So, My LASIK Experience

I realized last night I never told y’all in much detail about the LASIK thing. I don’t mean TOO much detail, because I’m squeamish, and honestly, I didn’t want to know too much about what they were doing, ifyouknowwhatImean.

So, Thursday after school was my appointment. I’d filled out a lot of the paperwork online and one of the comments said, “If scheduling permits, would you have your surgery done the same day?” I’m like, hm, well, maybe. I asked my principal if it would be okay if I didn’t come to school the Friday before the holidays and told her why and she was very supportive. So I went in hoping to get it done.

Well, it didn’t happen. They did a very thorough eye exam, including dilating my eyes, which I don’t think I’ve ever had done before. I was there over an hour. They let me know that since I am already wearing bifocals, I’ll probably always need readers, though they gave me the option of doing monovision, which is where you have one eye done for distance and the other eye done for close things. That just sounded so weird to me, since my close eye would be the one with a lot more to do. And what if something happened to one of my eyes? So I accepted (mostly) that I’ll need readers.)

The girl doing the exam said they had openings for the surgery on Friday, and would I be interested? I know myself, I know I would find reasons to put it off, so I said yes. Let me tell you, it’s terrifying making that kind of decision, spending that much money, on your own. Then I texted my principal to let her know I wouldn’t be in.

The next day my son dropped me off. The place is not far from home, so no sense in him sitting around for a couple of hours. I told him to just come back at 11. My appointment was at 9:30, but they didn’t take me to finalize the paperwork until 9:50, then they did another exam, then they put me in this small dark room where I would meet the surgeon. The nurse/assistant gave me 4 Advil, but either they were Advil PM or they were piping something into that room, because I was VERY relaxed. That is NOT like me.

Then the surgeon came in, a very long time after I was put in the room, btw. She was really sweet and comforting, and finally, at 11, they took me into the procedure room.

The room was very dark, which I hadn’t expected, and there were two machines. They put me down on one of them, adjusted me where they wanted, and told me they were going to open the corneas. They flooded my eye with numbing drops.

One of the things I’d been freaked out about was the thing to hold the eyelid open. I’d expected something metal, like you see in those horror movies. But no, it was plastic, or at least felt like plastic. They covered the eye they weren’t working on, and then pressed down really hard on the other eye (this was the most uncomfortable part, the pressure. I squirmed, I admit) until everything went black. I don’t know why that happened but it was supposed to and just as well. I focused on the fireworks show, you know, like you get when you press against your eyes, and not on the fact they were opening my corneas. So they switched eyes, then guided me to the other machine where the laser bit would take place. The doctor was really awesome, counting down to let me know how much longer each step would take place.

I was also really worried about keeping still for the laser, but it was really a lot easier than I thought. Also, they kept flooding my eyes to keep them moist, so much that they’d put cotton in my ears so the drops wouldn’t run into them. The worst part of the laser part was the smell.

Again, the doctor counted down, which was really helpful, because you’re thinking, sure, I can do this for thirty seconds! And then it was done.

My brother had said where he’d done it, there was a football on the ceiling and when it was done it came into focus. That didn’t happen for me. Someone else said they’d been able to see the clock when they sat up. Nope. The doctor described it as being underwater, and that’s just how it was. She guided me out to see Josh waiting. He brought me home, and had to help me figure out what drops to put in when because I couldn’t see the labels. (Another huge expense is the drops. They were $100 each for the anti-inflammatory and the antibiotic, then $10 a box for artificial tears. I’ve bought 8 boxes and used 5 in the two weeks since the surgery.) Then he went to go pick up lunch and I fell asleep sitting up on the couch. When he came home, he was upset because the burger place was by the mall, 3 days before Christmas. He was complaining and complaining and it was all I could do to sit up and eat. As soon as I was done I went to bed and slept for 2 more hours, but then my eyes started hurting a LOT. My brother said he didn’t use his pain killers, but damn, I did. They hurt from the pressure, and they burned and itched. I couldn’t rub them–had to wear goggles to keep myself from doing so, and I just kept putting drops and drops and drops. Finally I fell asleep for 2 more hours.

I woke up to eat dinner, and I could see a bit more clearly. I was awake maybe three hours, and I listened to an audiobook in the back room because even if I’d wanted to, I couldn’t read or look at the computer, though the few glances at the TV were very clear. I went back to bed at nine and slept until 7! All in all, I slept 11 hours that day.

The following morning I drove myself to the follow up appointment which was only a good idea because it was so close. My near vision was not good and I had trouble seeing the speedometer. I stopped at Walmart and got readers and had to get the clerk to cut the tag off for me. The exam was maybe 5 minutes, then I came home and used the readers to start reading email, though I didn’t use my Nook for another week since I had to wear goggles every time I went to bed.

By Christmas my vision was better–I opened presents without glasses! When I went to my follow-up, my doctor said I needed to use the artificial tears more, and that the swelling will continue to go down and my vision will improve. There are some days when I just enlarge the fonts on everything on the computer so I don’t have to wear my readers. I can see my phone better. I can read the small print on car commercials.

I wore make-up for the first time on Thursday, and again today. The doctor was worried about me rubbing my eyes (still can’t do that) to remove it. So it will be spare.

I can see more clearly now at a distance than I could with my glasses. I have two more follow-up appointments that will lock in my contract, so if I ever need a touch-up, I can have it done free. I’m not quite 20/20 as of my last appointment. I’m sure if you give me a couple more weeks, I may say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, but I’m still wearing readers as I write this.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. barbaraphinney
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 07:31:09

    My son recently had the same surgery and is so thankful for it. It was wonderful to read your insight into it and I hope it’s completely successful for you.


  2. Elisabeth Crisp / @crisplyspoken
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 16:24:39

    This is a great resource, Mary. Your perspective is priceless. I’m glad you are doing so well.

    I tried the monovision thing with contact lenses. After two weeks, my brain never switched over to using each eye separately. I gave up because everything was blurry.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: