Friday, January 29, 2010

My Lasik Experience

When I woke up this morning I hit a wall.
I ran into a wall. I have a huge bruise on my arm now.

So it's probably a good thing I went in for Lasik today. Because getting up in the morning is hard enough on 5 hours of sleep, add to that the fact that without the aid of corrective eye wear I can't see past my nose and walk into walls and trip on things that aren't really there.

You all know what I mean, when you trip to avoid something and realize it's not there, but then you trip on the actual thing you were trying to avoid in the first place

Even though I was in pain from running into a wall, I was comforted by the fact that after today I wouldn't have to worry about what I was going to run into on my way to put in my contacts or grab my glasses. Even if that meant that I could not blame future pratfalls on my eyesight.

My eye problems began when I was in fifth grade. One of my teachers told my parents I was squinting too much to see the chalkboard so they took me in to get my eyes checked. This resulted in me coming home with a ridiculous pair of blue-yes I said BLUE- pair of glasses that were about 5 sizes too big for my little face. That's what happens when you let a fifth grader pick out her own eye wear. Eventually I was old enough for contacts, so I ditched the glasses for the most part. I even went through a phase where I had contacts that changed my eye color , which, in retrospect makes you look creepy. I can't believe that at one time of my life I thought I could actually convince people I had purple eyes. When Lasik came out I knew right away I wanted in on it, but it's expensive, and unfortunately was always last on the list of financial priorities. Then 2 years ago my husband, needing to use his Flex Spending account before he lost it, decided in a day to get it done. I was jealous, but excited for him. In turn he promised that in a few years I could get it done too.

Fast forward to today...

I was excited and had followed my pre-procedure guidelines to a tee. I took out my contacts 4 days prior, got the prescription for my antibiotic eye drops and had someone to drive me home.
Kevin asked me if I was nervous and I laughed. Not to sound cocky or anything but after pushing a human from my lady parts-ok trying to push a human out of my lady parts and than subsequently having him cut from my loins, a laser to my eye was really a piece of cake. I did, however, have a momentary case of the what ifs while we were driving to the office.
What if the laser misses and I go blind?
What if it doesn't work at all?
What of this is really some twisted government experiment and they are just using this procedure as a way to implant a chip in my so they can control my every move?

Ok- that last one didn't really cross my mind. Ok maybe a little...anyone who has seen the movie Disturbing Behavior knows what I mean. The scene where they find out how the kids are turning into the "Blue Ribbons" always flashes in my mind when I think of Lasik.

After lunch and a quick shopping trip we arrived at the Oakbrook LasikPlus office. It's a beautiful office with a fancy flavored coffee machine and a mini fridge stocked with whatever soda you could want. After checking in, signing all my consent forms, and setting up my payment plan- 24 months 0% interest- I sat and waited for them to call my name.

Once they called my name I was taken to a few rooms where they take a few more pictures of your eyes and then make you watch a video of what to do after the procedure. They go over the list of eye drops you must use, tell you what you can and can't do right after the procedure, and then take you to another room where they give you a lovely blue bonnet to put on your head and some eye drops to numb your eyes. Then the doctor came in and asked if I had any questions and briefly went over a few more things with me. All the time he was talking I just kept thinking how funny my eyes felt because they were numb and I wondered if I had an eye full of "eye boogers" as I like to call them, because that's what it felt like.

I walked into the room where the procedure was being preformed and laid down on a comfy leather chair that swiveled 360 degrees. From there things moved pretty quickly. If I had to guess the actual procedure probably took less than 10 minutes. They cover one eye and then place more drops in your eyes. It didn't hurt, but it felt weird because they just open your eyes and start doing things to them, which kinda caught me off guard. Since I couldn't really see what was going in, I'll try to explain the best I can.

-On a side note, if you do want to know exactly what happened just ask my husband who watched the whole thing or go into one of the offices and watch for yourself. The room is floor to ceiling glass so anyone in the waiting room can watch the procedure at any time. I declined to watch any of the people that went before me, but I might watch someones tomorrow when I go for my follow up!

After they put more drops in your eyes they insert some sort of plastic ring around your eye to keep it in place. Again, it doesn't hurt, just feels strange. As they place this on you eye, you lose vision in that eye for a few seconds and then see a white circle with a ring around it and a flashing red light. I felt about 30 seconds of pressure which the doctor counted down for me. Then they repeat this on the other eye. They seemed swivel me back and fourth a few times and then I heard a clicking sound and smelled a weird odor, which they told me to expect. This was the laser actually cutting the corneal flap. Then it gets really weird because the doctor brushes this stuff in your eye, and flips the lens. This part is so strange because you can actually see these instruments in your eye which is a little freaky. The good thing is that by the time you realize how freaky it is the procedure is done. They slap on a pair of sunglasses for you, sit you up, and then take you to a room where you have to sit in a recliner with your eyes closed for a few minutes. Then you are free to go!

Your vision is blurry at first and they tell you to keep your eyes closed as much as possible for the first couple of hours after the procedure. They actually tell you to go home and take a nap, which is one of my favorite things to do! They also send you home with these nifty goggles that you have to wear the first few days when you sleep. After driving home and strapping on my goggles I settled in for a nice 4 hour nap. During this nap I woke up a few times because my eyes were watering like crazy and were a little bit sensitive, but nothing terrible. And after the nap was over I woke up to find that my vision was already 10 times better than it was before my nap, the blurriness was almost all gone, and my eyes had stopped tearing.

Overall, I highly recommend Lasik. While there is nothing wrong with contacts or glasses, I must say that I love the fact that I can fall asleep when I want and not have to get up to take my contacts out. Or worry about them falling out when I go swimming. Or worry about all the other tiny annoyances that come with wearing contacts and glasses.

Yes it is expensive, but they have great financing options and if you look at what you spend on contacts and glasses over the years it all evens out. LasikPlus comes with a lifetime warranty which means that all future appointments and any future adjustments-which is rare- are covered . If you do go I highly recommend the LasikPlus Centers. They have 4 offices-Oakbrook, Schaumburg, Naperville, and Downtown. They have a super nice staff and are very informative.

That's all for me tonight folks...I need to put in my eye drops, strap on my goggles and call it a night. Feel free to send me any questions you have.

Hopefully tomorrow morning I can manage not to walk into any walls....
Check out my awsome new eye gear!!


cbbb1 said...

Love the goggles... will you keep them? cb

Unknown said...

You betcha!! I think they will go well with formalwear don't you??

Sarah Sickles Coward said...

Is this the same place with Vanessa Mimmimo got hers done?

:) Good luck with the recovery! And keep writing- I'm rather enjoying your posts!

Unknown said...

thanks sarah!!

Fran Taylor said...

Anyone who had been using contacts for years would want to try Lasik. Like you, I've had eye problems since 5th grade, I started with eyeglasses then shifted to contacts. But when I heard that I can already do away with the hassles of putting my lenses on by undergoing an eye laser treatment, I immediately asked the advice of my eye doctor for what they call Lasik. It took me years though to finally have the nerve to try the operation. I already had my eye consultation with an optometrist in Indianapolis and my operation is scheduled next week. Thanks for posting your personal experience. Now, I have a clearer idea of the things I would possibly go through.

Good luck with your recovery.

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