Monday, February 14, 2005

My Eye Surgery

A few people have asked about my eye surgery, so I'm going to give the full version even though it doesn't have anything to do with running.

WARNING! THIS IS GOING TO BE GRAPHIC!

I had my Lasik surgery on Friday. The whole day on Friday I was scared out of my mind. You can ask Dave, my hands were blocks of ice and I was seriously considering backing out of it. But once I got into the doctor's office, I started feeling better. The first thing that happened was that the optometrist took me back and checked my prescription one more time. He answered my remaining questions and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Then the nurse took me back, had me sign my consent forms, and then gave me my valium. I'm not sure that Valium made a whole lot of difference. Then the nurse put two different sets of eye drops in. The first was a numbing drop and the second was one to fight infections. Then they took Dave and I to a waiting room while they prepped the operating room. There was a television in there where they told Dave he would be able to view the surgery. Then they called me in and laid me on a table and stuck a pillow underneath my knees (like I was going in for an MRI). Then they gave me a teddy bear to hold on to and instructed me not to move my hands or feet during the surgery. The nurse used iodine to clean both my eyes. Then they moved me under the laser machine. A shield was put over my left eye and I was told to keep my left eye open and blink normally. My right eye's eyelashes were taped down and a speculum was put in to hold my eye open. Dr. Beran then put in a million drops and kept touching my eye to make sure I was good and numb. I could feel when he touched around the edges of my eye but I didn't know if I should say anything, so I didn't. Next a ring was placed over my eye that created suction and I lost my vision at that point. Another apparatus was attached to the suction ring that made the flap cut. I don't remember, because it felt like I had a million things in my eye at this point, but Dave said they removed these after the flap was cut. Then the flap was lifted and moved to the side. Dave said this was the scariest part to watch. I guess then, again I don't remember seeing this, a piece of paper or something was laid across the rest of my eye except for the hole the flap created. I was told to stare at the blinking green light and the laser started. The smell was awful. And to think it was the smell of my burning eyeball was totally gross. The nurse would literally yell 25% complete, 50% complete, 75% complete and then a long time seemed to pass before they said it was over. The flap was repositioned and smoothed out and irrigated and monitored for what seemed like forever. Once the right eye was done, then the whole process was started over on my left eye. The left eye hurt a little more. The speculum felt tighter (probably because I was a little more tense) and the vacuum ring seemed to squeeze the heck out of my eyeball. The last part of the surgery was to put eyeshields on that I was instructed to not take off until my appointment the following day. After the procedure was over they escorted me to a room where they examined my eyes and sent Dave and I on our way.

When I got home I crawled immediately into bed and took a nap. Dave went out and got some soda and then my mom came over. Dave came and woke me up around 4:30 and told me my mom was there. It was then that I had really burning pain in my left eye and found it a little hard to open them. I left them closed. My mom came in and sat with me while my dad picked up the pizzas. Then I shuffled my way to the living room and ate some pizza. Dad didn't stay long because he had a basketball game but my mom stayed about another hour and just talked to me. Dave let me listen to the national news, Jeopardy, and Family Feud and then I decided to go to bed.

The next morning I woke up and had another doctor's appointment. They checked my vision and said it was 20/20 and that I was cleared to drive and said I was doing above average for the day after surgery. I went to a bridal shower and went out with friends that night. Now my eyes are just dry and staring at this computer screen takes a lot of effort. I have about a million drops I have to put in my eyes everyday and I have to wear the eye shields for a week when I sleep. My night vision isn't bad either, just a little hazy. I bought a really great pair of Oakley sunglasses because they told me I have to wear them when I'm outside for the next 6 months and I wasn't going to wear the ugly ones they provided me. So, to sum it all up, I'm completely satisfied and excited. I would highly recommend Lasik and my doctor was the best. I'm so glad I decided to go through with it.

3 comments:

Dave said...

Thank goodness there were no rabid dogs in the house.

Andrea said...

oh yeah, the smell. I forgot about that :) Like burning hair...

Michelle said...

Wow! I thought about having it done a couple of years ago, but decided against it. It sounds pretty scary, but I'm glad it turned out well!