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Eyeball Surgery -Lasik

Note: This is a repost from an old blog of mine that I don’t really update anymore. I had used it mostly to post funny and interesting stuff that I found, but I really use Facebook, Twitter and more recently Google+ and Pinterest pretty heavily, so I’ve all but abandoned it. People have asked about my Lasik experience frequently enough that it seems to make sense to drag it on over here.

Per request, here is my recent experience with laser eye surgery.

I’ve been thinking about getting this surgery for years. I started wearing glasses in college and my eyes progressively got worse until I was completely dependent on them. My right eye was the worst. Pre-surgery, all I could see on the eye chart was that big “E” at the top. I was afraid, however for several reasons:

1. I’m generally a chicken.
2. I am a big reader and could not imagine having to live without it, if my site was irrepairably damaged.
3. C’mon, they are slicing open your eyeballs.
4. The technology is relatively new.
5. I thought I should be thankful that my vision could at least be corrected with contacts or glasses. I should be grateful for what I have.

However, the irritation factor was getting the best of me. I couldn’t watch tv in bed, rain was really irritating and I have always hated the sensation of looking through glass and seeing the frames in my peripheral vision. Also my contacts were not working well for me. I had trouble changing focus when I wore them at work so I only wore them on the weekends. My vision had gotten so bad, that I felt almost panicky when I woke up in the morning. In fact I nearly had to have my daughter help me find my glasses one morning because I couldn’t see to look for them.

My husband had his done first. He was tired of getting banged up in sports. I could tell you how many major scrapes he got across the bridge of his nose, etc. from playing basketball. He had his done last year and could not have been happier.

So in April, I call to make an appointment to see if I was a candidate. I had by doubts because if the asigmatism, but they said that they can usually correct for it and asked if I also wanted to make my surgical appointment. So, My eval appointment was on Monday and I set the surgery for 11:00 on Thursday, never thinking that it was really going to happen. The eval took much longer that I thought. Must have been about 2 hours. They weren’t working on me that whole time, there was a lot of questions, waiting ( they use both dialating and numbing drops at different points, so I had a lot of sitting around waiting for them to take effect, annoying, because I usually read when I am waiting so I was bored out of my mind). I think some of the tests, like pressure readings etc, involve touching the eyeballs, but you never felt anything because of the numbing drops. Oh and I am one of those people who require multiple attempts for glaucoma tests because I can never keep my eyes open. But it really wasn’t bad. They said I was good to go and put plugs in my tearducts. Sounds bad, but it was really no big deal. The have these things that look like a cat’s whisker (but much shorter!) and they insert them into your tearduct. It helps to keep your own natural lubrication in your eyes and they dissolve on their own within 2 months or so. So I figured if I went through all that okay, I should be fine for the surgery. At this point, I really went from being scared to being excited.

The day of the surgery. They tell you to drink a lot of water prior to the surgery and the first week after. As weight watchers, we are already doing that, so no big deal. There are no dietary restrictions or anything beforehand. The only thing they tell you is to wear something comfy and no eye makeup. I come in, they take my blood pressure and offer a 1/2 a valium. I take it, but I don’t really notice any difference and I am as nervous as all getout.

They put your hair into a hairnet & walk you into a room. there is a long, low padded table and where your head goes there is a sort of device, with bright light shining from it, a doctor and at least a couple of nurses. I laid down on the table and they put about a thousand drops in my eyes and told me to blink, blink, blink. The then put a clamp in my eye to hold it open (not fun, but bearable) and told me to hold still and look at a dot of light. It’s all computerized, so they can’t screw it up. If you are not looking at it right, it shuts off. You can’t see anything out of that eye for a couple of seconds (there is an odd smell, though) and then they flush your eye out some more. You can see the doc cleaning your eye with a brush or something, but you can’t feel anything, which is a little odd. Then they do the same for the other eye.

My son drove me home after. I felt a little shaky, but I never felt a thing and I could immediately see. I mean in the operating room, I could see the clock as soon as they were done that I could not see before. For the first little while, maybe a half hour or so, it feels like you are underwater because of all the drops. My appt was at 11:00 am and I was home by quarter to 12, that’s how quick it is.

I went home and lay down for a couple of hours (they tell you to sleep, but I couldn’t). My eyes were really watery and felt really tired, like I had been up all night, but there was absolutely no pain or irritation. I got up at 2 and could read the little CNN ticker; I was so excited! By 3, I felt like I could have gone back to work.

I drove myself for a followup the next am (vision 20/20) and then to work. There is a week of tons of drops and you have to be really careful with showering, etc., but all over, no problems. There is also a one week checkup and a one month checkup, my vision was 20/15 at my one-month. It was great.

Also, they tell you that they can tweak it, no charge for up to a year if you are not satisfied. Before I had it done, I though, they better get it right, because I’m not doing this more than once, but now I would do it without hesitation.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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