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Old 03-19-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
JillyBean1899
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T-minus one hour thirty minutes ...

Until laser beams will be shot at my eyeballs. That's right, today is the day I (hopefully) get rid of glasses/contacts!! LASIK here I come!

I'm equal parts excited and terrified. I'm not terrified that something will go wrong (I could handle being blind ... as long as it doesn't hurt). I'm terrified of the thing they use to keep your eye open. I told my eye doc that if he starts playing Beethoven in the OR, I'm gonna kill him lol.

Keep your fingers crossed for me please.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Well, it got rescheduled. Some problem with one of the monitors this morning so they never were able to get started. I'm set for 7:15 next Wednesday. Which means I'll miss at least one day of school.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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I had it done a few years back. Best $5,000 I have ever spent! The actual procedure lasts 20 seconds so don't stress too much (I know thats impossible). I was blurry and kinda icky for the first 12 hours and I needed to use drops every hour for a few months, but WELL worth it in the end.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Raenstoirm View Post
I had it done a few years back. Best $5,000 I have ever spent! The actual procedure lasts 20 seconds so don't stress too much (I know thats impossible). I was blurry and kinda icky for the first 12 hours and I needed to use drops every hour for a few months, but WELL worth it in the end.
Wow, mine is $3600. I spend $350-400/year on glasses and contacts, so after 10 years I'll have "made" my money back.

The only part that I'm semi-stressed about is the contraption to keep your eye open. All I can think of is that scene from "A Clockwork Orange". ::shudder::

I figure if hundreds of thousands of people can handle it, I can, too. Especially since they'll give me the "good drugs" beforehand

Hearing that you were back to semi-normal after 12 hours makes me feel a little better about the timing of the rescheduling. Even if I can't drive the next morning, as long as I can see well enough to walk 5 blocks to the bus stop I can make it to class and will only have to miss one day of work/school.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JillyBean1899 View Post

The only part that I'm semi-stressed about is the contraption to keep your eye open. All I can think of is that scene from "A Clockwork Orange". ::shudder::
Honestly don't stress about that. The totally numb your eyes. I didn't even know they had put the thing in and then they were taking it out.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:40 PM   #7
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Honestly don't stress about that. The totally numb your eyes. I didn't even know they had put the thing in and then they were taking it out.
I know about the eye drops, and I'm used to contacts, so something touching my eye doesn't bug me, it's the holding my eye open thing that creeps me out. Do the eye drops numb the entire area around your eye? Or just the eyeball itself? I'm not sure which would be weirder, feeling them put the thing in my eye, or realizing that my eyelids are being messed with and not being able to feel it lol
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
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Well, I'm 12 hours post-op, and I survived! Not only that, but I can see! This is really amazing. I could actually see right after the surgery. If I hadn't been so Valiumstoned (and worried about messing up the flap) I probably would have started crying right there in the office. I'm sure the effect would have been more dramatic if I'd never worn contacts before, and could suddenly see without glasses, but since my eyes are still a little irritated, I just feel like I'm wearing contacts. Hopefully I'll remember I'm not wearing them and won't try to take them out later.

I'll write up a report on it tomorrow, for anyone that wants to read it. Right now I'm going back to sleep. I've slept so much today it's unreal, but keeping my eyes closed is more comfortable than keeping them open.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:33 PM   #9
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OK so here is my rundown of the LASIK procedure.

I had an astigmatism in both eyes, the left one was a lot worse than the right. I was also nearsighted in both eyes, again with the left being worse than the right. My contacts were -2.5 diopter in right and -3.5 in left. I have no idea what I was in the 20/20 type measurement, but I wasn't able to read a book that was less than 8 inches from my face. I've been in glasses since I was 4 (so 30 years), and started wearing contacts occasionally when I was 20. Computer work in them wasn't fun, so I pretty much only wore them when I worked at Universal (the headset at Kong was not comfortable with glasses on) or when I was visiting the parks or going to races or concerts.

Last year I was finally told that my vision had stabilized enough to make me a preliminary candidate for LASIK. I knew it was going to be expensive, so I needed a year to save. This year I set up a consultation to see if I could actually get it done, and was told I could.

The consultation was a lot of poking and prodding. I had to stare into a bunch of machines (and I kept flinching because I was always expecting a puff of air; once the technician told me none do that, I relaxed a bit), and got a lot of lights shined in my eyes. I went into a regular exam room, and Dr. Fisher did a normal eye exam on me, testing my vision with my glasses and without, then dilated my eyes and checked them like that. He asked a few questions about my eye health in general (did my eyes get tired easily, were they dry, etc.), and then had a few extra questions for me because I have rheumatoid arthritis. The RA was the only thing that he had concerns about, but since it was under control and I wasn't in a flareup, he was OK with doing it. He'd actually done LASIK on his MIL who has RA, so I felt comfortable with his decision to move forward. I did have an appointment with my rheumatologist the following week, and he said I'd be OK to get it done, too, as long as Dr. Fisher was OK with it. So both docs cleared me and I just had to wait for the appointment to roll around.

As I said earlier, my appointment was scheduled for the week of spring break, but it got postponed because they had problems with one of the computer monitors (and apparently it's a special one, they can't just pull one from an exam room or run to Best Buy to replace it). Since I didn't want to wait until after the college semester was over (I would have had way too long to think about it and get nervous), I decided to just do it this week, and to heck with missing a day of each classes. These 2 days are the only ones I've missed all semester, and I have As in all my classes, so my teachers were OK with me missing a day in each class.

I got there at 7:10 for my 7:15 appointment. Apparently they were running behind (not sure how, I was the first appointment of the morning, but OK) and didn't get called back to go over paperwork until almost 8:00. It was 8:30 before I was brought back to the Wavefront machine, and another 10 minutes of sitting there before they actually ran it on me. What this does is shoot a series of images into your eye, and then records what gets bounced back. It compares the original image to the returned image, and determines what part of your eye needs to be lasered to make the vision "normal". This took about 10 minutes, then back to what I named the "principal's office". Seriously, I felt like I was sitting in a chair outside the principal's office, waiting to get called in for being naughty.

After another 10 minutes or so of waiting, I got called into the pre-op room. They had a nice comfy recliner waiting for me, and my own little teddy bear buddy to keep my hands occupied so I wouldn't try touching my eyes. Totally unexpected, but totally useful. I got a surgical cap and gauze over both ears (they put eye drops in before and after the surgery and they tend to run off the side of your face and into your ears), then was given a Valium and some ibuprofen. The nurse/technician/whatever she was put a sticker on my shirt with my name, the procedure I was getting, and that it was in both eyes, then had me sit there for a few minutes while the Valium kicked in. I have no idea how long I was there, because I think I fell asleep. I do remember that she put numbing drops in my eyes, which made them all gummy (she told me to keep them closed, but you know how you always have to crack your eyes open when someone's moving around you), then she used something (I think she said Bactine) to wash my eyelids and eyelash area, and told me not to touch my face again.

When they were ready for me, I was led into the surgery room. I was placed on a reclined chair, and a shield put over my left eye. Dr. Fisher taped my right eye open, then put the plastic piece in to keep my eye open. That's the part that I thought was going to freak me out the most, but it really didn't, because I couldn't really "see" him putting it in. At this point I told him that if I heard Beethoven, I was going to hit him when I could see again. If you've ever seen "A Clockwork Orange" and seen the aversion therapy scene, that's what I pictured happening to me.

A thing came down over my right eye and blocked all my vision. I felt a pressure, which was the suction forming, and then the weird part started. All my vision in that eye was black, except for rainbow colored polka dots dancing around. Then the thing was taken away, and I saw something slide up from the bottom of my eye and everything went blurry. That was the flap being moved up so that the laser could do its thing. I heard some repeated ticking noises, then a whole bunch of eye drops were put in (and rolled down into my ear ... yuck), the flap was slipped back down, the plastic thing was taken out (which was weirder feeling than it being put in) and my eyelids untaped. The shield was moved to my right eye, and the whole thing was repeated in my left eye. It took less than 10 minutes. I sat up for a few seconds to get my balance back, and could already see. If I hadn't been used to wearing contacts, and therefore being able to "see" without glasses, I probably would have had a crying meltdown right there in the surgical room. Another technician moved me into the "recovery" room, gave me this oh-so-smexy eye shield to wear all day that day and at night for the next week, a pair of sunglasses because my eyes would be really sensitive to light, my post-op directions, told me to come back the next morning at 9:45, and sent me on my way.

I went back this morning for my first post-op checkup. Everything is healing fine, no problems he could see. I'm 20/20 in my left eye and 20/15 in my right eye, and he said as they heal they may get better. I've got an antibiotic eye drop and a steroid eye drop that I use 3x a day for a week, plus some basic lubricant drops I can use as often as I want. No swimming or eye makeup for 2 weeks, no rubbing my eyes, no contact sports for a month. I specifically asked if riding roller coasters at Disney would be OK, and he said yes.

I drove around dusk this evening, and noticed a little bit of haloing around headlights, but that's expected. It's not much worse than I got with my contacts or my glasses, and he said it will probably get better as the months go by. My eyes don't hurt exactly (and I didn't feel a thing except for some pressure when the suction was on my eye), they feel like they did when I wore contacts for too long, but the lubricating drops help with that. I have a little bit of sensitivity to bright lights; I had my granddad keep the blinds next to his chair and my computer desk closed today, and the fluorescent lights in Target hurt, but I just wore my sunglasses inside the store and to heck with what anyone thought.

Overall, it was a good way to spend $3,500. If anyone is on the fence about it, I highly recommend it. I thought I would be freaked out by the whole "they're touching my eyeball" thing, but honestly, with the Valium, I didn't give a rat's behind once I was in the chair.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:18 PM   #10
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See, I told ya!

Congrats
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #11
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Congrats on the successful surgery! I was reading this while thinking about how much my contacts are bothering me today, so I'm jealous!

The surgery is something that I want, but I am a little too afraid to risk it. My friend had it last year and even though she is happy with the results, her night vision is pretty bad. She's not comfortable with driving in places she is unfamiliar with. I don't think that is something I can live with.

Apparently, the worse your vision is to start with, the more likely you will have these side effects. Mine is better than her's was, but still pretty bad at -6.00.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #12
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Thank you so much for posting this! I definitely want to get LASIK at some point, just waiting for the stars to align financially. I think my vision has stabilized enough at this point.

Congrats on a successful surgery!
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:32 AM   #13
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