I am serious, this is not for people, like me, who are squeamish. However, if you like gore, this is a tale for you.
(Disclaimer: no eyeballs were destroyed in the making of this post. Damaged, hurt, cut, suctioned, yes. But not destroyed)
Thursday is temple school day for my girls. They go after school to our temple and are schooled in the religion. Yeah, I know, atheist and all that, I agreed at our wedding (and before) that we would raise our children Jewish…ANYWAY, Jay had to pick up the kids at 5:30. My surgery was for 5:45. He drove me there and let me go once we had a rough idea of when things would happen. As it was, I would go in at 6:15. Good thing because this meant Jay had plenty of time for the kids to get fed, watered and played out before coming to get me.
I met with the doctor and we went over any last minute questions (Will I lose my eyesight forever? Will I have regrets? Dear God it is my EYES you are about to cut!) and I signed all of the paperwork. At 5:30 I took the little Valium pill. With coffee. In retrospect, caffeine (a stimulant) should not go with Valium. But I was NERVOUS. I wasn’t thinking.
When it was my turn, I went to the back to get a hairnet and bunny boots. We don’t want any stray fibers to come by while the laser is
burning holes in my eyes reshaping the cornea. They had listened well to my warning that I am allergic to Betadine, a common tool of surgery to sterilize skin. Instead, they used other gentle chemicals to clean my skin prior to surgery.
The first thing was massive amounts of numbing drops, so you don’t feel anything. Then they tape one eye shut and work on the first eye. In my case, we used the Intralase Method which basically means they used a laser to cut a flap in my cornea. Of course, to do this a suction ring is attached to the white of your eye. This then sucks your eye forward to allow for a clean cut. (I TOLD YOU IT WAS GROSS!). This was really really really uncomfortable because a) dude, they are sucking your eyeball out! b) you actually lose vision at maximum suction c) they are SUCKING YOUR EYEBALL OUT OF THE SOCKET! Then it was laser time… OR SO I THOUGHT!
Once you cut that little flap, you have to move it out of the way. This took a good 3 minutes. At the time, there is something holding my eye open, my lashed are head back with surgical tape and I can see this probe POKING MY EYEBALL. Of course, I am starting straight at the little blinking light so I am facing my eye in the right direction, but ICK! When he finally got it properly pushed out of the way, the lasik part started.
The machine started a fwap sound and I was warning that I needed to stare at the blinking orange light. Okay. Will do. Then I could see a blueish purple light zapping around the periphery of my eye. I mentioned this later to my doctor and he said "yes that was the laser and you are the first patient who ever saw it!", great! Whoo hoo! I can see 193nm!
Then we put the flap back,which was only about 2 minutes of agony. And then onto the left eye.
The left eye was worse and the suction bit really bothered me much more. My vision was incredibly fuzzy when I was allowed to leave and the drive home (yes, Jay drove) was terrible. Every streetlight hurt even though I was wearing sunglasses (cue Corey Hart)
Fortunately, the Buffalo Bills have been doing better, and they were on Thursday night football, so Jay set up the TV so I could listen and leave the screen off. (and you were wondering what the Bills had to with this!) I took several Advil and rested. I have to wear these eye shields at night to protect my eyes. This way, I won’t rub my eyes by accident
Today, I had my post-op appointment. Both eyes can see 20/20 alone. Together, I could see 20/16 and read half of the 20/12 line. I do have a haze all over my vision which is due to the fluid between the flap and the rest of the cornea. I am told this gets better. To be honest, this is one of the things I am terrified of, to have a permanent damage, but those who have had this done agree the hazy goes away.
I have one other side effect from all of this: suction hemorrhages. The suction ring bruised my eyeballs and I have a ring of subconjunctival hemorrhages on both eyes. To be fair, I bruise easily so this isn’t a big surprise, but when I showed Luna she was fairly grossed out. "COOL! Can I see it again? That is so gross Mommy!"
Now my eyes are tired and I think I’ll go rest and listen to the Sabre game.
So there you have it. I was scared to death, and I would not like to do it again, but my vision is now better than it was with glasses (I had 20/16 only on the optical axis of the glasses. If I wasn’t looking down the center, it was worse) and much better than with contacts.
Wow. That is all I can say is WOW.