29 April, 2005
Well, I did it! I had my LASIK surgery yesterday. I was scared, but it was relatively painless. In case anyone is interested, what follows is a description of what it was like.
First, they take you back and make you put on little booties over your shoes (they barely fit over my clogs) and a wonderful fashion hat over your hair. To make the hat look even more fashionable, she stuck little pads of gauze under the elastic over my ears. These were to help stop all the eye drops they’d use during the procedure from getting into my ears. She then stuck a name tag on my hat. I felt like I was ready for the short bus.
Next up was prepping my eyes. She put a few different kinds of drops in them – I’m sure one was numbing drops, the other was probably to help sterilize them. I then had to close my eyes and she swabbed the whole eye area with iodine. I felt very sticky after that. We then went into an exam room and I met the surgeon and he did a quick check of my eyes. The other doctor then gave me some valium to help me relax. Wee! They said I could walk around a bit if I wanted until it was time. So I did, but then I started feeling a bit stoned, so I sat down in the first chair I saw. As the numbing kicked in, it got a little hard to blink, so I just sat there with my eyes closed while waiting to get called into the laser room.
And then it was time. They took me into the laser room. I had to lay down in a chair and they put a stuffed animal on my lap. They covered my left eye and put this thing on my right eye to hold it open and still. That was the most uncomfortable thing about the whole procedure. It felt like someone was pushing my eye into my head. They lowered the “cutting” machine down to my face and I couldn’t see anything because it was all dark. The lasers that made the little bubbles to “cut” the flap in my eye fired up and did their job super fast. They took a look to see how things went and then repeated the procedure with the other eye. I then had to lay there with my eyes closed for a few minutes. They checked on my a few times and when my eyes started burning pretty badly, they put some more drops in them and they started feeling better right away.
After a few more minutes, they said I needed to get up and go to the main laser machine. They helped guide me over (my vision was about the same as before the cutting – awful), and I got comfy in the chair while they place another stuffed animal on my lap. Okay. Whatever. They taped my upper and lower lashes to my face. Fun. The eye-opening thingie went back on my right eye. It didn’t bother as much this time – either I was more numb or was getting a bit used to it. They then lowered some machinery down towards my face, but encountered a problem when my boob got in the way of something. They had to raise things back up and swing whatever dealie it was they needed in the center over before lowering it back down. So, swing and lower they do.
Then there’s a bright light shining in my eye and I can actually see the doctor’s hand holding some sort of tool come towards my eye and start poking around on it. He was loosening up the flap the other laser had made. I could then actually see him peel the flap back. After that, everything was completely blurry. The thing they had lowered towards my eye had one blinking green light in the center surrounded by some red lights and then a lot of white lights towards the edges. I was to stare at the blinking green light. Okay. I’ll try! They turn on the laser. I don’t feel anything, but I can see a cloudy set of parenthesis forming on my eye. I guess that was the area they were lasering. The freakiest thing? You can smell something burning. They say it’s the laser and not your eye, but I dunno. The doctor then put the flap back down and I can actually see him essentially squeegee-ing it back down on my eyeball. It was weird to be able to see that but not feel a thing. They then repeated the whole thing with the other eye and it was done. Time to get up and go back to a standard exam room.
In the exam room, the doctor checked my eyes (and did some “settling” to the right eye flap), took off the fashion shoes and hat and then taped some plastic shields over each eye. I was to wear those until I got up the next morning. She made sure I knew the eye drops schedule and that I needed to come back in the next day for a flap check. Once all that was done, she sent me on my way.
I went home and, per the doctor’s suggestion, went straight to bed. After a bit, I woke up and did all 5 different kinds of eye drops and then went back to bed. I ended up sleeping on and off most of the rest of the day/night – only waking up to drink some water and the eye drops.
Today, I got up and was able to take the eye shields off. I could see! Well, things are a bit blurry, but, for the most part, I can see. I was worried after I went outside, though. Everything looked white and faded. Then I remembered that I had heard about possible heavy haze on the news, so I called mom and asked if it was hazy or if it was just my eyes. Whew – it was haze from the annual fires in Mexico. Okay then. I drove myself to the eye doctor for my one day follow up. She said everything looked okay, but that my eyes were dry. Guess I need to really step up on the eye drops. I’ve been putting the artificial tears in almost hourly since then. My eyes still feel dry and my vision is a lot of like when my contacts would get too dry – a bit blurry. I keep wanting to reach up and adjust my contacts as I would do, but I have to remind myself: there aren’t any contacts in there and I’m not supposed to rub my eyes for a month.
So far, I’m happy I did this. I do hope the blurriness clears up. Right now, reading on the computer gives me a headache…that needs to stop. But I am amazed that one day after doing something so drastic to my eyes, I can see as well as I can.