Saturday, July 27, 2013

My experience with LASIK surgery

LASIK surgery- does it hurt? what exactly do they do? Is the procedure long or painful? 

Many people have asked these questions to me lately. I was also very curious before my surgery and couldn't find much information online. So now I share with you my experience and exactly what I went through pre, mid, and post surgery. 

Pre-Surgery- "The Consultation" Do I even qualify for LASIK?

Yes, you have to qualify for LASIK. Some people may not be eligible for one reason or another to get LASIK done. Personally, it kinda felt like a marketing ploy to me, waiting to hear if I qualify for the procedure. 

Who is a good candidate? Anyone with bad vision. 
However, your eyes need to be healthy enough to undergo the laser treatment. 

Luckily, "my enormous pupils and juicy corneas" passed the test. (These were the words of my eye doctor, Dr. Oldenburg. He was a little eccentric and full of energy!) The thicker your corneas are the better to undergo the laser treatment. 

After the consultation, I had one more extensive eye exam where he wrote down all my measurements for surgery. 

The LASIK Process- How LASIK corrects your vision. 

First, what causes blurred vision?
Glad you asked!
Simply, the light coming into the eye is not focused properly on the retina. The light either falls short of the retina (far sighted) or goes too far beyond the retina (near sighted). 

LASIK corrects this problem by allowing light to bend (refract) light rays to focus more precisely on the retina. The laser reshapes the cornea to allow light to properly pass to the retina resulting in clearer vision. (That's why my "juicy" corneas were good candidates. Haha) 

Day of Surgery:

I arrived at 7:45 and surgery was scheduled at 9:15 ( I ended up not going in for surgery until 10:30 but no big deal.) I was prescribed two medicated eye drops and a Valium to take right before the surgery. I decided to not take the Valium since it was only a ten minute procedure, I figured I could get through it and stay relaxed. ( If I could stay relaxed during child labor, this would be a piece of cake. ) 

I had my surgery at the Novus Center in Tallmadge, Ohio by Dr. Beyer. He and his staff were wonderful! They operate like one big happy family and make you feel a part of it. It was nice to joke around and talk to the nurses while they were preparing me for surgery. 

Before surgery, a nurse went through five different eye exams with me double checking my doctors work and making sure everything was still on tract for surgery. When they did the eye exam with me ( you know when they ask " Better one or Better two? Three or Four or the same?") I was nervous! Talk about an eye exam of your life. One wrong answer and there goes my chance at perfect vision! Okay, not really. But I still didn't want to answer wrong. So after that was all done, they took me in a room where I got to put on a pretty hair piece and shoe covers. 

Pretty, I know! I was a bit hyper (maybe my way of not being nervous) so I found the hair piece to be enjoyable. 

There was a man in front of me who was pretty nervous but stayed pretty relaxed with his Valium. The woman going after me was totally slumped over from her Valium, it worked a little too well. I was happy to be awake and alert. I did my best to keep the morale high and calm their nerves. When it was my turn, I walked into the room and laid down on the table. 

The nurse asked me my name and birthday, so I told her. Then she asked me what kind of surgery I was getting done, and I smiled and said foot surgery. She wasn't laughing...apparently she took a Valium too. So like a good patient, I said LASIK eye surgery and she was satisfied.

 They swung the table under the laser and then my heart started to race a little. Now I was getting a little nervous. I knew The Lord had calmed my nerves thus far and would help keep me calm. 

(Dr. Beyer, also a concert pianist, played his music for me to listen to which was nice and relaxing.)
 And just when I thought they were ready, they had to change something in the laser since my eyes are smaller than the person before me. (Big pupils, little eyes- sheesh I'lll be self conscious for the rest of my life. ) 

While I was waiting, One of the other nurses asked me if I was nervous because he thought I was shaking. Then he realized he was shaking not me. Very reassuring.

After everything was all set up they began. 

They taped open my right eye and he was about to cover my right eye when one of the nurses asked, aren't we starting with the right eye. 

Again, very reassuring. 

So he covered my left eye, and put lots of drops in my eye causing it to go numb and blurry. There was a blinking light, I was suppose to look at. Then they put something in my eye which felt like a contact lens then there was a little pressure and everything went dark for about 6 seconds. (which I knew was going to happen). Then the laser started for about 10 seconds and shut off. Then it seemed like he was polishing my eye with something like a nail polish brush. My eyesight was blurred the whole time so I couldn't really tell what was going on. Then more eye drops went in and they were done with the right eye and did exactly the same thing to the left eye. I could feel a little more pressure or discomfort on the left side but nothing painful. I kept reciting verses in my head and trying to relax my body. I also sang a couple Russian songs in my head to help keep my mind elsewhere. After about ten minutes, it was all done! 

They sat me up and put on these awesome goggles to protect my eyes. 
Today was not a day for family photos. :) I had to wear them the rest of the day and could take them off in the morning.

 I felt super light headed and began to feel nauseated after we left the clinic. My eyes stung just a little and were very sensitive to the bright sun outside. Even closing my eyes didn't help with the brightness. It drove me crazy to have my eyes burn a little and not be able to touch them. Most people take a four hour nap after the procedure since the Valium makes you sleepy, but it took me a little while to fall asleep. 
After I ate some lunch and got home, I was able to fall asleep. My eyes felt much better after I woke up. I wasn't allowed to text or be on the computer all day but watching tv was allowed. 

The next day, taking off the eye gear was awesome! Since the eye gear had holes all around it, I couldn't see perfectly out of them. But now my vision was perfect!! Everything was in focus, my son looked even cuter and my husband even handsomer. The only down side to taking off the eye gear was getting the medical tape residue off my face. My husband recommended eye make up remover and it worked! Definitely beat scrubbing my face for hours. :) 

The end result- clear vision! 
I went to my eye doctor the next day and my vision was already at 20/15. He said my vision will continue to get better as my eye continues to heal. 

In the end it cost me around $3000. We were quoted $3250; but somehow it ended up a little cheaper. We were recommended to get this surgery done since we will be moving to Russia to start missions work soon. It's hard to keep up with prescriptions over there. 

We are very thankful The Lord opened this door for me to get this done. I would highly recommend this surgery and my doctors to anyone interested in getting LASIK done. 

Hope this informed you a little bit about LASIK and all it entails!