My LASIK Eye Surgery & Life After LASIK

Friday, January 22, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

So, this morning I woke up bright and early for my LASIK appointment! Ken & Phoenix dropped me off, and headed to IHOP while I embarked on my quest for perfect vision. Let me start off by saying that the 1/2 valium pill wasn't nearly enough! I was scared shitless!!! Perhaps I did a bit too much research... I HAD to know what they were gonna do... right? WRONG! I wish I would have gone into the procedure being clueless - it would have been so much easier!

So, I sit down the operating chair feeling slightly buzzed, and completely optimistic. My eyelashes are taped back with "eyelash shields" to keep them out of the way, they squirt in some numbing drops, and a device is put on my eye to hold it open. (NOTE TO SELF: Whenever a doctor says "You're going to feel a little bit of pressure" - it means "This is gonna hurt, but I'll call it 'pressure' cause it'll sound better.”)

Next comes the slicing of the flap. All you have to do is look straight ahead – at the red & green dots. Sure. Easy enough. The first eye, I did great on, but the second eye… well, I was looking at the red and green dots straight ahead… and they started drifting WAY to the left! I had to seconds decide…. crap… they’re slicing my eyeball open… follow the dots to the left, or keep looking straight ahead. I chose to follow the dots. Wrong move. The doc had to stop the slice and do it over again. Whoops.

So, after the flap is made, I hear “29 seconds of treatment ready”… I stare up at the green laser as it starts working away. This is easy! Just staring straight ahead… but then it hits me – a whif of stench that I can best describe as something similar to burning hair. “Oh, I guess that’s the smell of burning cornea,” I think to myself… and instantly change from thinking “this is easy” to “this is a BAD idea!” Yeah, there’s something about the smell of burning tissue… my burning tissue… from my eyeball… that just doesn’t go over very well with me. It was pretty much the same for the other eye, except I at no point am optimistic, and have begun to be entirely creeped out by the whole process. But I decide to stick it out. I did one side, I can do the other. And, I’m sure a little bit of my bravery came from the fact that there was a machine right in front of my head, preventing for getting up anyways. *gulp*  So, my “ 31 seconds of treatment” on the other side begins. I saw no green dot to stare at, like I did for the first eye. The second eye was much more like stars twinkling in the night sky… but I guess it went ok, because 31 seconds later, my elelash shields & eye-opening device are removed, and I’m done!

My sight was better, but blurry. Kind of like when you open your eyes under water. I go home to take my prescribed 3-hour nap, and wake up with burning eyes, and tears rolling down my cheeks. In fact, I can barely open my eyes. I summon Ken to assist me with my eye drops, and he manages to do a great job. And, thankfully, about 20 minutes later, the burning subsides, and I can open my eyes with much less pain.

And now, it’s 13 ½ hours after my LASIK, and while my vision isn’t perfect yet, it’s definitely getting better. And, it’s supposed to gradually improve over the next few days. Was it worth it? Well, I’m starting to think maybe it was…  

LASIK UPDATE - 6 Days Later
Well, it's been 6 days since my LASIK, and my vision ok, but certainly not perfect yet. (Hmm, perhaps like my infamous blog title - "it keeps getting better", but VERY, VERY slowly.) My vision is great in well-lit areas... like at home, shopping, and driving, etc. But, the minute I'm in a dim-lit area, everything becomes blurry. I called the doc, and apparently, this is par for the course. She prescribed my to use Acular drops in both eyes twice daily, and to use my moisturizing drops more frequently, but that's about it. I asked her how long it will take for my vision to become better, and she said that it all depends... it could be a few weeks to a few months - so from here, I just have to wait and see. Wish me luck... and I'll keep ya in the loop!

LASIK UPDATE - 2 Weeks Later
Well, it's been just over 2 weeks since my LASIK was done. My dry eyes have subsided. And, I'm seeing much better in dim lighting. In fact, my vision appears like it's getting back to normal. So, you could imagine my surprise when I went to my 2-week checkup to find out that my eyes were 20/40 & 20/50 - the same they were the day after the surgery!!! I'm completely baffled, but am still convinced that my vision is getting better, and that perhaps I did poor on the test because it was in a dimly lit room. The doc also said that my eyes were healing well, but that they weren't healed all the way yet, so there will still be some fluctuation. So... I've got another appointment in a few weeks, and I'll keep you informed on how it goes. As of now, I'm still optimistic that I won't need to have anything re-done, but if my vision doesn't improve to at lease 20/40 in both eyes (what's required for driving) then, I might have to. :|

LASIK UPDATE - 3½ Months Later
So... maybe getting LASIK was a good thing after all! At my last doctor appointment (about a month ago) my vision was back to good - something around 20/25 - so, while not perfect, certainly much better. Things feel quite normal with my new eyes. I LOVE not having to mess around with uncomfortable contacts anymore. 

There have also been a few small, negative side effects as well.
  • My eyes were quite dry for the first 2 months afterward, but now, they feel fine.
  • I now get little black, subtly dots - "floaters" - in my vision when I move my head quickly,like while driving.  
  • Also, I notice "starbursting" while driving at night. (Or more accurately, as a passenger while Ken drives :)
Overall, i'm very happy with the surgery, and would definitely do it again. 

Have you had, or are thinking of having LASIK? Leave a comment!
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