Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My eye surgery (lasik) experience

Okay, I've had so many people asking me about my surgery last Thursday that I thought it'd be a good blog topic, be warned - there will be bad language cause I'm going to be totally honest (plus I'm drinking wine).

Five years ago I began considering having my vision fixed. It all came about after reading the story of a man who was kidnapped with no glasses for an entire year. Dude. That.Is.Scary...poop in the pants scary for me. If I took my glasses off, I couldn't find them. I had to call the kids in so they could look for them.

Anyway, about a year ago I asked two Ophthalmologist friends about the surgery. After a lot of discussion, and being told who the best in the Southeast was, I thought about it. Three weeks ago I called my friend and she insisted she make an introduction to the surgeon. He called the next day and I really liked him. The next week I had an eval at the office and was considered an excellent candidate, plus they had an opening the following week for surgery.

Whoa, that was majorly fast (since I don't wear contacts, they could do the procedure fairly quickly) After thinking about it, finding the money (my grandmother's inheritance money) and making arrangements, I scheduled the surgery and didn't really think about it again.

Hubby picked up my meds: Vicodin (pain), Restoril (sleep) and antibiotic eye drops on Wednesday. Thursday I got up, showered as I was told (with baby shampoo for my eyes - totally reminded me of my babies), and went for the surgery. I was nervous. Hubby was talking at the office. I was nervous. He continued talking. All I could think was, "Shut the fuck up." They gave me a Valium.

Honestly, the one part of the surgery that worried me was the meds. I'm into natural stuff and with the exception of Motrin haven't taken a prescription in eight years. Believe me, from the time I was seventeen to the time my second child was born, I took more than my share.

I was feeling kinda light as I went into the surgery room. I laid on the table (the doc had already explained everything I would experience, from the lights to the possible smell) and was put under the laser. Now, I hadn't considered what was about to be done to me. Why? Because I trusted my friends who recommended this doctor. Both of them work with him and respect him. In fact, one of my friends is his boss, and in his own right is one of the best retina specialists in the country.

So, the numbing drops were put in and other things done, no I felt nothing but a slight pressure, then he said, "Now I will make the flap." All I could think was, "holy fucking shit this man is going to cut my eye." Reality set in. Hard. I freaked. Not outwardly, but inwardly. I called upon those meditation and yoga practices prettily heavily over the next few seconds, especially when he lifted the flap.

I'm a writer which means I have an active imagination. I could picture what was going on and I wanted about three more Valium. No longer was I worried about the effect the Valium would have, nope, I wanted the drugs! Needless to say it was over in a very few minutes and the flap was being smoothed back into place. It took less than ten minutes from start to finish.

Then it was time for the other eye. I seriously considered asking if we could skip that eye. I knew what was coming and the panic began rising again. When he said he was cutting the flap I dug my nail into my hand and focused on the pain in my hand. I would've bitten the side of my mouth but I was scared of moving my head. I was still freaking out. After the flap was cut and lifted the laser went to work for twelve seconds. Then the flap was smoothed back into place.

It was over.

We went out of the door to my husband, and I sat on the couch while they instructed him on the proper procedure of putting the eye drops in. The doc asked me how I was doing. I told him I was freaked out. We left, went to Chick-Fil-A where I got a soup, and after eating it, took a pain pill. Then we went home and I got a sleeping pill.

I slept for nineteen hours, waking twice for more meds, eye drops and food. Also a call from the doc - he wanted to make sure I was okay.

The next day I went for the follow-up. I now know what people mean by halos - wow, I even have to dim my lighted keyboard and can't wait for the eyes to completely heal. The good news - I have 20/15 vision.

Am I satisfied? Absolutely and I would do it again - with more Valium, and I mean a lot more ;)


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, as I do hope to get the surgery in the future! It sounds rather scary. And I'm glad it's gone well for you!

  2. Someone just asked me, what frightened me. I couldn't come up with anything. Eh...until now. This reminded me, I would totally freak if something got stuck in my eye. Just reading this had chills going up my spine. Still...yeah, I would consider surgery in the future. Right now my eyes are not that bad. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. So glad everything worked out! That sounds like a scary experience, and you're a lot braver than me! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for posting this! I've been considering it. I'm so glad your experience was good, Jenn :)

  5. I just came accross your blog while doing my own homework on lasik. Would you mind if I e-mailed you with some questions about your experience.

  6. Thanks everyone :)

    Bill, feel free to e-mail me: woodfamilyof5(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Congrats on your new eyesight! I watched Kim Kardashian's surgery on E, and the flap part totally flipped me out!! You are so brave to make it thru!

  8. I've thought about it, but I can't go through it. The cutting the flap part freaks me out.

  9. Whoa. I'd hate to be told he was cutting the flap -- I'd rather just roll with it... not knowing!


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