LASIK – The Aftermath

Here I am, on the other side of LASIK and LOVING it!!

So here is the rundown…

I was apprehensive going into the surgery because of all of the things I wrote about in the last post.

When I arrived, the staff made me feel very comfortable. They took me back to a prep area which looked like the waiting room in a spa. I sat in a recliner for half an hour while they put various drops in my eyes and gave me 10mg of Valium.

I will say that I was a little nervous to take the Valium. I had never taken it before and my husband seemed very loopy after he had taken it.

Let me tell you, it didn’t do much for me. I was actually a little disappointed. The only thing I noticed right away was that my back seemed less tense. I was still entirely lucid and a bit nervous. The gals on staff helped the most with my nerves. They were very calm and I followed their lead.

I was third of three in the waiting room. I heard the two other patients go into their surgery and got to see them when they returned.

The first girl was super complimentary after her procedure.

The next girl complained that her eyes really hurt and they gave her more numbing drops.

Hmmm… I wondered which way it would go for me!

So they called me back. They got right down to business.

I was directed to lie down on what looked similar to a dentist’s chair that reclined. They swiveled the chair underneath a large machine where my doctor was seated.

He was in his “surgery garb” and had two nurses assisting him behind the machine.

He ran through some niceties and we got started. Now this is where I say that you just can’t describe exactly what it’s like. I will do my best because I had no preconceptions to prepare me.

The thing that didn’t dawn on me is that your eyes are open for almost the entire procedure. You see almost everything although it’s happening to your eyeballs so you kind of don’t see it. That’s weird.

He started by taking a flat ended, Q-tip-esque thing and sticking it down into the bottom lid and top lid of each eye. This is the numbing stuff, unpleasant but not unbearable.

He then does a measurement of your cornea with a little tool that almost looks like a ripple in water when he touches it to your eye. There is zero pain during this.

I hope I remember the sequence correctly but I believe that next he took a little tool that looked like the little wire thing that holds Easter eggs when you dye them and he placed it inside me eye lids to keep them open. Again, not painful, just weird.

From there he put something on my eye that applied suction. I couldn’t see what it was but it definitely applied suction and it was the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. It wasn’t torture or anything, just very odd and a lot of pressure.

Once the suction was on, he advised me that the first laser would make the flap in my eye. He told me to look forward to a red dot. I did and the machine clicked and flashed. I didn’t notice even the slightest pain.

Once both flaps were cut, he positioned them so that something could hold them back while I again looked forward and the laser reshaped my eyes, one at a time.

Once this was done he replaced the flaps and put drops of something over my eyes while smoothing the flaps down with a tool.

He then withdrew the suction and removed the Easter egg wires.

I was done!

I wasn’t even ready to get up. I was a little freaked out at that point, totally on the inside. I tried to be cool on the outside. It was just the weirdest experience, like nothing I had ever done!

They told me to go ahead and stand up and they helped me walk back to the recliner. I opened my eyes just a tiny bit but it felt like I had Vaseline in my eyes or something.

I sat in recovery for few minutes and I won’t lie, my eyes started to burn. I mentioned it to the staff and they confirmed that it would. What I meant was…”Please make it stop.”

It wasn’t unbearable and I sucked it up. They took me to the check up room and the doctor came back in to give me the go ahead for discharge. Afterward the staff walked me to my car with a big pair of black sunglasses on my face.

Now this is where I advise you not to do what I did. My husband and I brought all three kids with us and they played at the Wonderlab while I had my surgery. Remember the pain I mentioned before? It was worse in the bright light with three kids screaming in the back of the car.

I put a blanket over my head to block some of the light but it just felt like someone put a chemical in my eyes and I wasn’t allowed to rub or rinse them. I just had to wait it out.

The part I would do differently during recovery?

  • I would not bring my kids.
  • I would make certain I could recline my seat. My son was behind me, another reason to get a sitter.
  • I would have ibuprofen ready to take immediately afterward. We had to stop and get some. I would say you could take it before but they ask that you don’t because of the effect on the eye.
  • I would advise that you arrange for the shortest ride home. I didn’t enjoy the two hours it took to get home.

All I could think about was getting home. I just wanted to lay in bed. We finally arrived and I hobbled back to bed. I thought I would want to eat after surgery but I had zero appetite.

I finally got comfortable in bed and it was MUCH better when I was in a dark room. Sensitivity to light was such a big factor in the discomfort.

This was when I noticed the Valium. Once I felt comfortable, I just drifted off to sleep and stayed asleep for the next two hours.

When I awoke, I was honestly afraid to open my eyes because they had stopped hurting and I didn’t want to risk them hurting again.

I laid awake for a few moments with my eyes closed and then very slowly tried to peek them open. It took a couple seconds to get them open.

I had the drops I was prescribed on my bedside table and I definitely needed them. I dropped them in and blinked a few times.

At that point, I could see across the room as well as I could with contacts. I was amazed! It was awesome.

I went into the living room where I was greeted by three kids who thought I was lost at sea or something. They all ran to me and screamed about my eyes, dinner and whatever else they had to table while I slept.

I made dinner and was shocked that I could see comfortably already, especially after the initial burning. Four hours after my procedure and it felt like I had just gone swimming in a chlorinated pool.

I suppose that is a testament of the healing power of the eye.

I drove myself back to the follow up appointment the next day and my doctor said I was at 20/20!

There was a little bit of a glare around lights initially but nothing worse than what I could see with astigmatism.

All in all, I am just flabbergasted! This was such an incredible experience. I wake up and remember that I don’t need glasses, although I still reach for them.

I try to take my glasses off before I get in the shower and then smile to myself.

I love working out without glasses. No more smudgy, steamy glasses slipping off my face.

Two weeks out and I still have some broken blood vessels from the suction, but that’s also been a perk. When the kids are acting crazy, I make a smooshed face and tell them Mommy’s eyes still hurt. They feel sorry for me and stare at my eyes for a few minutes until they forget what they were fussing over! Ha.

This picture was taken after two weeks. I am careful with makeup and still don’t run my eyes.

I would definitely do it over. In hindsight, the pain wasn’t even that bad for the payout. It was just a new experience that I couldn’t anticipate. I hope this helps anyone considering it! I say go for it!

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