Monday, March 9, 2009

My Lasik Experience

Its been a little over two weeks now since I had Lasik. At first, I would have said hands down it wasn't really worth it. I was having a lot of trouble with blurry vision (which the doctor said was related to dry eyes), not to mention remembering how traumatic the actual procedure was. (More on that later.) But now, I'd have to say I HIGHLY recommend it. I'm not really having the blurry vision in my left eye anymore, and according to Dr. Whitman, I'm seeing at least 20/20, if not better! That's WAAAAY better than my pre-surgical 20/800.

And now, what you've all been waiting for: pictures of the surgery! :) Logan sat outside the surgery room and took pictures of the TV where they had live video showing my giant eyeball during the surgery. The pictures were taken on my iPhone, so the quality isn't fantastic, but it may still be more than you ever wanted to see... You can also see Logan sitting there calm and collected in the reflection of the glass, and if you look closely you can see my hands squeezing the hell out of those "stress" balls they gave me.

This first picture is my left eye centered and ready to go. They tried to start with my right eye, but I had a lot of trouble allowing the "torture devices" to do their job, and my eye kept reflexively popping them off. The white part of my right eye started to get really swolen and irritated, so they gave it a break and switched to my left eye. The torture devices are two things: first, they apply a paper clip looking thing that holds your eye open. This is what I thought I'd have the biggest problem with, but that was a piece of cake. It was the next part that killed me. They use some sort of suction cup device to suck down on your eye to hold it perfectly still while the laser cuts the corneal flap open. What they failed to mention was that when they press it down onto your eye, your vision goes completely black. I have no idea why, but its really, really scary! One second you can see, and the next he's pressing so hard on your eye that you think you've gone blind. That's the part my eye kept squeezing reflexively and popping the suction cup off, giving my right eye an "eye hickey", as Dr. Whitman called it. Its also the reason my right eye has been so red until just recently. Anyway, back to the pictures. This is my left eye all ready to begin.

Next is a picture of the corneal flap being created. Apparently the laser makes a bazillion tiny bubbles under the cornea to detach it, and then they flap it open. Logan says it looks like a fish bowl slowly being filled up with water. This part only takes 20 seconds.

Next is my eye with the corneal flap open, and ready to be shot with lasers. :) This part only takes 15 seconds. They tell you to stare at a red light. Being the nervous nelly that I am, I asked what would happen if you accidentally moved your eye. They said that the laser has a tracking device on it so it follows your eye movement. Sweet!

They're all done with my left eye, so now he's painting the corneal flap closed. See that paper clip torture device still holding my eye open?!?
After they painted the corneal flap closed, they put something over my eye to help seal it. I have no idea what it is, or what it does, but I do enjoy the fact that it reminds me of a giant monocle, like the guy from Monopoly wears.
Now my left eye is all done!
So because of all the swelling and irritation to my right eye (because I was a baby and couldn't tolerate the suction cup torture device) they had to send me out to a waiting area to keep ice on my right eye to help the swelling go down. I was out there for at least 30 minutes, while about 4 other people were able to start and finish their entire Lasik process. Geez. I'm such a pansy.

After coming to the conclusion that I was being a huge whimp, I was more determined than ever to buck up and let this doctor make me go blind for the 20 seconds it took to cut that stupid corneal flap!

Now the flap is open. You can see how red and irritated the white part of my eye is in these pictures. Its nasty.

A picture during one of the laser flashes.

Finishing up the right eye. This one is pretty gross.

And now, the best part of the whole experience: enjoying the Valium when it FINALLY kicked in - 30 minutes AFTER we were done.


kinsey said...

i am BLIND. and would love to have this surgery...but i'm not going to lie. now i'm freaked out!! i think i would be just like you and not be able to keep my eye open! so scary.

we haven't seen yall in a long time! did i see you from afar at the baby shower though?! there seemed to be a lot of people i missed!

Lisa said...

Girl, you are working those glasses...I hope you are starting to feel better soon.

kathryn said...

i cant believe we didnt talk more about this.. i go to dr.whitman as well :) hes fantastic. and yes, they blamed some of my issues on dry eye as well. the procedure i had done is supposed to eliminate the dry eye that comes with lasik. after my month of healing and ridiculousness, and they said i have dry eye in my right eye.. they still said i need lasik to correct the little bit thats left. i was so mad, cuz i love them so much there. but there was no way in hell i'm going back to have my eyes butchered up again. i'd rather get the glasses for the time i need them (which is so rare). doesnt every girl want the pair of CUTE glasses anyway? not just the pair they HAVE to have because theyre blind?

oh man. go see my september/october posts for my recovery and issues.

glad youre better now!!

Bruno Hill said...

After a few years of having Lasik, how's your vision? And is it still good as new? Also, that's a splendid clinic you got there! Showing the operation live will show would be patients how awesome the doctors are. It's a good thing that your hubby wasn't getting squeamish at that time!