So something exciting is happening on Saturday, Im getting LASIK! I have had several people ask me about the experience so I figured a blog post would be the easiest way for me to tell about it. I cant remember anything that Ive wanted longer then this, Ive been waiting for 12 years; ever since my optometrist first told me about it when I was 16. I had such bad vision, even back then. He said I needed to wait until I was about 21, when my vision stopped changing and my prescription evened out. Well 21 came and went but my vision continued to get worse so I wanted to wait and not rush the process.
So long glasses and contacts
In 2008 my husband had the LASIK procedure, happy college graduation to him, he had great results which just fueled my desire to get it done on myself. I remember sitting in the doctors office waiting for him to get out of surgery. His vision was just as bad as mine and as soon as he walked out – boom he could see! It was crazy. Recovery for him was not too bad, he had to wear these funny shields over his eyes at first to protect them. (Im pretty sure I have a picture of him, right after surgery, at home napping with the shields taped to his face. Hahaha. I wont share them here, though, he would kill me.) It took a few days to completely heal but afterwards he was good as gold. If you’d ask him he would tell you that it was a little painful. 7 years later and he hasn’t had any problems or issues.
I was hoping to have the procedure in 2011. I had a consult with the same doctors office that my husband used, they went through the testing and then at the end of the appointment I sat down with them to go over typical pre-surgery questions to determine if I was a candidate. How long have you worn your glasses/contacts? Do you take any medication? Have you ever had any eye trauma or an infection? … Could you be pregnant? –> Me pregnant? No! Nope. Nuh uh. Not pregnant. But I guess the lady could read my face as she got to that question. Well technically … I guess it could be a possibility 😉 LOL. So she said we would hold off on going any further until I could test and confirm that I was not pregnant. — I rushed home, took a test, and discovered YES I was pregnant with baby 2! Woopsie. After calling her back and letting her know that the test was positive, she then told me that I was not a candidate for LASIK at that time, to wait until after delivery plus a few months to give my hormones time to settle down and my eyes a period to stabilize. Apparently pregnancy can make your vision change. I was kind of bummed. I mean, hurray for being pregnant. But. Wait longer for the surgery?!
So now after one more pregnancy and giving my eyes over a year to stabilize from that, its finally my turn!
What does the process look like? After I called and set up the first appointment, my doctor emailed a video series on the procedures and recovery. These were pretty inclusive and answered a lot of my questions. I thought it was a great way to inform me of what I will expect. Next I had my first consult, during which I had my vision checked and they give me a bunch of material to read, and they detail the procedure along with answering any questions you have. For me the was a piece of cake; they sat me down in front of different machines and had me look into the machine while holding my eye open and keeping very still, while the machine took a picture or particular measurement. It took about 20 mins, maybe.
However, for my husband the testing was a different experience. He was nervous going into it (where I was not) and during the part where they had him sit down in front of the machines, he could not hold his eye open big/long enough or sit very still. Which was not too much of a problem other then it taking longer for them to get the proper picture or measurement, because they had to repeat the test over and over.
Once all of the testing is done they do a typical eye exam, you know the one where they put that funny thing in front of your face and ask you if you can see the letters on the wall. The doctor answered all of my questions and decided how we should proceed because LASIK is not the only eye surgery offered, there are other similar procedures and the doctor talked with me about which one would be best. After I left the doctor’s exam I then went to the office to talk turkey… Pricing and payment info. No this is not a cheap thing! They do offer credit card type payment plans but you can go ahead and pay the full amount day of the surgery. We scheduled the surgery and all of the pre-op/post-op appointments. And she notified me that I had to take out my contacts and wear glasses 2 weeks before surgery date.
The second appointment I had yesterday, they redid all of the tests and eye exam – to see what the true results would be from me being out of my contacts and wearing glasses this past month. In my past blog about LASIK, I talked about how the doctor was not sure if I would be a good candidate for this because of scar tissue on my left eye. At the end of this appointment my doctor answered the big question – Yes I should be fine to have LASIK. Woot!
Pre-op instructions are pretty simple. I have to get 2 different eye drop medicines filled before surgery. The woman said they run $150 each (ouch) but that they were including a coupon to reduce the price to $35 each. (I havent gotten these filled yet so I do not know the actual price. Im hoping it is in fact $35!) One of them I have to use the day before surgery and the morning of surgery. They also gave me some eye cleaning wipes to use right after the drops. I have to wipe across my eyes, from temple to temple. She instructed me to also take 600 mg of ibuprofen the morning of because it acts as an inflammatory. I was also told to wear super comfortable clothes on the day of the exam, that they keep the room cold and will have a blanket for me to use to keep me comfortable. (Awe how nice, a blankie!) They will give me Valium to keep me calm and stress balls to squeeze in both hands to keep me still. It will take anywhere from 2-4 hours and I should be able to see fine right after but I do need my husband to drive me home. For the post-op instructions, she told me that once I get home Im going to want to take a nap. It will feel like there is sand or eyelashes in my eye and that my eye lids will act like a natural band aid so I need to keep my eyes closed. Rest for as long as I can. Basically, this mama will be out of commission for Saturday! Full recovery takes up to a week so no make up, rubbing, or touching my eyes. I will have to use those prescription eye drops for a period of time. I did forget to ask about exercise and sweating, although I am assuming I’m not going to want to get any sweat in my eyes while they are still healing. (Can you say OUCH!)
Post-op appointment will be 1 day after and 3 days after and they will check to make sure my eyes are healing properly. After that, I’ll be good to go.
My vision is so bad now that if I take off my glasses and look across the room, I cant even see shapes or colors unless they are high contrast. The other night my hubby stood a few feet in front of me and held up his fingers to see if I could tell how many he was holding up. Nope. Sitting here on the computer, if I take my glasses off the keyboard just looks like a black blob and the screen looks like a white glowing square. Everything blurs together so much that there are no other discernible colors or shapes. Not needing glasses or contacts to see, I cant wait to know what that feels like!