My Lasik Experience
This post was written September 29th, 2011 - about 5 hours after my lasik surgery. I could not look at the computer screen at that point, so I wrote it out by hand.
Today I had my laser eye surgery. It's been an exciting week. Right now, I'm just so thankful that I could do lasik, because I hear PRK is worse, and from how I feel right now, that would suck. I was so excited that I missed my floor in the elevator - clearly a great start to the day. There was a lot of waiting after checking in. The staff took pictures of my eyes and checked the prescription again. In the pre-surgery wait room, the surgeon pokes his head through to tell one of the staff that one of the patients was getting a refund, and I thought "uh oh!" I wasn't very scared, but there were spurts of nervousness. Mostly excitement though.
In the surgery room, I laid on a black cushioned table with a neck rest. It swivels so that my head is under the laser machine. The doctor has to re-calibrate the laser before each eye, which makes a bit of noise. The assistant puts numbing drops in my eyes. Under the machine, the doctor places a film on the eye, then tapes the upper lid up. This pinches a little because the film has to hold the eye in place during the procedure. The worst part, I found, was the suction cup, which goes on top of the eye for about 20 seconds. I went blind for that part as the surgeon cuts open a flap of my cornea. Slowly, vision returns and the surgeon reminds me to keep looking at the blinking red light. By this point, I wasn't sure if it was red, it mostly looked like this:
The surgeon has to confirm at this point that the flap was cut properly - if it wasn't, he aborts the surgery and you will have to try again in six months. Luckily, mine both went fine, and he goes on to do the actual correction with the laser. This is the point most people find disturbing - you can smell your own eyeball burning. I tried to hold my breath but it still smelled. Well, it smelled worse on my right eye (which went first). By the time they were doing my left eye I was too busy counting the seconds until they were done. I joked afterward to Mike that I was glad I only had two eyes because I probably wouldn't have the guts to sit through a third procedure. It wasn't really that bad, but I have only just stopped feeling like shit.
The part I found most fascinating was after the lasers - I could only see very blurry lights, but as the doctor placed the flap back, it got clearer and clearer. They were also lubricating the eye like crazy and I realized why they put cotton over my ears (the liquid went everywhere!) After both eyes were done, they got me to walk over to an optometrist station where the surgeon shone a light into my eyes to check out his work. I could see by this point (difficult at first because there were so many solutions in my eye) but everything was hazy (like looking through a clear shower curtain).
Finally, I was seated in the dark post-op room and told to close my eyes. Meanwhile, the surgeon returned to the surgical room for the next patient's procedure. When the next patient was done, the surgeon came to put drops in my eyes. Mike came to pick me up and I kept my eyes closed the whole way home.
I am feeling much better today, though I still have to wear shades outdoors and put drops in my eyes every few hours. There are also awful looking eye guards I have to wear at night to prevent my sleep-eye-rubbing. It was a terrifying experience, but if you're thinking about it, I would advise that you gird your loins and just suffer the five minute procedure and the couple hours of pain - because I am thoroughly enjoying my new eyes! So far the procedure appears to be normal - I have my next check-up in two weeks and hopefully it will still be fine then!