It's been 1 week since my LASIK and everything has been very smooth! I spent the first few days reading other LASIK-doing bloggers' accounts to ensure that I was feeling (and seeing!) the same results they were...which was very reassuring. In honor of those blogs, I shall *briefly* outline my LASIK Week 1 experience in this blog post. [Revision after previewing: it's not so brief]
Day 1: Surgery Appointment @ 8:00 a.m.
Mr. Fine was perhaps slightly concerned that I wasn't more nervous, but on game day I was ready with only slight jitters. I had considered that there might be pain during the surgery only the night before. I had only been focused on the pain afterward and for which the doctor had already prescribed my Valium. The possibility of surgery pain was what made me nervous.
The nurse did a final check of the shape of my eye to confirm the results in the laser machine and then doped me up with one of my Valium pills. Soon, I was almost dozing in the chair and was primed for surgery. The surgery itself was over within about 15 minutes and was relatively pain-free. First, they taped my eyelids back (not as painful as one would think...perhaps Valium helped?) and then dosed my eyes with numbing drops and some antibiotics. After that, they put in a corneal ring -- what looked looked like a small rubber ring (and which was the most painful part of the procedure) and which held my eye open. Then came the pressure/suction. I could hear the doctor keep asking the nurse if the suction was holding...which it was, because she kept responding suction holding at [enter number].
Then, it was on to the laser. They cut open a flap and I stared at a dot (easier than I thought!) and then the doctor pulled back the flap so I could look at a bigger star like laser while the laser reshaped my eye. That's it. Take the suction off, ring out, swivel the table, and repeat for the other eye.
I was able to walk on my own to the after surgery room where Mr. Fine was waiting, although my eyes were fuzzy and desperately wanted to close (maybe because they'd just been cut into?). However, I did catch a glimpse of a window and wowsers -- I could see! Already, within a few minutes of the surgery. It was blurry but I could clearly make out cars. Now, for keen sighted folk, this may seem like no big deal. But for a gal who needed glasses for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, blurry cars were bliss! The doctor put plastic shields on my eyes, gave Mr. Fine (aka Eye Drop Giver) final instructions, and we left. I remember sitting at the door of the clinic for a few minutes while Mr. Fine went to get the car -- my eyes were not staying open on their own accord anymore and I didn't think I could make it to the parking lot. Besides, I did have those *cool* "I've had eye surgery" black shades on and was happy to limit the number of people who saw me in them.
I kept asking Mr. Fine where we were while in the car, because I was in pain and wanted to be close to home. My doctor had told me that the first few hours would be painful -- the man was not kidding. With Mr. Fine's help I made it into the house and into the bed, where I was to sleep (as instructed by the doctor). "Sleep off the pain," he'd said. Problem. I was whining and moaning and found it hard to sleep. So Mr. Fine, dear soul that he is (or perhaps because he was tired of my moaning), climbed on the bed and held me for 2 hours while I slept. When I woke up, I was out of the big pain period and moved to the couch. I remember this period as pain free, however, Mr. Fine distinctly remembers me saying, "this was a bad idea." I don't remember that part. Regardless, by 3 p.m. I was up and around with my shields, getting eye drops every 2 hours. By dinner, I was at the table, peering through my shields and seeing a clear meal in front of me.
Day 2: Follow Up Appointment @ 8:00 a.m.
The resident took off my shields, handed me a black wand, and had me do the vision chart. 20-20 in one eye. 20-15 in the other. That eye chart hasn't looked so clear since middle school! The doctor checked my flaps which were healing smoothly (wrinkles and bubbles are bad) and sent me home with instructions to do drops 4 times a day and to only wear shields at night (important, as I am still waking up in the middle of the night trying to get at my eyes). My eyes occasionally felt like I had my contacts in (they had always hurt me) but I could see CLEARLY (everything!) and was not in pain.
Days 3 - 6:
Mr. Fine and I lived, shopped, and Christmased. We stayed close to home, however, just in case. We went to Michael's for some framing and I found myself just standing in the store just gazing. I hadn't considered that I had gained peripheral vision...something I never got with my glasses. There is A LOT to look at in stores. I did notice that my vision would be awesome in the morning but that my eyes would get very tired and I'd need a nap during the day. My eyes would not want to stay open. By night, my vision had decreased but it was still better than my glasses. I also couldn't focus on the computer screen for too long before my eyes got tired.
Day 7: Follow Up Appointment at 12:30 p.m.
My flaps were still healing well and I was put on over-the-counter tear drops instead of my steroid and antibiotic drops. I can use the tears whenever I want and there's no over using them. The wetter the eye, the more healing it can do. On the vision chart, I am 20-20 with a few of the 20-15 line with one eye and 20-15 with the other.
That night, Mr. Fine and I picked up take-out in the dark. Pre-LASIK I didn't like driving because the headlight stars were terrible. Now, it's like driving in the daytime. I can see the road, the headlights are headlights, and I have none of the weird night-vision side effects that other LASIK patients complain of.
That night, my vision also hadn't deteriorated as badly by days-end and I didn't require any mid-afternoon nap.
The corneal ring bruising is gone from my eye and I can be on the computer for long periods of time without fatigue. I. Can. See.
My To-Do List?
-figure out what to do with my glasses...
-get a new blogger picture sans glasses...
Happy 2011 friends!