Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vision correction

I've had glasses since I was 12 and contacts since age 19. 10 years ago I looked into having vision correction surgery, but couldn't afford it then. A few weeks ago I saw an ad in the Penny Saver for LASIK. Last week I went to 2 consultations and decided that I finally need to have this done. My vision is terrible and can't see anything without my glasses or contacts. I went to both consultations and decided to go with TLC and Dr. Berg. I felt very comfortable in their office and was happy with their price and interest free financing. So I decided quite hurridly to just go for it. So I made my appointment for Friday, August 28. The day before I was terrified. I knew in my head that tons of people have this surgery every day and that it was probably a lot less painful than going to visit the dentist. The thing is that I know what to expect at the dentist, this not so much.

Day of Surgery (Friday):
It was scheduled for 11:45 and the minutes were going by so slow. Finally it was my turn. I had to have another eye exam and the office wasn't nearly as busy as it was days before. The nurse put numbing drops in my eyes and a hair net on my head. Then it was my turn. Yikes. Was I really doing this? It was so fast. But I was anxious to "see" the results. My surgery was not LASIK. Unfortuntely for me, the only thin part of my body is my cornea, not what you want for LASIK. So I had to have PRK. It's similar except that instead of a flap being created and the laser shooting into your eye, the doctor scrapes some the cornea off and then the laser hits it and you can see just as well, if not better than LASIK. The only problem is the recovery time is very lengthy compared to LASIK. With LASIK you can see immediately and have almost no recovery time. With PRK it's not the same. It takes a long time for the cells to regenerate and that makes for some hazy vision.
So I walked into the surgery room and laid down. After a few minutes the doctor was ready. They told me to close my eyes. There was a bright light on my right side. They covered my left eye and I opened my right eye. The doctor used something to open my eye very wide and clamp it open (luckily I didn't see it happening). Then there was lots of liquid and a ring. The doctor put alcohol on my eye and then wiped it off and started scraping. I didn't see any of this until the DVD they later game me. All I saw was a red light mostly blurry and sometimes clear. Then there was a clicking noise (the laser) and the slight smell of burning. That was weird because I never read anything about the smell. Then it was pretty much over and the same thing happened on the left side. The only part which was uncomfortable was putting the clamp things on. It didn't hurt, but just uncomfortable. They also added a protective contact lens which would be removed a week later.
Finally it was over and I got off the table. I could see but it was blurry, definitely not like before though. The doctor then put on some eye shields and they gave me some meds and directions and then Jared drove me home. I slept most of the day away, got up to eat dinner and then went back to bed. I couldn't believe how much I slept but they said it was good for my healing.

Day 2(Saturday):
The second day I had to go back to the doctor. He checked my vision and said I could see enough to get a driver's license in CA, which is scary because I didn't think it was all that great. That day was hard because I was with Elise all day and Jared and Erik were gone most of the day. I could barely keep my eyes open for more than a few seconds at a time. It was mostly due to the swelling of my eyelids. I took some medicine but couldn't take a lot because I could sleep while taking care of Elise.

Day 3 (Sunday):
Sunday came and I just couldn't take the pain. I thought that my eyes were going to go blind. I was in a lot of pain and was really regretting my decision by this time. Luckily everyone went to church and I was able to sleep most of the morning. I even called the emergency number the doctor gave me and left a message. It was crazy.

Day 4 (Monday):
Monday came and I was still in pain. My eyelids were still swollen and my vision didn't seem to be improving at all. The doctor's office called me back and said this was all normal and that it would be fine in a few days. I was skeptical, but still stuck with it. I mean, what other choice did I have? So I took the week off work because I couldn't see good enough to drive yet. I wasn't expecting to be off all week, but was glad I had some vacation time available.

Day 5 (Tuesday):
Surprisingly Tuesday got a little better. I was still in some pain, but my eyelids started to shrink. I could actually keep my eyes open longer and believed what the nurse said. So my hopes began to increase. Yay. Maybe this was actually going to make a huge difference in my life.

Day 6 (Wednesday):
I had Elise with me the whole day and forgot to call Lindsey to reschedule Erik's tutoring appointment. She came and we decided to hang out at the mall with the kiddos. I was thankful for the respite because I had been cooped up at home since Saturday! Oh it was nice to get out but with all the fires the air had been very smokey. But it was great to get out for a few hours. I was hopeful at that point that I would be ok. I even talked Jared into a little night driving to the store and back, about 5 blocks away. We went and I didn't get in an accident. It was a miracle. I could see without glasses or contact, albeit a little blurry still. By the way, the only thing that is almost perfectly clear is the TV. Wonder why that is!?

Day 7 (Thursday):
Today has been even better. I was able to drive Elise to daycare and run a few errands today. Erik and I went to the post office (almost got a parking ticket) and to lunch and once again didn't crash or run anyone over. My vision has been improving little by little. But I am worried about tomorrow. I get my contacts out tomorrow morning and I've heard that your vision can be bad for a while after that. I hope it isn't. At least I have the weekend to recover.

So this has been my adventure so far with vision correction. It's easy to say LASIK, but since I didn't have that I have to say vision correction. I would recommend this to anyone now (wasn't so convinced a few days ago). The doctor has said that in about 4-6 weeks I should be at 20/20 or better and just as good as a LASIK patient. I guess I'll keep a running commentary about how it's going. Maybe it can help someone else make this important decision too.

By the way, Happy 5th Anniversary to my hubbie. I can't believe it's already been 5 crazy years. So much we have gone through and so much more to come. And then my big 33 b-day is on Saturday. Oh what a weekend it's going to be. All I can ask for is to see it all live and in color with no glasses and contacts! YAY!!!

P.S. I have the DVD of the surgery in case anyone wants to watch it. Maybe I should just post it. It's pretty cool.


The Highlands Mathis said...

Oh my goodness, if you show it I might barf. Eye surgery.... dental surgery.... sharp things in sensitive places freak me out. But do it if you want!

Here's to clear vision!

Jordan and Hannah said...

Congratulations! I didn't know you did it already. Thought you were going to wait for deals. Dude, when you say you wanna do it, you wanna do it! I'm sorry you suffered so much pain...though I know you're over that and rejoicing at the eye-sight...How'd you facebook with all the pain? LOL!

Jenny said...

Wow! Congrats too! No glasses or contacts! I am so glad it turned out good!

The Wyett Family said...

My vote is to post the video- I want to see all the gory details! Glad you are feeling better!

Jenny said...

Hey I stumbled upon your blog. I am scheduled to have my PRK surgery in a few weeks. I would love to know how things are going for you now.