrying about a contact lens coming loose, not fiddling with glasses misted over by rain. And one more thing… “Being able to go scuba diving or snorkeling when on vacation,” he says. “You can see all the ocean life. It’s so freeing.”
Beyond these small, but satisfying moments, Dr. Burke points to his increased confidence as the best reason to get LASIK.
“When I walk out to my car or when I’m walking around, I don’t wear glasses. I don’t have to. And my appearance is better without them. If I had to do it all over again, I’d have done it sooner.”