Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm Not Blind

I went through my Lasik procedure yesterday, and wanted to let you know all is well. For the most part I had a positive experience. Today I'm seeing pretty well. The laptop is a bit hard to see, but that has more to do with the fact that I'm trying to look at a bright white screen, and bright is still a bit hard to deal with. I can read closed captioning on the tv though, and that's an improvement.

The negative aspects:
1. Either my left eye did not get as numb as the right, or the eye opener thing was put on a little wrong. It kept pinching the inside corner of my eyelid, and it hurt. This was only a problem during the Interlase portion of the process, so I suspect the numbness just hadn't taken hold completely yet.
2. The suction cup for the Interlase part ... sucks. It didn't hurt, but it was no fun.
3. The smell after the Lasik part is gross. I never asked, because I really don't care to know for sure that I was smelling what burning cornea smells like.
4. The pre-op valiumy stuff took longer to wear off than I thought it would. I think I sounded really F-d up trying to talk to my dad on the phone, even after a 2 hour nap.

One of the really nice surprises was that my regular Optometrist Donna Shepard came to the clinic. They asked at the front desk if she was coming, and I told them that we hadn't discussed it, so I had no idea. She did come, and it was really nice. When I would tense up in the laser room she would grab my hands and talk me through it. I would never have imagined that having someone I knew (that wasn't a close friend or family) in the room would be such a big comfort, but it was. Jeff wasn't allowed in the laser room, but he watched through some windows, and apparently got quite pale. I couldn't really tell because like the rest of the world he was all hazy, but the female staff was giggling about him. Still, everyone admired him for being a trooper, and not fainting.

Yesterday my vision was really hazy. I suspect that was partly because of healing needed, and partly because you have to put in eye drops every two hours, and one of them is really cloudy. My vision was a lot better this morning, but after I put the steroid drop in it was cloudy again for a few minutes.

Now I use steroid and antibiotic drops 4 times a day for the next five days, and I use sterile eye drops at least every hour I'm awake for the next five days. I'll go see Donna today to get a vision check, and get "cleared to drive". I get to get some sort of note to take to the DMV to show them that I've had corrective eye surgery and get the restriction removed from my license that says I need corrective lenses to drive. The worst part of the healing process has to be the horrid sleeping goggles that I have to wear for a week. They're to keep you from rubbing your eyes in your sleep, but they are uncomfortable, keep me from being able to sleep in my normal positions, and just goofy as all get out.

All in all I'm feeling well. I've been playing Kingdom Hearts 2 all morning, and I haven't had any trouble. I have to rest my eyes every so often, and I'm using my eye drops probably about every 15 minutes. (I have a tendency not to blink enough when I play video games, so that's probably why they feel dry so often.) Still, I'm not in any pain really, and I get to play hooky from work until Monday. *woot*

My left eye feels like there's something in it, like an eyelash or something. It doesn't really hurt, it's just annoying. However, it felt like that yesterday morning before I had the Lasik, so I have no idea if it's related or not. My right eye feels great. Yesterday the medicated drops really burned when I put them in, but today they barely feel any different than the plain old eye wetting drops.

I have to admit that I was starting to get pretty nervous yesterday. I remember looking in the mirror right before we left the house and thinking, "What the hell am I doing? I'm going to have a complete stranger shoot a laser beam at my eye???" Still, I'm glad that I went through with it, and I continue to be fascinated with my ability to see without glasses, and filled with excitement. It really is awesome.


yer mama said...

mmm burning cornea. yum.

cjr said...

Hey Tara-

Have about the same experience. Did mine a week ago exactly. Follow up is tomorrow.

How has your vision improved since the procedure? I'm told it gets better over the weeks, and so far I'm less than overwhelmed. I can see but everything is a little.... less that perfect, even up close. Wondering if you had the same experience... i.e. longer than a week for sharp vision.

Also, hear what you are saying about the funky guards. I've just started slapping tape on it any old way, I sometimes don't even bother trying to make it look less freakish.

Tara said...

My vision was really good, even the day after. The only issues I had were 1. Drying (if my eyes started to dry out at all it was harder to focus) and 2. Haloing. Anytime I was trying to view something with bright light around it I had difficulties. This made using computers problematic.

It's been 3 weeks now I think, almost a month? Everything is going really well. The florescent lights at work hardly bother me at all anymore. Super bright sunlight still practically blinds me, and I don't have any decent sunglasses, so I pretty much were a hat all the time. As long as I can block the direct sunbeams I'm good. (Especially last week when I was hiking in Colorado.)

Driving home last night on dark roads with bright headlights (well I wasn't driving, I was a passenger) was a bit painful at times. I don't have many issues driving in town where the streets are well lit, only when there is a lot of dark and then bright contrasting. The halos are continuing to improve, and as they do my general vision feels better.

I have heard of folks that take longer for everything to come together. It seems somewhat dependant on what your vision issues were before the procedure. When in doubt talk to your optometrist, they can probably answer why your healing might be slower than you had expected. As they love to say, everyone heals a little differently.