Sight, vision are different

Published 12:08 am Sunday, July 28, 2013

The world goes dark. You have no choice but to rely on your other senses. Many of the things that you take for granted every day — checking your phone, reading a book, watching television — are no longer an option.

It was almost exactly one year ago that I experienced this for a very brief amount of time as I was forced to keep my eyes closed for 24 hours after LASIK surgery. I was reminded of this as my wife underwent the same procedure last week.

For me, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. As someone who couldn’t wear contacts, it has changed everything. The jury is still out for my wife, but so far she is enjoying the freedom. We both feel blessed we have been able to do this.

But for a short while after the surgery, you either have to keep your eyes closed or essentially cannot see it all. This gave me a new appreciation for those who are vision-impaired and makes my involvement with the Ironton Lions Club that much more rewarding.

First and foremost, the local club is filled with a lot of great people who care about making the community a better place. Having just served as the 2012–2013 president, I was able to see firsthand the impact the club has here in Lawrence County and beyond.

The focus of the Lions as an international organization is helping those who are sight impaired.

Over the years, in addition to many other projects, our club has provided thousands of pairs of eyeglasses to those in need, donated huge sums of money for research and other efforts and sponsored several service dogs to help individuals who are vision impaired.

After I had surgery I tried to picture myself in the shoes of someone facing those challenges. It certainly opens your eyes, pun intended, to how important sight is.

It also illuminates how important organizations like the Lions with vision are, too.

Far too many people with perfectly good eyesight still fail to see how blessed they are.

Taking it a step farther, true sight is about really being able to “see” the world and make it a better place.

That type of vision has nothing to do with eyesight.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.