2012 Reflections

2012 Reflections

I have a short memory. I usually roll along in the moment, taking in questions, problems, and ideas as they come to me. More than once in the past few weeks I have had a conversation with a friend or coworker, only to have them come back to continue the conversation after a pause of a few minutes, but my mind has already moved on to something else. What were we talking about? I’m not sure if this is a symptom of our fast-paced short-attention-span society or if it’s just how my mind works anyway.

So, with that in mind I thought it would be a good idea to take a good look at what happened in 2012, so as not to rush headlong into 2013 without pausing for a moment’s reflection. After taking some time to brainstorm and look though my old posts, here is a summary of what happened in my life over the past year in rough chronological order.

Lasik – January

This time last year, I was preparing to go under the laser in early January. I have been dependent on glasses for all daily activities that require sight since I was about eight years old, and I got tired of it. In late 2010 I decided to ask my optometrist about the possibility of getting Lasik surgery, and that got the ball rolling. After a few months my vision finally stabilized. My eyes are no longer dry, and I will be going to the optometrist for my one-year Lasik checkup in about a month. I have loved living without relying on glasses!

You can read about my Lasik experiences here: Tag Archives: Lasik

Reason Rally – March


In March I had the great pleasure of attending the Reason Rally, the largest gathering of atheists and non-religious people ever. And it was a blast! Even after going to atheist conferences and been quite used to having atheist company for years, it was quite a wonderful experience to be surrounded by such a sea of secularism. For more about the Reason Rally, check out The Reason Rally: No Fair-weather Atheists Here!

Reasonable Living – March

Starting in March, a former Baptist teacher/minister who has been a member of the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers for some time now started a Sunday morning group to discuss Humanist ethics, values, and how to live the good secular life. Since then, this group has been a regular part of my life, and it deserves a mention in the top events of my life in 2012. You can read more about Reasonable Living here: Reasonable Living and Intentional Community.

Women in Secularism Conference – May

In May I got to attend the Women in Secularism Conference, which was also my first conference with the Center for Inquiry. This was a unique conference to discuss the contributions and roles of women in the secular movement. I wrote about my experiences and ideas from this conference in Ideas from the Women in Secularism Conference.

Doctor Who – May

I started watching Doctor Who in May. Actually, I was watching The Empty Child from season 1 on the airplane home from the Women in Secularism Conference, and that was the episode (along with The Doctor Dances) that got me hooked. Thanks to Doctor Who and Tumblr, I have learned such concepts as “fandom” and “cosplay.” I have TARDIS Christmas tree lights, and my stepkids got my a cardboard standup TARDIS for Christmas. Yep, I am having a lot of fun with this.

Marriage on my Birthday – June

In June, one of my husband’s older sons got married, and on the same day as my birthday, too. It wasn’t planned that way, but it was a great party. 🙂

Kentucky Freethought Convention – October

In October, I got to help out with the planning and execution of the first ever Kentucky Freethought Convention which was a great success!  You can view the presentation videos on Vimeo, and read about it at Kentucky Freethought Convention Wrapup.

I bought a car! – October

In October, I bought my first new car! It’s a Subaru Outback, and I am very pleased with it. 🙂

Skepticon V – November

Ed and I attended Skepticon in Springfield, MO for the second year in a row this year. Skepticon is always a great time! You can read all about it at Skepticon 5: Science, Atheism, and Doctor Who?

The world didn’t end! – December

Despite all the doomsday prophecies, the world did not end on December 21, 2012. Still we had a great End of the World/Holiday Party at my place on the Winter Solstice.

Now, on to 2013! 

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Lasik: One Month Update

It’s been one month since my Lasik surgery, and I must say I am quite pleased with the result. I went to my optometrist for my one month post-op exam, and he informs me that my vision is now 20/20, aka normal. The slight irritation and feeling of having something in my eye has gone away, and over the past couple of days I have been experiencing less of the dryness as well. I still see a halo effect around bright lights, but they have diminished somewhat and are not an issue with driving at night.

The things we do with science. Absolutely wonderful.

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Lasik one week later…

It has now been a week and a couple of days since my Lasik eye surgery. My vision has sharpened up a lot by now, and I do not think I will need glasses even for driving. Driving and focusing on street signs does not make my head hurt any more. I still see halos around lights, especially around the headlights of oncoming cars, and from what I hear it may be a permanent effect. However, it is tolerable, and I can still drive at night without problems.

Right now my eyes are itchy and watery and sensitive to light. Those symptoms just started on Friday though…I wonder if I should take a pill for allergies?

EDIT: My eyes feel better after showering. Still rather sensitive to bright light though. I think that’s normal.

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Lasik is a bizarre experience

Lasik is a bizarre experience

As readers of my blog know by now, I had Lasik eye surgery last Thursday afternoon. It was a bizarre, and rather scary experience at times. In first stage of the actual surgery, a cold-looking machine pressed down uncomfortably on my eyes, one at a time, causing me to go temporarily blind in each eye in turn with the ultimate goal of improving my vision. While the nurses encouraged me and told me “only 5 seconds to go” I concentrated on my breathing and watched the multicolored glittery spots which danced in my field of vision.

After that part was done, the nurse lead me into another room with a “Warning: Laser” sign on the door. In that room I saw the strangest light show ever when the doctor burned bits of my cornea with the laser and I could smell a stench like hair burning in the process. I had no pain in the process since my eye was numbed by the anesthetic eye drops they had put in my eyes during surgery prep, though I was completely conscious the entire time. All I needed to do was watch that green light–even when it fuzzed out so much that I could barely see it and all I could do try to look straight ahead.


Even with newly burnt eyes and very cloudy vision, I could see the improvements in my sight as soon as I sat up. I could actually see a vague outline of the objects and people in the room, where before I would see mostly an indistinct blur of colors. According to the post-op instructions, I laid back and kept my eyes closed for about 6 hours after the operation, though I could open my eyes briefly to see where I was going when I needed to get up. There was some pain and discomfort after the numbing drops wore off, but a bit of Tylenol took care of that. And when I woke up the next morning, laying on my back and wearing the provided eye shield (to prevent my accidentally rubbing my eyes in my sleep), I was actually able to read my alarm clock without grabbing for glasses.

At every step of the process I was keenly aware that this was a total commitment I was making. The changes being made to my eyes were permanent and there was no going back. I am not completely though the process even now. I have a regiment of three types of eye drops that I need to use four times a day until Tuesday: a moisturizing drop, a steroid drop, and an antibiotic. I am not supposed to use a hot tub or a jacuzzi for a couple of weeks, so I am avoiding the temptation of our jacuzzi bathtub for now. My optometrist says my vision may not completely stabilize for about a week, even though I was able to work at my job with still slightly cloudy vision the day after surgery. At this point, I am actually seeing quite well, even though objects far in the distance are still slightly out of focus, I have a very slight smudge or “ghost image” on objects viewed though my left eye, and I see large halos around car headlights and other bright lights.

Still, even in the process of healing, the my new ability to go throughout my daily activities without the glasses or contacts is simply amazing.

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