As readers of my blog know by now, I had Lasik eye surgery last Thursday afternoon. It was a bizarre, and rather scary experience at times. In first stage of the actual surgery, a cold-looking machine pressed down uncomfortably on my eyes, one at a time, causing me to go temporarily blind in each eye in turn with the ultimate goal of improving my vision. While the nurses encouraged me and told me “only 5 seconds to go” I concentrated on my breathing and watched the multicolored glittery spots which danced in my field of vision.
After that part was done, the nurse lead me into another room with a “Warning: Laser” sign on the door. In that room I saw the strangest light show ever when the doctor burned bits of my cornea with the laser and I could smell a stench like hair burning in the process. I had no pain in the process since my eye was numbed by the anesthetic eye drops they had put in my eyes during surgery prep, though I was completely conscious the entire time. All I needed to do was watch that green light–even when it fuzzed out so much that I could barely see it and all I could do try to look straight ahead.
Even with newly burnt eyes and very cloudy vision, I could see the improvements in my sight as soon as I sat up. I could actually see a vague outline of the objects and people in the room, where before I would see mostly an indistinct blur of colors. According to the post-op instructions, I laid back and kept my eyes closed for about 6 hours after the operation, though I could open my eyes briefly to see where I was going when I needed to get up. There was some pain and discomfort after the numbing drops wore off, but a bit of Tylenol took care of that. And when I woke up the next morning, laying on my back and wearing the provided eye shield (to prevent my accidentally rubbing my eyes in my sleep), I was actually able to read my alarm clock without grabbing for glasses.
At every step of the process I was keenly aware that this was a total commitment I was making. The changes being made to my eyes were permanent and there was no going back. I am not completely though the process even now. I have a regiment of three types of eye drops that I need to use four times a day until Tuesday: a moisturizing drop, a steroid drop, and an antibiotic. I am not supposed to use a hot tub or a jacuzzi for a couple of weeks, so I am avoiding the temptation of our jacuzzi bathtub for now. My optometrist says my vision may not completely stabilize for about a week, even though I was able to work at my job with still slightly cloudy vision the day after surgery. At this point, I am actually seeing quite well, even though objects far in the distance are still slightly out of focus, I have a very slight smudge or “ghost image” on objects viewed though my left eye, and I see large halos around car headlights and other bright lights.
Still, even in the process of healing, the my new ability to go throughout my daily activities without the glasses or contacts is simply amazing.