I got eye laser surgery. Ouch. 72 hours later and it’s already changed my life. Below is the last photo of me sight-dependent on glasses or contacts.
The surgery? Horrifying. I’m not here to tell you about the actual procedure. I’ll tell you though – at the time I felt like I was in the movie “Saw”. But honestly, looking back the procedure wasn’t that bad, taking 15 minutes tops. To make you feel better about the process, out of us seven in “The Dark Room”, only two of us felt like we had just been tortured. The other five were indifferent, saying the experience was simply “weird” or “uncomfortable”. It’s crazy the difference in how people react to the exact same situation. And unfortunate it me who was panicking on the surgery table. (Fun fact: when your eye is being lasered, it smells like burning hair). Friends, if you want to hear about the procedure, it’s best if I tell you in person.
I threw on the fashionable (cough) pair of shades they provided and stumbled out of the surgery room. My eyes felt like I had sand and chlorine in them. My vision was as if I was looking under water. To top it off, I had a severe headache (most likely due to the stress). I sat in The Dark Room to recuperate for a half hour, then had my eyes checked.
When I got home, I went straight to bed to sleep away the pain, waking up every hour to put in the medicated drops. 5.5 hours after surgery, I looked around and realized – I could see more clearly than when I wore my glasses. Wow.
I checked to see if there was bruising. Yup, pretty cool. I took a picture, excited to show my mom (as she get’s grossed out easily).
First thing the next morning, I went on my balcony. It was as if my life was now in High Definition. Seriously. With that excitement, I deemed myself fit to drive (although not advised).
The checkup that morning confirmed I had 20/20 in one eye, with the second close behind. Just like that. Limitations for the day? Nothing that would strain my eyes – limited TV/texting/computer. No eye makeup, no exercise. I could go shopping. No complaints here!
Every two hours for these seven days I put in 4 types of eyedrops: drops that fight infection, are anti-inflammatory and relieve dry eyes. People are accusing me of being an eye drop addict. In a week I should be able to wear eye make-up again, not have to wear sunglasses while sleeping and mostly importantly, I no longer have to worry that my cornea flap will fall off.
In hindsight, some things I would have done differently:
- Taken a relaxant. Although me panicking in “The Dark Room” was hilarious for those around, it was not good for my body. My experience was more most likely more traumatizing from working myself up. They provide relaxants if requested.
- Not been so independent. Getting home was an adventure. I had a few friends waiting to hear from me in case I needed a ride, but sometimes I have this need in me to do things by myself. Looking back, I should have given one of them a call. Being reliant on a random, drunk old man to show you where the bus stop is, while making fun of you for wearing sunglasses at night isn’t the best idea.
- Taken 3 days off (as recommended). I went to work today and my eyes were as red and achy as the night of my surgery. I sat at my computer with the lights off, Ray Bans on. That or I could have scheduled more meetings, less computer.
Things I’m glad I did:
- Trusted word of mouth over internet reviews. I have talked to many people who have had life changing experiences with Lasik and specifically with the company I went with. Enough, that I put my faith in it. Googling reviews can scare you. People will write about a bad experience a lot sooner than a positive one. With that in mind, still do your research.
- Not Google images of the surgery. But I did post-surgery. Yuck.
For those curious, my prescription was about -2.25, -1.75 (so quite low) and costed around $3,700 for Advanced Lasik (Standard would have been about $600 cheaper. Also, there is financing available, with extra charges accordingly). I would spend the money all over again, viewing this surgery as a long-term asset. I have sensitive eyes making it hard to wear contacts. People call me crazy because they love me in glasses, but I do not feel as beautiful when I wear them. Today, I feel more comfortable in my own skin. And that is important to me.
This loss of reliance will take getting used to. This morning at the elevator, I motioned to walk back to my place, thinking I had forgotten my glasses. As soon as I remembered, a huge smile spread across my face.
Currently, the whites of my eyes are still bruised, hidden unless I raise my eyebrows. At times my eyes sting and there are patches of blurriness due to dry eyes. This should be relatively be gone within 7 days.
And me? I’m on Cloud 9. I’m free.
Cue the music!