On 5 November, I underwent lasik eye surgery transformation in Roanoke, VA, with Vistar Eye Centers. I’d dreamed of lasik since my teens. The cost is not cheap. In fact, we financed a little over half of the cost, but have 18 months to pay it off at 0% interest. People have repeatedly asked me for the past nine days, “Is it everything you thought it would be?” The answer is a resounding “no!” I’m an impatient patient, and I wanted to be able to see everything immediately, perfectly. Lasik doesn’t work that way. At least, not for everyone.
Reading the booklet of potential side effects and things that could go wrong sincerely made me reconsider the procedure the afternoon that I had it. It’s a very common procedure, but a lot of things can go wrong or happen as a side effect. And these are your eyes. It’s not something I was rushing into that afternoon, for sure. Especially with the knowledge and realization that I was going to be AWAKE for this procedure. Dr Tims told me that I was going to hear a machine popping loudly – I did; and that I would smell something weird, but it wasn’t flesh burning or anything like that. His candor was appreciated, but really didn’t help my last-minute nerves. They gave me stress balls to hold on to during the procedure. I kept freaking out, praying that I wouldn’t cough, or God forbid, sneeze! They played 80’s music in the surgery room. I prayed for no Duran Duran because I know what my knee-jerk, gut reaction is to hearing them on the radio or in public: squeeing during lasik would be sooooooooo bad!
The morning after my surgery, at my follow-up appointment, my vision came in at 20/40. I was “street legal,” and able to drive if I wanted to. I didn’t want to and, fortunately, Russ was up for a day of driving me around, as I had some errands to run in Charlottesville, VA. They pulled down some sort of screens to filter my vision, to show what my eyesight should be after the inflammation goes down and everything has settled. At that point, they are projecting that I will be 20/20. I’m looking forward to that.
Despite the medicated drops and tears without preservatives, I’ve experienced some dry eye problems. You can’t touch your eyes or rub them for a week; you can’t get them wet or wear make-up of any kind for a week. That last part hasn’t been hard for me, except for lack of moisturizing at night. Bright light – which we have been blessed with for most of the past few weeks, with temps in the 70’s – still hurts a little. That’s why God made sunglasses, though, right? I’m pretty sure that the flaps have grown back okay now, though, because, I am once again able to cry over back-to-back episodes of Little House on the Prairie, which I felt no ability or reason to do for a week. (The flaps they cut in the cornea sever some of the tear duct nerves, or something like that; I just know that I, a woman who cries over just about everything, was tearless, save one moving evening for a week!)
I still have blurry vision sometimes on one side or the other – it’s not always the same side, which makes me worry less about it, actually. And this can go on for weeks. Hopefully mine won’t. Am I complaining? No. I love waking up in the middle of the night and being able to see to get to the bathroom. I love watching football in bed and seeing the score, the downs, the players’ names, stats, etc. I love not worrying about where I sat my glasses down. I love not having to put in contact lenses and trying to remember to take them out before I nap or fall asleep. I wish I could see my phone screen better. The closer-up something is to me, the harder it is to see well. This is where I will find readers helpful. But I’m putting that off until after this Tuesday, when I have my first follow-up with my own optometrist, Dr. Scott Mann, in Christiansburg. When I find out if I’m progressing normally, then I’ll start investing some money in readers. Cheap ones. Because I know I’ll lay them down, lose, them, sit on them, break them, etc. I’m not new to this game.