Friday, June 29, 2012

So, I had LASIK, and now I can see

You know, without corrective lenses of any sort.

I'd been wearing glasses / contacts since I was 8 years old. When they figured out I was legally blind and wondered how I'd managed to navigate the world just fine thus far.

So, I don't remember what my number was, but my vision before the surgery was such that... you know when they put that eye chart in front of you? The one that only has one letter that takes up the whole screen? Yeah... to me it looked like a blank white sheet. Couldn't even tell there was supposed to be a letter there.

And at my last post-surgery checkup? My vision was 20/15. It worked.

Now, as for the surgery itself... I can't lie, it wasn't the best experience.

Everything started out fine. I was a little nervous, but not exceptionally.

Until they put my head under the laser thingie. I may or may not have freaked out a little bit.

I may have even asked if the valium they offered me earlier was still an option.

They obliged, and did everything they could to make me comfortable. The entire staff was really sweet about everything. A few minutes later, and I was ready to go.

Still tense (yes, even with the valium), but ready.

They started with my right eye. Blah, blah, blah... I hated the entire procedure. Hated.

But it didn't hurt. I was fine. Now time for the left eye.

They put the numbing drops on my eye just like they did the right eye. But when they were cutting the flap, I swear I felt something.

So when they moved me over to begin the actual laser correction, I asked for more drops. They put one more in. I asked for more. The nurse told me they had essentially bathed my eye in numbing drops and there was no more they could do.

Although it only lasted a second, there was a moment during the procedure where I felt the laser. And it hurt.

But it only lasted a second. Millisecond maybe. And it was gone.

After the surgery my eyes didn't feel great, but that was expected. I did have a hard time opening them so they could check them in recovery, but otherwise, whatever.

By the time I got home, they hurt.

Not discomfort, as I was told to expect, but pain.

Within an hour, I was in horrible pain. I took Tylenol PM and attempted to fall asleep. But my eyes hurt. Horribly. I felt sure that if I could rest, they would feel better. But the pain was so intense that I couldn't fall asleep.

I finally asked Jason to call the office. They called in a prescription for Vicodin, he left to get it. A vicodin & another Tylenol PM later, and I finally drifted off to sleep.

I woke up just three hours later. Looking back, you'd think I'd have slept all day & night!  But no, three hours. My eyes still hurt, but not as badly. I managed to trudge out to the living room and watch some television. For about 10 minutes. It was too bright for my recovering peepers.

Back in the doctor's office the next day for a normal post-op check, and I was informed I had significant inflammation in the left eye, and an inordinate amount of broken blood vessels in the right. Awesome.

Indeed, my left eye did hurt more than the right. And the whites of my right eye were indeed red instead of white.

I was given an additional prescription eyedrop and told to come back again the next day.

The next day I was told the inflammation wasn't any better, but wasn't really worse either. Continue the bevy of drops they'd given me (3 Rx, 1 OTC) and come back in a week.

A week later, I was told that my eyes looked fine. The inflammation had resolved, and the redness in my right eye was essentially an "eye bruise" and was healing just fine.

But still... keep taking those prescription drops, and come back again in a month. Just to be sure.

Overall, while it is very nice to not need glasses or contacts anymore, I can't say I'd do it again.

Maybe I'll feel differently with a little more time between the surgery and my feelings on the subject, and I know it will be especially nice for diving. But right now I just can't say that I'd do it again. If I had known, I honestly would have just kept my contacts.

As always, thanks for checking in.


violajack said...

Thanks for posting your experience. Both of my parents have been lasered, and it's something I'd love to have done myself. I'm sorry to hear it hasn't been smooth sailing for you, but it's so helpful to hear what can happen. I hope your recovery goes well, and you can enjoy your eyesight without too many bad memories of getting there.

Melissa said...

Oh wow, sorry you ended up having trouble with yours. Hopefully it'll clear up real soon, and then you can just enjoy being able to see.

The surgery, even before the surgery, with all the drops and everything was pretty uncomfortable. I think me and my sister both (we went at the same time together) were saying we wouldn't have it done again after it was over.
But that was before I realized how much I liked being able to see, and several years ago, so yeah, now I'd have it done again in a minute.

374's Wife said...

I've always wanted to do this, but the recovery scares the crap out of me.

Cynthia said...

Yikes...I have been thinking about having my eyes done. Now I''m thinking maybe not! Glad you can see. Sorry it was such an ordeal.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! My husband told me to not look at other people's experiences because they might post something like this. But THANK YOU for posting something like this. I knew there could be problems. I have my ilasik surgery a week from tomorrow. Your blog didn't freak me out it brought me down to earth. Thank you

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