Saturday, September 14, 2013

My LASIK Experience - Surgery Day Part II

This post is continued from the last post - it reviews my LASIK eye surgery that I had this week.

The last post was getting very long, so I decided to break it up into 2 parts.  Sorry for the delay!

So, I was led into the LASIK surgery room.  The room was bright.  I was led to a bed with a bunch of equipment at the head of the bed.  I was told to lie down with my head near the equipment.  I knew that equipment consisted of a laser and I was scared.  The doc was assisted by another man who's name I immediately forgot.

As I settled into the bed the assistant handed me a teddy bear and told me to hug the bear when I needed.  I loved that ugly worn little bear that moment, he was my only friend, facing the laser right along with me!

My right eye was done first.  The doc put a lot of tissues or something in front of my ears and said they were so eye drops didn't run into my ears.  The bed had something that lightly held my head in place.  Eye drops a plenty were put into my eyes, I was told they were numbing drops.  I told the doc to apply liberally.  He said if I felt any pain at all I should say something.  Suddenly he put a tissue or something soft over my left eye and taped it in place, making it impossible to open that eye. 

Doctor Solomon put something which I later learned was called a "lid speculum" over my right eye to hold it open.  It felt metallic and in my mind it looked like an egg separator - you know, that kitchen gadget that removes the egg yolk from the white.  It was very uncomfortable but not painful.  He was touching my eyeball a lot, checking it, but I didn't mind.  I focused on not moving the eyeball to the left or right, staring straight ahead.

My bed slid to the left and the equipment was positioned above my right eye. I squeezed the life out of the teddy bear.  The equipment lowered itself onto my eye.  The doc was explaining everything, talking to me.  Some kind of suction cup came down and stuck to my eyeball and felt like it was lifting my eyeball a little.  Again, uncomfortable but not painful.  The was the most uncomfortable part of the procedure.  Bright blue lights were then on my right eye.  I was told to stare into the lights, don't move the eye.  I don't think it could move with that suction cup stuck to it.  The blue lights were so very bright, light, almost white blue in color.  Lost in the blue I saw white dots going around in a circular shape.  This was when the flap was getting cut in my cornea.  It didn't hurt at all.  It took maybe 5 or 10 seconds of white dots then that eye was done.  The blue lights faded, but I was still seeing blue in my head, it was so very bright.  The suction cup released my right eye.  Ahhh, that felt so good, I hated that suction cup!  The squeezing let up on teddy.

In no time at all the bed was slid sideways, a cover was taped on the right eye preventing me from opening it, and the same procedure was done to the left eye.  The suction seemed a whole let less on this eye and this part was done in no time.  I felt like a pro, just look at the blue light, no problem!

Tons of drops were put in both eyes and the doc was touching them both with what felt like tweezers.  He was explaining how he had to open the flaps.  I asked questions as he worked and he commented on my curiosity; I told him I liked to understand what was going on.  The cornea flaps were opened on both my eyes, I think.  Then the doc took off across the room and told me to come along with him.  In my drug-induced state it seemed he moved quickly, but in reality my body was moving slowly.  I had no idea where he went and so I just sat up and looked abound blindly.  The assistant helped me to my feet.  I couldn't see anything, everything was a white haze, extremely blurry.  Basically I was blind.  The assistant walked me to another bed on the other side of the room and told me to lay down.  They acted as if I should be able to see the bed, I explained I was blind and didn't want to trip over anything.  I looked down and saw I was gripping teddy close to my chest still.

The assistant got me to lay down, my head felt like it was held in place again, although I really wasn't sure.  The left eye was suddenly covered.  The bed rolled under the equipment that was sitting beside it.  I knew this was the laser that would reshape my eye.  The doc was doing something with the equipment as he talked to me.  We talked about a lot of things, about his job, about the types of surgeries he does, it seemed we chatted for a while as this process occurred.  He was working the whole time and explained everything before it happened to my eyes.

I was told to look into the light again.  The machine came down onto my right eye. This time it was a bright red light - very red.   It had many dots of red - it wasn't solid, but a million dots that created the red color.  The red filled my eye with color.  Somewhere in the depths of red a green blinking dot appeared.  The green dot got larger and larger.  It's blinking became a steady pulsing.  I could smell the awful smell of what I thought was my eye being cut, but what the doc assured me was the smell of gases emitted by the laser machine.  I stared straight into the green pulse, afraid that my eye would move somehow and mess up the surgery.  The teddy was enduring a serious hugging again.  Eventually the green pulsing became a small green dot and faded.  Very quickly the machine and the red dots were pulled away.  The procedure was repeated on the left eye.  I felt like this whole process had already taken longer than what I read about and I was ready to have it over.

Finally the left eye was done and both eyes were opened.  Tons of liquid was doused into both eyes.  Everything was blurry.  Teddy was whisked from my hands.  Goodbye, my friend!

The doc then worked on the eyes with the tweezer thingy again to close the flaps.  He explained the flaps hook into the cornea to hold them into place.  He struggled getting the left eye flap closed, he said it was because my eye was shaped odd from the strabismus surgeries.  When he got it closed he watched me blink a few times.  He wasn't happy with the way my eyelid ran across the flap when I blinked, he was concerned the flap would open.  So he put a clear contact lens on the left eye to hold it closed.  There was no problem getting the right eye flap to close.  My vision wasn't perfect but I could see pretty darn well.  I wasn't tested right away, but was walked out and sent on my way.   All in all, the procedure took about 45 minutes.  Everyone said it would take 10 minutes or less!  I liked the way the doc took his time with me, I didn't feel rushed at all.  I thought  Dr. Jonathan D. Solomon
was an excellent eye doctor; I agree that he's one of the best in the country and I'm happy that I chose him!

While I was having the surgery Randy made an appointment for me to be seen the next day for a post surgery follow-up.  On the way home we had to stop at a pharmacy to get more prescription eye drops.  It took about an hour and a half to get home.  In that time my right eye started hurting very badly.  The eyeball itself hurt.  I put a jacket over my face to keep out the light.  It hurt so bad I was crying.  As soon as I got home I put in the proper drops, took 800MG ibuprofen, and and went straight to bed.  I awoke 3 hours later with no pain at all.  And I could see perfectly!

The following day I drove myself to my follow-up appointment.  I had no pain in the eyes.  The clear contact lens was removed.  My eyes were tested - I have 20/15 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye!  This is awesome!  I'm putting drops in my eyes about every 30 minutes now, I have 4 different types of drops.  It been 4 days since my LASIK surgery and I'm loving it.  The first day my eyes felt weird, tired maybe?  But now they feel better.  I haven't applied any eye makeup since surgery, I'm afraid it will hurt them.  Plus in order to remove eye makeup I rub the eyes.  Maybe a week after surgery after my one week followup appointment I'll start wearing makeup again, who knows.  People at work tell me I took younger without eye makeup, one person even asked if I had a "mini-lift" on my face! 

If you're considering LASIK surgery, I say GO FOR IT!  It's expensive, but worth it!  And the procedure isn't that bad.  I hope this blog post helps people to understand what to expect if they decide to get LASIK.



Carolyn said...

Thank you very much for the detailed post on LASIK. I've been going back & forth for about five years now. They say I'm a perfect candidate as my vision hasn't changed in over ten years (the perscription part, that is). I spoke to a doctor about it at my last eye appointment about four months ago, but haven't gotten back to him about it. Maybe this will get my bum in gear. Thanks!

Kessie said...

That is amazing! Thanks for writing this up! The pictures of LASIK are scary looking, but its really neat reading your account. Just stare into the light, huh? :-)

Razzberry Corner said...

Carolyn, I struggled with the decision to have LASIK, too. I had been wanting it for about 10 years. The last 5 years I was serious. I decided I wasn't getting any younger, I minds well just do it! The doc told me the average LASIK patient of his is 40 years old. He said most people put it off, but he recommended younger people get it done so they can enjoy perfect vision longer! You should do it!

Kessie, I really enjoyed reading what other people wrote about LASIK online before my procedure. I promised myself I would document my surgery for others to learn. Yes, the Youtube video of LASIK is the worst, I couldn't watch it! I tried to watch it the night before my procedure, but never finished it. It is grosser looking than it feels. The worst part was that suction cup on the eyeball. The lights were easy to watch!


Lisa said...

I so want it done, but in Canada the price is retarded! I went for a consultation and the price was $4000!!! That was about 4 years ago. It's gone up in price since then so we everything that needs done to the house I can't see taking that money to use on myself.

But I'm so happy for you! I would love to get it done.

I've got extremely bad eyesight with astigmatism, but the good news is my eyesight changed after 6 years but for the better!!The doctor said she'd never seen such a dramatic change for the better in a person before. I chalk it up to drinking all that raw goats milk!

Kelly said...

I had LASIK back in 2002. It was the best thing I ever did. No night vision issues. I went snorkeling 2 weeks after the surgery... I paid $3600 but that covers any future adjustments and all follow up for the first year.

Kelly said...

I had LASIK back in 2002. It was the best thing I ever did. No night vision issues. I went snorkeling 2 weeks after the surgery... I paid $3600 but that covers any future adjustments and all follow up for the first year.

Tara said...

Thank you so very much for this info!

Unknown said...

Wow its really great to know about your experience thank you very much and it really awares totally about the lasik surgery and its benefits because after having LASIK surgery, most patients enjoy a clear, natural vision. This procedure allows them to enjoy a more fulfilling active lifestyle and pursue activities that were limited by wearing glasses or contacts. Additionally, undergoing LASIK, eliminates the expense of continually purchasing glasses, contacts or solutions required to see clearly.