LASIK, Day 3

Day 3. Not terribly exciting. In a good way.

I drove for the first time, and didn’t have to use my new laser beam eyeballs in any road rage incidents. Win!

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I went back to work today, too, which went pretty well. I had to take a few rest breaks and I made the font size a bit larger in my browser like an 80-year-old, but other than that, the day went pretty smoothly.

Well, until Miles accidentally poked me in the eye. I was afraid he dislodged my left eye flap (I can’t write a post without talking about the flaps) but my vision is fine, so he’s not in trouble.

My right eye is pretty disgustingly bloodshot (I will spare you a photo) but other than that, you wouldn’t even know how traumatized my peepers were just two days ago.

The main downside is not being able to wear eye makeup for two weeks. It’s not like it generally matters, but my Halloween costume kind of looks better with some vaguely goth eyeliner. Ah well.

Oh, and I keep thinking (at night, mainly) “boy, I’d like to take my contacts out now” because my eyes kind of have that constant dry, tired feeling you get after a long hard day of wearing contact lenses. (First world problem.) I’m assuming that goes away as everything heals. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.

Now I’m off to finish listening to the Jodi Picoult audiobook I got for my recovery. I’m ready to read real books again!

LASIK, day 2

My last post left off on Wednesday morning. My vision was still kind of hazy, but I could definitely see pretty well. After the boys went off to school, my mom and Larry drove me to the eye doctor for a follow up.

My vision was tested and I got 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. It seemed like it was the haziness from the light of the projected eye chart that was making the letters blurry, and I was assured that would improve over time.

Not much time, as it turned out. My eye doctor came in a few minutes later and removed the contacts he’d put in my eyes at the end of the procedure yesterday. Who knew? (Well, I suspected, but I wasn’t sure.) Sure enough, my vision immediately because clearer. I wasn’t tested again, but I’m pretty certain I’d be able to read the 20/20 line with both eyes now.

The doctor went over the schedule for my myriad medications again. I may have alluded to my weird eye issues before, so I may as well come clean now. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just…kind of weird and gross. So in addition to using antibiotic eye drops and steroid eye drops, I also have to take four antiviral pills a day for the next few months. That’s because I have ocular herpes. Whatever you do, don’t do a Google image search for that. Trust me.

Ewwwww, I know.

When I was in high school, just a few weeks before the Sweetheart Dance (I actually had a date, people) I noticed a pimple on the bridge of my nose. It wouldn’t go away. It got bigger and grosser. (Man, this post is turning out to be worse than yesterday’s.) I finally earned a trip to the doctor (this was when I was at boarding school, so it wasn’t as easy as it sounds) where I was informed it was not a pimple, but a cold sore. And there were some small fever blisters on the edge of my eyelid as well.

At the time I wore gas permeable lenses, and the doctor informed me I’d have to switch to glasses immediately. I didn’t care that wearing rigid lenses might let herpes into my eyeball and cause blindness. I just didn’t want to wear glasses to a DANCE!

Regardless, I followed doctor’s orders and my life was ruined wore my glasses to the dance. Everything healed, and except for the scars I still have on the bridge of my nose, I pretty much forgot about this incident.

(I suspect I got this particular fun strain of herpes from my dad, who also got them on the bridge of his nose, or so I was told. Some people get them on their lips, some people get them…elsewhere…, and I get them around my eyes. Lucky.)

Seventeen years later, in 2009, I was preparing to go to Toronto for work, but I had this irritation on my eye. I assumed I’d scratched my eye putting in my contacts or something, so I went to an ophthalmologist who looked at my eye with that searingly bright light and immediately recognized my irritation as A COLD SORE. ON MY EYEBALL.

disgusted

So anyway, whatever, that healed, life goes on, I didn’t go blind, etc. But when I was researching LASIK, I learned that it can be a risk factor, since the trauma of the laser slicing into your eyeball can activate the virus. After a lot of research and speaking to my doctor I made the decision to go ahead.

Wow, that was a lot just to explain by I’m taking those antivirals, huh? I didn’t tell this story just to gross everyone out (that was just a bonus) but in case anyone else who has eyeball herpes wants to get LASIK, maybe this will help them make a decision.

You know what’s the worst part? I lied. I didn’t wear my glasses to the dance.

sweetheart

LASIK, day 1

I survived! I can see! Sorta.

In the interest of science, I will describe how the day went. I looked for blogs of people describing their LASIK experience, and it helped me prepare mentally for what was going to happen. So now it’s my turn.

11:00: Got to eye doctor’s office, checked in, paid eye-watering (see what I did there?) amount and sat down with my mom and Larry. Fortunately, there was an adorably smiley child in the waiting room to distract me.

11:10: Got called back. First thing I got was 10mg of Xanax or Valium or something. I knocked that puppy back with no hesitation. I hoped it would be enough.

I spent the next half hour doing tests on my eyes. At the end, I was sat in an exam chair while I waited for the doctor to finish my exam. I could definitely feel the meds kick in at this point. Niiiice. My hands were kinda funny.

Finally, the doctor came in and did some last measurements. He then put some numbing drops in my eyes and pulled a marker out of sterile packaging. And then he DREW ON MY EYEBALL. Afterwards, he invited me to look at the two black dots on the whites of each eye. I wish I’d taken a picture.

Then I was led back into THE ROOM. The room, which, by the way, had viewing windows. When I was first taken back, I was sat in a chair with a full view of the room. There was a guy laying on the exam table. Thank god my glasses had already been taken away so I couldn’t see anything.

They asked if my mom and Larry wanted to watch…I said probably not. I’ll bet George was regretting not going now, though!

I laid down and they gave me some stress balls to squeeze. Soon enough, The doctor was sitting at my head. He taped my eye lashes up and out of the way, and then put something on my eye, I guess to keep them open. Then he put a circular suction device on my eye, which was a bit disconcerting, but I’d read about it, so I was prepared. He called for suction, and gradually, everything went black. Fine by me!

I was rotated so my head was under the first machine. I am guessing this was the laser that created the flap (shudder.) That only took a few seconds, and during this part, I could see white with tiny specks of color. It was really pretty, actually.

I think they removed the suction device thing after that, because I could kind of see what I imagine was the flap flapping around. It kind of looked like being underwater. Thank god for Valium. And that I couldn’t feel anything.

Then I was rotated under the other machine, the one that was going to do the real work. I was supposed to look at a red light. That damn red light kept moving, I swear. I felt like my eye was all over the friggin place. It took 43 seconds, which passed pretty quickly. I expressed my concern to the doctor that my eye was flailing around, but he assured me the machine tracks the movements and if it gets too crazy, it shuts down. He said I did great.

I think they put a contact on my eye at the end, but I might have been imagining that.

Photo Oct 21, 1 16 06 PMAnd rinse and repeat for the other eye.

When it was done, I was told to sit up slowly. The formerly blurry room was mostly in focus. I could see that the printer was a Canon. Everything was pretty hazy, but I was told that was normal.

Had a little exam after it was over, and then I got some goofy shields taped over my eyes. Was ordered to go home, take an Ambien, and sleep. So that’s what I did. No walruses appeared, thank goodness.

This morning, I woke up, removed the goofy eye covers, and I can see! Mostly. It’s still a bit hazy, but I expect that will improve.

Yay for seeing!

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