Monday, March 10, 2014

LASIK- 7 Notes for a Clearer Future

In Preparing for LASIK Surgery, I told ya' I was gonna do it.

And I did!
LASIK, my friends, was a game changer.

Thinking about doing it? 
Here's the scoop. 

*Note 1- Several acquaintances believed they weren't LASIK candidates because of astigmatism. At my consultation, I learned that is not so—in fact, doc claimed those with astigmatism are often excellent candidates. Dry eyes, however, might be a deal breaker. 

Check this out to see if you are a candidate. You'll need to run through a thorough consultation, tests and measurements to seal the deal. 
The time commitments are well worth the end result, because after all…10 Reasons Why Wearing Eyeglasses is a Drag.

Two weeks after I'd been out of my contacts, I went in for pre-LASIK measurements. After about an hour of tests, I was cleared for surgery the following week. 

*Note 2- Eyes are strongly dilated at this appointment. I was told I'd be fine to drive myself home, but I'd recommend grabbing a ride. Although I was given a sun shield to insert inside my eyeglasses, the glare was intense and my close-up vision was severely blurred. Be safe. Get a ride. 
Eyes, five hours after dilated for pre-Lasik appointment
For advance LASIK prep, I was given sunglasses, hard plastic eye shields and 4 prescriptions (antibiotic and steroid eyedrops, Tylenol w/ codeine and valium) to be filled and brought on set date.

Because my eyes were slightly dry, I was advised to use Refresh Optive Sensitive Lubricant Eye Drops 4x a day before surgery.

*Note 3- My doctor, consultant and everyone I know who has had LASIK advised me to buy a TON of these rewetting drops in advance (preservative-free for the first few weeks). Great advice. 
You'll want and need these drops for this process...expensive, but you won't wanna skimp on this. Two weeks after surgery and I always have them on hand. I'm always glad I do.
LASIK pre-op kit
On the day of surgery, I was careful to follow all of these pre-operative instructions.
Requiring a driver, my fella stayed with me through (and got to WATCH) the entire process.

After prep, I took the prescribed valium. Fifteen minutes later, we headed to the LASIK suite.

*Note 4- Although the actual procedure is quick, be forewarned— your vision will dim substantially during the process. You will also, literally, smell your corneal tissue burning. Just relax. Try breathing through your mouth slowly if this gives you the heebie jeebies. Not a pleasant experience, but tolerable and quick. Hang tough. 

Immediately following the procedure, I was led back to the exam room so that doc could have a good look.
*Note 5-The daylight and bright light from instruments burned for the first several hours. I only opened my eyes to administer required prescriptions and lubricating drops. Take your meds, lay back and kick it at home for the rest of the day after surgery. Hit up some podcasts and Pandora, or have your Kindle read to you. 

Four hours after surgery, I was up for the big reveal.

Heading downstairs slowly, I snuggled up on the couch and tried to "see"- for the first time in 14-years, without corrective lenses.

"You guys? Is it 6:44 right now?" I asked, as the clock across the room came into focus.
When my crew said, "Yes!" I wept with joy.


Next, I went to look at my eyes.
Eyes, four hours after LASIK surgery
Although the lids were puffy and there were blood spots on the whites of my eyes (a normal effect from the suction rings that faded after one week), they weren't as gnarly as I'd expected—just looked like I'd been crying.

Following all instructions from my doctor, I used drops for the remainder of the evening and wore eye shields at bedtime.

In the morning, I removed the shields, administered my drops and marveled at my new vision. Sunglasses were necessary, even indoors on the day after surgery, to reduce discomfort from the brightness.

*Note 6- Most people said I'd be fine to drive myself to the check-up appointment the following day. I did manage to do this, but with the intense light and slight blurring as my eyes adjusted, I'd recommend (again- for your safety and for the safety of others on the road) getting a ride. 
After an eye check and vision test, I was seeing 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. As expected, my eyes were dry (feeling a little gritty), so I was encouraged to keep those rewetting drops on hand and to use them often.

Then doc handed me a gift and said, "Since we took away your old glasses, celebrate with these NEW ones!"

So cute!
*Note 7- At first, I experienced moderate halos when driving at night and mild blurring when focusing on lettering at a distance. This has greatly diminished as time has passed. I'm told that vision can fluctuate for some time after surgery and that this is normal.

Now, 2 weeks since my procedure, I'm beyond thrilled with the results.

I still catch myself heading to the bathroom to take out my contacts at night— then I smile, look around with my keen eyes and remember that that miserable phase of my life is over now.

Honing in on birds in trees across my property, reading the calendar from across the room, I marvel at the wonders of modern science.

LASIK has eliminated my dependency on corrective lenses, and for that, I couldn't be more grateful. Why didn't I do this 10 years ago?!?

If you're thinking about making the move to have LASIK and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me for more information. 

Here's to a bright, clear future!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours

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