Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Lasik Experience

Hello everyone! I know it has been quite some time since I have last posted. I usually try to at least do a monthly recap but I've been busy (aren't we all though?). I normally pound out my entries at work but it's hectic as shit right now.
I'm entering my busy season and I have an intern with me Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8am-5pm. I can't stand his ass and have decided to ignore his existence. Kind of hard to continually do so when he sits directly within 5 feet of me for most of the day but... I digress.

So! It's been over a month since my laser eye surgery. Let me try to walk you through my experience...
but first:

VERY IMPORTANT.
DISCLAIMER: This blog entry is written solely for my own personal experience with wave front Lasik. Any questions, I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge but: I AM NOT A LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR EYE DOCTOR FOR SERIOUS INQUIRES REGARDING REFRACTIVE SURGERY.

I scheduled an appointment with my optometrist back in April. I was keeping my fingers crossed because in order to even qualify for laser eye surgery, your prescription must be stable for at least 2 years. After the usual eye exam and eye dilation... that Saturday, April 23rd, my prayers were answered! My eyes finally stabilized! This was such a huuuuuuuge relief to me. I have been wearing glasses since the 4th grade. I finally got contacts sometime while I was in high school. You can only imagine how long I had been living with poor vision. However, this was only the beginning.
After being recommended to a laser eye surgeon, I would still have to undergo a series of tests to be sure that my actual eyeballs prove me to be an excellent candidate. I went to see the surgeon I was recommended to. There, at her office, I had my corneas checked out. What they tested for was to determine the thickness of my corneas and to be sure that the shape of my corneas were a-okay. Got my eyes dilated (yet again) but I passed with flying colors! The good news was that I qualified for wave front Lasik, so the next step was to stop wearing my contacts for 2 weeks. During this time, I also didn't bother to wear eye makeup. The reason why they ask you to stop wearing contacts is because wearing them can alter your corneal shape and thickness prior to the surgery. It is extremely important to follow this step because it can impact your actual surgery. I of course, experienced some dryness but that was easily remedied by using eye drops every few hours or so.
I was given a supply of Refresh Tears Lubricant eye drops but in the individual little tubes. This brand of eye drops comes highly recommended for Lasik patients due to the fact that the individual little tube ones are also preservative free. (I still love my Rhoto though!) I was also given a big bottle of vitamins that I needed to take 4 times a day. They are called HydroEye by ScienceBased Health.These vitamins were to help my eyes produce more lubrication. They were HUUUUUGE and contained some fish oil but they didn't taste like anything.


On Tuesday, May 3rd, I went in to see my surgeon for my pre-op exam. Once again, my corneas were tested. As expected, my eyes were a little bit dry (normal) but my corneal shape & thickness remained the same. They dilated my eyes to examine my retinas again. At this point I was a little tired of having my eyes dilated since it was the 3rd time in mere matter of weeks but I sucked it up. I mean, why not? My life was about to change the very next morning...I was given a general explanation of what was about to happen the next day and written a prescription to pick up Zymaxid & Pred Forte eye drops. These drops were essential to my recovery process. The Zymaxid is to ward off any bacterial infections (this is also prescribed when people have pink eye apparently..nasty!) Pred Forte is a corticosteroid used to reduce any irritation, swelling or inflammation, allergy or redness after the surgery. I will go over how often these drops had to be used later on during the recovery portion of my entry.

The Operation
On Wednesday, May 4th, I arrived for my appointment. Again, a few tests were run on my eyes just to triple check. After that, I was given a more thorough run down of the actual surgery procedure and protocols. Drops were administered to numb my eyeballs. You read that correctly, drops were administered to numb my eyeballs. I have to say that was one of the oddest things I have ever gone through. This was to ensure that my eyes didn't move during surgery although the laser would follow. Just imagine feeling like you are trapped in your own skull...kind of felt like that? I'd see something out of the corner of my eye but if I tried to focus my vision over to the corner, I could see my eye straining and struggling. SOOOOO WEIRD.
I was walked into a room where I laid down next to a huge machine. It was dark and just a tad chilly. The staff tried to make me as comfortable as they could and explained what would happen. As one eye is covered, the machine would be lowered over the other eye and a series of bubbles would be made underneath my lens. This is to enable the laser to open a precise flap to perform the surgery. This part was probably the most painful, and it wasn't even that bad. To be honest, it felt like someone was pressing down on my eyes. I felt pressure, but that's about it. Of course, the staff did mention that it is different for everyone. After both eyes were done I stayed down and wait for the bubbles to subside. This took a few minutes, maybe three or four. Once that was done, I kept my eyes closed and the staff led me to the next room for the actual surgery.
I laid down again, and my left eye was covered. My surgeon instructed me to stare directly above into a ring of light. I had to try to focus on the light. I could hear the laser and SMELL the laser as it worked (it smelled like burnt flesh.. gross) but I couldn't feel a thing. Once my right eye was done, they moved on to my left eye. This was yet another strange feeling. I couldn't see anything, just darkness and the rings of light. I knew my eyes were open, but everything around me was black. I imagine this is what being blind is similar to. The actual surgery probably took less than five minutes total. After this, protective eye shields were taped over both eyes and I was instructed to keep my eyes closed for four hours. Once again the staff led me around but back into the main office recovery area. The staff had called a friend of mine to let him know my surgery was done and to come pick me up. My friend had to walk me up my stairs and help me get into my house. Once inside all I did was nap for four hours.
 laying down waiting to get picked up after surgery...
I know you're probably wondering... if a laser cut open a flap on my eyeballs, how the heck do they heal!? well, there's a thin layer of cells called epithelium that covers the surface of your cornea. After surgery, the cells grow back over the flap ;]

Post surgery:


  • Protective eye shields had to be worn to sleep for the next four nights following my surgery. Doing so prevented me scratching/rubbing my eyes in my sleep and also protected them in case I rolled over.
  • shower with my eyes closed - extremely important to keep soap/shampoo/conditioner out of my eyes.
  • Zymaxid - 1 drop every two hours until bedtime (next four nights)
  • Pred Forte - 1 drop every two hours until bedtime (next four nights.. these eyedrops were soooo gross. I had to shake the bottle first and these drops were a milky white color. It made me look like I was crying milk out of my eyes and it left a bitter taste in my nasal passage and throat)
  • Refresh Plus (the usual lubricating drops) - 1 drop every 1-2 hours until bedtime (next four nights)
  • Refresh Celluvisc (a thicker version of the Refresh Plus) - 1 drop before bedtime (next four nights)
  • continue regimen with the HydroEyes vitamins.
  • no swimming for one week
  • NO EYE MAKEUP OR EYE CREAMS ALLOWED FOR ONE WEEK
  • NO RUBBING MY EYES FOR ONE MONTH
  • wear sunglasses as I may experience light sensitivity.
After my four hours were up, I woke up and took off the protective eye shields. I hated those things! I called myself Robocop when I wore them and my boyfriend called me Bender (from Futurama).I started the medication routine but I was able to see immediately. This was AMAZING. I also went to work the very next day. I noticed sensitivity to florescent lighting (which sucked since I work in an office) and actual sunlight but I sucked it up. I had to look away from my computer screen every now and then to give my eyes a rest. It is also important for me to mention that everybody has a different recovery results. Daily fluctuations in vision are normal after surgery. I still catch my vision fluctuating every now and then but that will go away. Driving at night was not fun because I had major halo effect around taillights and traffic lights. I avoided driving which was easy to do since it is rare that I drive.
I had a post surgery exam the next day to see how my eyes were healing. They were all good!
After that, I had a one week follow up with my optometrist. Once again, I was doing fine and she also recommended me to keep on using Celluvisc at night before I sleep. I don't close my eyes 100% when I am sleeping so I normally have dry eyes anyway. At this point I was seeing at about 15/20 vision.
On Saturday, June 11 I had my one month follow up with my optometrist. My optometrist told me my vision was better than 20/20.

To this day, I forget I had Lasik done. Sometimes before I go to bed, I catch myself thinking "okay, time to take off my makeup and remove my contacts" It's a trip waking up and seeing clearly. It's something I haven't been able to do since the 4th grade! I would have to say, getting Lasik done is one of most beneficial lifetime investments I have made so far. If you are thinking about getting this procedure done yourself, I highly recommend seeing your optometrist and I hope that this entry helped!

If you live in San Francisco and are seriously interested, I can recommend you to my eye surgeon. Please send inquiries to: thesusyness@yahoo.com Once again, SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY. If you spam me, I will post up a m4m ad on Craigslist with your e-mail addy. I shit you not. Have a nice day.

18 comments:

  1. lol about the craiglist thing but if someone was to spam you, don't they use another email address?

    I've been thinking about getting that done but my vision isn't so bad. I just need to wear glasses, especially at night, to drive or to see the board when I'm in the classroom. I think starring into the computer screen or tv for so long in a day makes the eyes become lazy to focus far away objects. I remember I ruined my laptop and had no computers to go on at home since my brother wouldn't let me use his so the only time I was using the computer was at work but I wasn't using the computer like every second I was working since I had other things to do at a psychiatrist office. Well, for four months straight, I think my visions got better since I went out more. & when I saw the eye doctor, my prescription dropped either .25 or .5... something like that. Very small change but I noticed it when I wake up in the morning. Thanks for this blog post!!! I was wondering how the heck the flap recovers.... I was thinking what if it just hangs around the eyes like that. LOL. Of course I know, the results can be different to everyone. So many appointments for you -___-' Did you have to take time off of work besides the day of the procedure?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we went to the same eye surgeon in SF! Isn't it so life changing? I got mine done in March and it's the best money I've ever spent!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Suzy, it's so awesome that you did it! I've been seriously considering Lasik for a few months now but haven't been able to take the plunge since they need you to have a stable sight for 2 yrs. But you can smell the laser? That's so creepy! But in all, all worth it. There is nothing like waking up w/clear vision!! Just like you, I've been bound to contacts and glasses since the 4th grade! lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on perfect vision! Does your prescription need to be at a certain level for you to get Lasik?

    ReplyDelete
  5. nubs!!! i finally got to sit down and read your entire entry, thank you soooo much for this! you are 1) so informative 2) i love your descriptive story telling and 3) i learned so much from this, a lot more than if i was to search up a website talking about it. the whole process sounds so painless and amazing! and the best part was the end when you said "i don't have to take off contacts at night anymore" i will now start saving for this procedure and pray to the gods my eyes are stabilized and i can be a candidate. <333!!! thank you again!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You forgot to add the amazing phone sex we had after! JK! Anyway, I really want to do this too! Like I told you, my mother did, and she is even amazed by it to this day. She compared it to giving birth. While it's all happening and you're healing, it's kinda "crappy" (she used a different word I can't remember right now) but after it's all done, you totally forget.

    I had no idea your vision could be better than 20/20 or was that a figure of speech?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Suzy! for the very detailed and informative post about you experience with lasik. I greatly appreciate it! i have been wearing glasses since grade 2, and ever since my vision has gotten worse ever year. i have been considering lasik for the past few years...as i am sick of wearing glasses from the moment i wake up till i go to bed. it would be so amazing to have perfect vision again and i would do anything for that to happen! thanks for making my decision process much easier. I hope to have the proceedure done by the end of this year, but lets pray that i am a good candidate as you were first!

    jess

    ReplyDelete
  8. fuck, those vitamins are reaaaly massive! :-O
    hope everything is well now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Suzy, thanks for sharing your personal experience - glad everything went well. I am also thinking about having a laser treatment myself, in London certainly. I dream about not wearing glasses or contact lenses! However, I am a little worried about the side effects, especially the glare that you can get after the surgery, did you have any kind of permanent issues after ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi John Laser. Thank you for reading. The glare I experienced is not that bad at all. I have a slight tiny bit of a halo effect during the night time but it does not bother me. I am used to seeing with having rings of light (halo effect) emitting from light since I had such terrible vision for most of my life.

    I currently still experience dryness with my eyes. This is natural for most people who have had Lasik done. I am continuing to take the fish oil supplements and using eyedrops. I also discovered that I sleep with my eyes slightly open so I have dryness on my bottom eyelids naturally.

    Hope this helps and that you make the decision that is right for you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Susy, thanks so much for your answer. I guess that if the halo does not bother you, that should be fine and the dryness with your eyes is apparently pretty common. I've booked a free appointment on thursday - I think I am going to do it!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very good article. Very similar to my LASIK surgery. Done last week. Love it. ALos love the craigslist threat.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank for sharing your LASIK surgery experience with us. Best Regards

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! For those folks like me who are looking into vision surgery: LASIK, PRK, and Visian Implantable Corrective Lenses, yourvisionoptions.com that is pretty good comparitive site that's easy to read.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My sister got lasik surgery. We lived near Boise at the time and it worked super well. Thanks for sharing this information.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing this! Do you know of any good places that do lasik in Boise?

    ReplyDelete
  17. My dad had lasik about 12 years ago and he says it was one of the best investments he ever made! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am really appreciating your blog. Your blog for Wavefront Lasik Surgery are very valuable for me. Thank you so much for giving such a good information.

    ReplyDelete