Lasik Surgery: Two Weeks Later
September 30, 2010 § 6 Comments
Today marks my two week Lasik anniversary- and what a ride it’s been. I wore corrective lenses for over twenty years, but two things finally tipped me over to the Lasik side: utter jealousy over my boyfriend’s Lasik results, and the fact that I have not been able to wear contacts for the past two years. The glasses didn’t bother me from a vanity perspective (although I am happy I don’t need to wear them at my wedding now), but just annoyed the crap out of me. Not being able to wear normal sunglasses, having to constantly clean lenses, always worrying about them breaking… no more! But Lasik isn’t the “walk in blind, walk out happy” procedure it’s advertised as sometimes. I will elaborate.
First of all, it is true (at least from my experience) that the procedure is entirely painless. But that doesn’t mean it’s not scary. It didn’t help that a few days before my procedure, my boyfriend showed me the clip from Fire in the Sky in which the aliens prop a guy’s eye open and a needle comes down from the ceiling, telling me that’s what the procedure would be like. (He did that in retaliation for me showing him this episode of Home Movies the morning of his procedure, but I don’t think his was a proportional response.)
After a few preliminary eye appointments to diagnose my candidacy and get my eye information, I was ready for the surgery. Once I got to the clinic, everything happened really fast; it seemed like I was almost immediately being given drops to numb my eyes and the surgeon was drawing on my eyeballs. (Yes- he drew ON my eyeballs!) I couldn’t feel it happening, which is pretty much true for the surgery itself as well- the scary part isn’t the pain, but the knowledge of what is happening to your eyes (and the faint smell of burning which, fortunately, Ethan had warned me would happen). The nurse handed me two squeezie balls to hold if I got nervous so I wouldn’t shake my head around, which turned out to be very useful. The procedure was fast, but the lights, noises and smell were very off-putting. When it was all over the nurse asked me to hand her the balls back- apparently I wasn’t ready to, because she had to pry them out of my little hands.
After that is when the pain kicked in. You’re supposed to fall asleep as fast as possible after the surgery so you can sleep off the worst of the pain, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I just lay there in my stupid goggles (yes, you have to sleep in goggles afterward. Like the mittens babies wear to keep them from scratching themselves, they keep you from pawing at your face in your sleep. And they look awesome.), tears streaming down my face. But that only lasted about an hour- I then slept for six hours and woke up to discover that Ethan had baked a 10 lb. ham while I was out. I ate a delicious ham sandwich, drank two cans of pop and went back to sleep.
Now, two weeks later, I would say it was completely worth it. Here are the pros and cons:
- Constant dry eye. For the first week and a half, I woke up three times a night with dry eye. I did not know that eyes could get so dry they could wake you up.
- Sleeping in goggles. At first it’s exciting, like you’re about to go skiing in your bed or something, but my ears are too big and kept folding over- very uncomfortable.
- Bloody eyes. Not painful, just awful to look at. I mean, people wouldn’t look me in the eye because I looked crazy.
- Glare and fuzziness, especially in fluorescent lighting.
- Cost (I will be paying $140 a month for two years, although that comes with free check-ups and touch-ups).
Fortunately, all those cons are temporary. Here are the pros:
- I can wear real sunglasses and then put them on top of my head like the cool people do.
- I can open the dishwasher or drain pasta fog-free.
- I can get caught in the rain and still see where I’m going.
- I can see better than I did in glasses, so no more using the GPS because I can’t read street signs. Now I can just use the GPS because I have no sense of direction.
- I can apply make-up and see what I’m doing.
- If I get stranded on an island a la Lord of the Flies, my glasses will not be stolen and used for fire.
- Did I mention the sunglasses? I am going to look so cool.
So anyway, the cons are temporary but the pros are forever (or at least until I need reading glasses). Still, I’m excited for the redness to go away- I spend every day looking like I just got off a three-day bender. But I guess I can hide that with the sunglasses.
For further reading, see my one month update.