Today was the big day, I went under the knife (laser) and got a new set of eyes!
My appointment was for 3:00pm this afternoon and I showed up at LasikPlus about 2:40pm. There was no need to get there that early as Melissa and I just sat there until 3:00pm. 3:00pm on the dot, however, the secretary called me up to sign my papers.
LasikPlus didn’t have written down that I was going to get Lasik, but only had PRK approved on my form. This was because that is what I was talking most about during my pre-screening visit. I told them I had decided to go with Lasik, so they set me back with a doctor for a quick checkup to make sure I was eligible (enough tissue to make the flap). All was fine and soon enough Melissa and I went back to our own private waiting room where an assistant talked me through what was going to happen and when to use the eye drops that were both given to me and prescribed.
During this time, I also went and got another Wavefront scan. They took 5 pictures of each of my eyes, then the doctor selected the best 3, then the computer selected the best 1 of the 3 (I think is how it worked). By this time it was about 4:00pm with most of my time being spent waiting around. Melissa and I made it through the majority of hidden images in Highlights magazine, which was fun. During this waiting time, I was also offered (and of course I took) Tylenol PM to help me sleep after the surgery was over.
Finally it was time to go back to the operating room. Melissa stayed in the private waiting room where they had a television set up for her to watch my surgery (I’ll post the pictures when I get them from her). I laid back in a chair and they put a lot of eye drops in my eyes to numb them and prepare them for the surgery. I was laying between two machines. The machine on my left was for making the flap on my eye, and the machine on the right was used to correct the vision. There were a lot of steps that happened during this point and I’ll do my best to talk about as many of them as I can.
First, the doctor put some type of device on my eye that caused a good bit of pressure and made my vision fade away to darkness. The other eye that was not being operated on was then covered up with a patch. This made everything pitch black even though both my eyes were open, very strange feeling. I was then slid under the machine to my left that makes the flaps. I could feel a little bit of tinglyness while I assume the laser was cutting a flap on my eye. At the very end of the flap cutting for one eye it felt as though (for lack of better explanation) a blade left my eye. I don’t know if this was the completing of the flap cut or what, but that’s what I felt. It didn’t hurt, just tingled.
I was then slid out from under the machine where the doctor removed the clamp from my right eye and moved it over to my left eye. He then covered up my right eye with the patch and we repeated the whole process which was about 30 seconds per eye.
Now, while all this was going on, one of the assistants was off to the side narrating everything that was going on, telling me that I was going to feel some pressure, that I was doing great, not to move, how much time I had left under one machine and all the sorts. Having there talk me through the entire thing was EXTREMELY helpful and comforting.
Now that both my eyes had their flaps cut, the doctor folded the flap back from my right eye which made everything around me very very blurry. He then covered up my left eye and slid me under the machine to my right that corrects vision. Under that machine I saw a blinking orange light and was told to look at it. I don’t remember if he used the same clamp as before during this part, but I did not lose vision at all and my eye was secured in one way or another. During this part of the surgery, you hear a bunch of loud clicks, which is the laser molding your eye. The lady that was narrating counted down how much time I had under each laser during this point, which was good. It took 19 seconds under this machine for my right eye and 15 seconds for my left eye. One thing that I will remember from this machine is the smell. I don’t know what the smell was or where it came from, but it almost smelled like sulfur. It smelled like something burning, and I can only assume that it was from the laser.
After each eye was complete, the doctor put drops in my eye after folding the flap back over. And you know what happened after that … nothing! The entire process was over. I sat up in the chair and looked around. Honestly I was expecting some sort of miracle where everything was crystal clear, but it wasn’t like that. My vision was a little blurry and pretty hazy. All things considered, however, my vision was immediately much better than it was prior to the surgery. In the car I was reading signs and enjoying my new eyes.
On the way home I wore my new sunglasses they gave me to sleep in for the next week so I don’t rub my eyes when asleep. We also stopped by Kroger to pick up some prescription eye drops. They gave me a lot of sample packs of artificial tears, a bottle of steroids, and a prescription for eye drop antibiotic to use for a while. I was told that when I got home to rest my eyes/sleep for 3 hours. Then to take drops of the steroids every 2 hours for the rest of the night. Beyond this evening I was told to take drops of the steroid, antibiotic, and artificial tears with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed.
On the way home, we stopped by Kroger to fill my prescription. Once there I had the challenge of getting my insurance information due to the transition from my parent’s insurance to Tricare. After spending more time than I cared to be there with my eyes starting to burn and needing sleep, we finally figured out that my health insurance is with an account under Express Scripts. Hopefully I’ll be getting my insurance card soon and not have to worry about this any longer.
That’s really about it. I took a few hour nap with my sunglasses on when I got home and things look and feel much much better after. My vision isn’t quite as good as it was with my glasses on, yet, but I am seeing huge improvements very quickly. The main thing I notice is that my eyes seem tired and that they keep wanting to be lazy and let whatever I am looking at go out of focus, but I expect sleep will help in that area.
Tomorrow I have a follow up appointment at LasikPlus and am expecting to see a bright and shiny day!
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