Laser eyes, seeing & remembering to be flexible

11 Mar

The good news: I can see.

The less than good news: Things went a little differently that I expected.

When I got to the eye center yesterday, they ran some tests on my eyes to see if anything had changed  in the two weeks since I had stopped wearing contacts.  I went back to the waiting room, filled out paperwork, went over the aftercare instructions again and was given about 16 chances to ask any questions that had popped into my head.

Eventually, the doctor came back and ran one more test on my left eye.  I didn’t think anything of it, but then he asked me and Andrew and go into one of the offices and talk.

The doctor told us my left eye didn’t look to be a good candidate for LASIK since the cornea was, basically, uneven.  He said my right eye looked like a perfect candidate, but if he did the LASIK on my left eye, there was a possibility I’d have complications in a few years. He said he wanted to perform LASIK on my right eye and PRK on my left eye.

Um, what?

Cue the nerves!

When I’d read the 428 pages of information they’d given me to read, I’d skipped over the parts that mentioned PRK because I didn’t think it pertained to me.  I didn’t know how it worked, what it did and how it differed from LASIK.

My doctor, who probably sensed my nerves and who was awesome, gave me a basic overview of the difference between LASIK and PRK. With LASIK, they make a flap on your cornea and then laser your eye. With PRK, they remove the outer layer of your cornea, and then laser your eye.  With PRK, your eye takes longer to heal, hurts a little bit more during the healing process, and instead of being able to get right back to work the day after the surgery, it takes about 4-5 days until you can see well enough to drive and go back to work. A contact band-aid is put on the eye to protect it as the outer layer of the cornea grows back.

I took this all in, went back out to the waiting room and tried to remember to breath.  I was freaking out.  FREAKING OUT! I couldn’t sit still. My palms were sweaty. My heart was racing.   I hadn’t prepared myself for pain.  I hadn’t prepared myself to walk out of there not seeing.  All I could think was that I had tickets to see Wicked Friday night and that I had friends coming in and that I wasn’t going to be able to see anything because my left eye is an asshole.

The doctor came back over and talked to me some more.  He wanted to make sure I knew what was going to happen during and after the surgery.  Andrew and I asked him a bunch of questions and he explained everything again.  I felt better.  I felt like I could do it.

Finally, it was time.  I was nervous, but ready.

The doctor took me back to the LASIK suite.  The nurse helped me lay down on the operating table. I was worried about not being able to blink. But then my doctor said not to suppress the urge to blink at any point in the surgery.  And so I didn’t.

My right eye (the one that’s not an asshole) went first.  They put numbing drops in my eyes and I didn’t feel anything.  Everything went dark when they created the flap, but my doctor was excellent about walking me through it and kept me informed every single step of the way.  I knew what to do and what was going on at every single point.  When they did the actual laser part, they had me focus on a blinking red light.  It was a little freaky because you can hear and smell the laser, but after just 29 seconds, it was over. Done.

The doctor covered up my right eye and went to work on my left eye.  Again, I felt nothing. The smell and sound of the laser was a little unnerving, but then it was over.  The worst part about the PRK was when the doctor had to run cold water over my asshole left eye at the very end of the surgery.  And really, that was just annoying, not painful or anything.

I expected to feel something, but I didn’t.  It was too easy.

After the surgery, the doctor looked at my eyes to make sure everything was okay and, amazingly, I could see him.  I could make out the features on his face.

I walked out of there, with my sunglasses, and I could see.  The whole way home, I was amazed at the signs I could read.

I went to sleep as soon as I got home.  They tell you to go home and go to sleep immediately and to nap for 4-6 hours. I slept for five, woke up, and could see across the room.  My eyes were tired but I was able to get up and putter for a few hours.

Today, the vision in my right eye is amazing.  When I went for my check-up this morning, they told me I’m already seeing 20/20, even with the blurred vision going on with my left eye.

My right eye is kicking ass and taking names.  It doesn’t hurt. It’s been super busy reading things from far away.

The vision in my left eye is blurry.  And it will be for the next few days.  It didn’t hurt yesterday, but it does today.  It feels like I have a contact lens in the wrong the way or like I’ve got an eyelash in my eye.  I took a percocet that the doctor prescribed me to deal with the pain, but I just felt crazy instead of pain-free.  It’s bearable, and I’m told today is probably the most painful day I’ll experience.

Overall, I’m thrilled.  Waking up yesterday and being able to see my closet door as an actual shape instead of just a blob makes everything worth it. Being able to read signs on the way to doctor’s office this morning makes it worth it. Knowing that my vision is going to get EVEN BETTER once my stupid left eye heals it’s damn self makes it’s so, so, so worth it.

Thanks to all of your for keeping me in your thoughts yesterday!

I CAN SEE!!!!!


7 Responses to “Laser eyes, seeing & remembering to be flexible”

  1. Margaret March 11, 2010 at 2:56 PM #

    Thankful for you and Andrew that it’s over. I know your left eye will heal properly. I’ll keep praying.

  2. CuppyCakes March 12, 2010 at 2:49 AM #

    I kind of had to stop reading that half way through… when you said the thing about everything going black when he created the flap. BECAUSE THERE SHOULDN’T BE FLAPS ON YOUR EYEBALL! I’m weird about stuff with eyes.. I dunno. It freaked me out and I think I developed a hive or seven.
    But I’m glad things worked well and that you can see!

  3. StaceyParadise March 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM #

    Oh that’s the worst! Finding out last minute that something needs to be changed. BUT it’s over and done with and you can see! Yay! Here’s to a speedy recovery, and then enjoying life sans glasses and contacts! *clink* (that’s my virtual cheers, haha)

  4. wolfdreams March 12, 2010 at 3:15 PM #

    I so happy for you, Terra, and not a little jealous! What a great b-day present you gave yourself! Enjoy Wicked and have the best birthday ever!

  5. Jamie March 14, 2010 at 11:29 AM #

    Ahh okay just reading this made my eyes water! hahah

    But I’m glad I did, I’ve been thinking about getting it done myself.

  6. Suburban Sweetheart March 20, 2010 at 7:32 PM #

    CONGRATS! I don’t think I could EVER do LASIK – my uncle did and is thrilled with it, but I would be terrified to be AWAKE while someone operates on my eyes. But I love other people’s success stories from it. Happy Seeing!


  1. Well that was fast: March goes marching on « questionable rationale - March 31, 2010

    […] I had to wear glasses for the first half of the month in preparation for LASIK. – I got my eyes lasered. – I turned 26. – I had my first house guests of 2010 come and stay for my birthday weekend. – I […]

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