I haven’t been on my computer for a few days and here’s why: I decided to have LASIK surgery. Ew, right? For most people this is an easy, pain free surgery – but I am not like most people. I’m what they call a wimp, a scaredy cat, a baby. Since having my surgery done, everyone wants to know what it was like – so here is MY story.
To set the story – I have been wanting to have LASIK surgery for about four years and have been wearing contacts/glasses for about 25 years of my life. Basically for as long as I can remember. Frankly – I really didn’t mind the contacts but my eyes felt differently. My eyes were starving for air and I kept getting frequent eye infections, so I gave in to the advice of my doctor and friends and went ahead with the surgery consultations. I was hesitant to even talk to the doctors about having this done because I thought that the possibility of me actually going through with it was slim, but I went ahead and listened to them. I mean, I might not even qualify, right?!?
Guess what – I qualified. Everything else that day seemed a blur and the next thing I knew I had a little card in my hand with my appointment date written on it. What had I gotten myself into?
Before the surgery, I followed the doctors instructed routine perfectly – routine drops in both eyes and no eye make up. I made lists, graphs and charts. I’m only sort of kidding.
When the night before my surgery came I couldn’t sleep a lick – I sat up all night long Googling LASIK stories and freaking myself out of going through with it. I texted friends that I knew who had gone through with it and allowed them to see my crazy side – if they didn’t already know about it before. But seriously, if you take one thing away from this post, it should be this – don’t Google LASIK stories. Just don’t. It won’t help.
The hours before the surgery seemed to tip toe by as I sat unable to think about anything else. I kept telling myself that if I can at least put one foot in front of the other than I only had to worry about that one step – not the whole process. This helps me a lot when I have to do things that seem scary to me. I also kept thinking that once I got to the office they would give me Valium and I was betting on it to help – it didn’t, but we will talk about that in a minute.
After I arrived, they took me back in to a room to double check my vision, give me my teenie tiny valium pill and escorted my husband into a room where he could watch my eye get cut open – sounds like fun, right? I mean who wouldn’t want to watch that? If you do – just type “LASIK stories” into Google (but you’ve been warned).
The nurse finally came in and asked if I was “ready” and the only reply I could give was “nope”. Luckily for me the staff was patient and ignored my nervous responses. They took my glasses from me and escorted me in to a room full of machines and a table in the middle – at least that’s what I “think” I saw, I’ve always been blind as a bat.
Once I laid down on the table my nerves were becoming apparent to the doctor and techs because my legs wouldn’t lay still – I was visibly shaking. Nervous? asked the doctor. Of course I was! I was doing everything I could just to keep from passing out. So I started to focus on my breathing – another technique I’ve adopted to help during moments of fear.
The doctor began by creating a flap – to do this he placed a ring around my eye which caused pressure and for the lights to completely go out in that eye. “I’m blind – I can’t see anything!” – I exclaimed in a bit of a panic. “That’s normal” – said the doctor as he instructed me to remain calm and still. Easier said than done. As the flap was being created it stung a bit, even though I had numbing drops put in before we started. Luckily it was over with quickly and I could see again as soon as the ring was removed. Whew – don’t worry, that was the worst part.
After the flap was created the doctor turned my table over to another nearby machine. He moved open the flap (and my vision got really interesting), then he placed another weird contraption on my eye to keep it open and instructed me to look at a little orange light – after which came a bunch of loud flashing lights and a really horrible burning hair smell. Really, the only parts that I remember most from this part of the surgery is that it felt like they were flooding out my eye with water and the smell. Luckily, the entire process only took about 20 minutes and I was back sitting up and being helped to another room to rest. Truthfully the process wasn’t fun but it wasn’t THAT bad.
That night I tried my best to get sleep like the doctors had recommended, but my eyes felt scratchy and I kept opening them up to double check my vision. With each peek I was excited to find my vision starting to sharp tune itself and by morning I could see across the room. It was exciting!
Now, even after a week, it still pops into my head before bed that I need to go and take my contacts out simply by routine – but it’s a good thing I have these beautiful little red spots on my eyes to remind me not to. The doctor said the red dots should go away within a couple of weeks. However, the routine of no make-up, a funny set of sleeping goggles and red dots on my eyes for a few weeks is worth being able to see.
Would I do it again? Probably not without a much, MUCH larger Valium.
(ok, I might. It’s really kinda cool).