On my 30th birthday I bought myself diamond earrings. For my 40th birthday, I was too chicken to buy myself new eyes, but on my 41st birthday, that’s exactly what I did. A year late, but well worth the wait.
It’s been two weeks since I brought my new eyes home. Two weeks of playing around, learning, and in some cases re-learning how to see.
I went with LASIK MD, mostly because I’m lazy, and most of my friends had chosen LASIK MD. I was one of those people who had started out just wearing glasses for driving. That gradually grew to wearing glasses for watching TV, going to the movies, hockey games, gardening, to the point that the only time I wasn’t wearing glasses was when I was reading or in front of a computer. I was also the kind of person who hated prescription sunglasses.
Once the decision was made (with more than a little help from my husbandly-type), it was full steam ahead. It turned out I was a great candidate for both procedures, the standard LASIK PRK as well as the advanced LASIK AWS. I went with the LASIK AWS, and had a flap created, and then my cornea sanded down. I know, if you want the technical differences, you’d better read up on them.
It took almost six weeks to get the surgery appointment. This place is BUSY.
The consultants suggest that the whole surgery experience takes between four and 5 hours. Unfortunately, they quote that time duration because of a few factors: overscheduling, resource limitations and simple delays. In reality, if you were able to compress all the waiting around, it should take less than 2 hours - and that includes the 45 minutes you have to wait after the surgery to make sure there aren’t any complications. There are 5 steps on the day of your surgery:
- Document review (all the legal bits)
- Eye exam
- Payment and document signing
- LASIK procedure
- Eye Exam
The procedure lasted about 5 minutes per eye. The only part that was uncomfortable was when a suction-like device was secured to your eyeball, essentially flattening it and making it a nice stable, immobile surface for the cutting and lasering. The *uncomfortable* part only lasted about 10 seconds, and then it was all fine.
I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a forehead strap on the surgery table, just to ensure that people didn’t move their head, but since the laser automatically shuts off at the slightest movement, I guess it’s a moot point.
Once both flaps were watered down and pronounced *good to go*, the 45 minute wait was broken up by specialists adding different types of drops to my eyes. Antibiotics, anti-inflamatories and lubrication. I was able to see the world, albeit a very blurry version. I was given a clean bill of eye health, and sent on my way with a nifty pair of *Matrix-like* sunglasses.
Three hour nap later, I was adding more drops and shuffling around the house. No TV for me for the first 24 hours. I was hoping for a described video movie, but had to settle for the husbandly type explaining interesting scenes that I could only listen to.
The next morning required a quick trip back to the clinic for my first 24 hour check-up. Aside from a higher than average level of inflamation, the flaps were good and the eyes were good! I had three broken blood vessels, but that’s competely normal, and a result of the suction/flattening procedure.
It took about two days for the light sensitivity to kick in, as the swelling decreased, but I could SEE! I could see the definition of tree leaves two kilometres away. I could see chipmunks. I could see how dirty my baseboards really were.
Three days of light sensitivity meant very limited viewing of electronic devices. I knew it was time to rest the eyes every time I felt a searing jolt of pain in my forehead.
Seven days - back to the clinic for my one week checkup. All good! My next checkup is in 3 weeks, and I’m expecting it to be good as well.
- You really do want to wear sunglasses to sleep for the first few days. It’s critical the flaps stay down and undisturbed.
- Eye lubrication is a huge deal. The healing process sucks a lot of juice out of your peepers.
- Not being able to wear eye makeup for 7 days really IS a big deal.
- Some days I still look around for my glasses before sitting down for some telly.
- Being able to see is absolutely awesome.