Thursday, April 22, 2010

LASIK or Bust

This post will be my story as I recover from LASIK surgery. I’ll update it as I go through the next month since my vision is supposed to improve over that time. I hope anyone who has gone through the surgery can relate and my experience can help anyone wanting to have it!

Day 1 – Surgery Day. The excitement is tempered with nervousness. I have a hard time imagining what it will be like. Will it be like HD versus Digital? Instead of seeing trees will I be able to see leaves on trees?

My sister picks me up and we chat about classes on the way to the doctor’s office. Ava plays with the magazines that have been set out in the lobby. Soon I am taken to the exam room and the prep work starts. I am getting quiet, but Ava breaks the silence as she gets into a mood that cannot be soothed by Baby Einstein. I am finally taken into the operating room. One wall is glass so that those in the waiting room can see. A flat screen TV shows images of the actual surgery to those waiting.

I lay down and the nurses get me in position. The doctor comes in and they start by cutting the flap on each eye. It is the most painful part of the procedure, but it is more uncomfortable than painful. The put what my sister described as a torture device on my eye and pushed on it until all I could see was black. Then in thirty eight seconds the laser has made its cut. I twist my long sleeves in my hand while it works, and then again as they do the same to the other eye.

Then comes the actual vision correction with a different laser. They tell me to look at the blinking red dot, which really looks like a red pulsing blob. Or a Lite Brite starburst made from only red pins. Or a kaleidoscope. Then comes forty three seconds of clicking like a ratchet. There is a burning smell, like smoldering ashes. I try not to relate that smell to burning human flesh. I am afraid that I am looking the wrong way and may mess up the procedure, making the four grand I spent on five minutes ineffectual.

Faster than expected it is all over and the doctor clears me to go. The first things I see in my greased-over vision are the shadows of my sister and niece and I know all is right with the world. I close my eyes on the way home like the doctor says. I go to bed wearing my oh-so-sexy safety glasses that will be my bedmate for the next week. It burns and I cry as Ambien takes me into dreamland.

Day 2. I am almost afraid to turn on the light. Already some of the greasiness and fogginess has abated. On the way to the follow up appointment, I notice that the headlights and street lights are haloed, like they said they would be. It looks and feels like I have had my contacts in to long. They say I have 20/20 vision already and that it will get better from here. I have drops to take really frequently as my eyes heal. I am still having trouble wrapping my head around it. And my life is now changed.


Faith said...

You're a brave woman! :)

Amanda said...

You're AWAKE as they do the surgery?? Sorry Ann but that surgery sounds like torture just reading about it!! I'm glad you got through it okay. I think I would have freaked out on the table!