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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Getting Lasik

I finally pulled the trigger. With a $1200 off coupon (for $12) and $950 saved up in my HSA for medical use, I decided to finally get Lasik surgery.

To be fair, I'm probably the least likely person to need such a procedure. The only reason my contacts bug me constantly is because I never wore them correctly. They are 30-day night and day lenses, and they say you can sleep in them (although eye doctors are against that), so it was like having Lasik surgery because they just sit in your eyes and you forget about them most days. Until your eyes start itching, you rub them a lot, the lens moves, or pops out, or gets cloudy. Sometimes if you rub enough it'll slide up to another part of your eyeball or fold over on itself and it'll feel like you're being stabbed in the eyeball every time you blink. I'd often pinch my eye trying to take them out, which is why I would just leave them in my eyes until one of them became unmanageable and then I'd just replace that one lens with another. They're a pain sure, but much better than glasses, no doubt.

[Case in point, I literally just experienced my worst nightmare while in the shower the other day; having been forced to wear my glasses before my procedure I was all but blind while taking a shower and yup, there was a spider.] 

I decided to take the plunge with Lasik after an experience of driving out to the mountains in the middle of the night to take milky way photos, and my contact was being horrible and blurry and I finally decided to see if I could rinse it real quick and put it back in my eye, and it never made it back in my eye and I drove up the windy roads in the dark, basically blind in one eye. Good times.

Anyway so here was my experience: I chose King Lasik due to the massive amount of good reviews and the extensive training Dr King has had doing these surgeries. Plus, they added a satellite location down in Tacoma which would make my follow ups much easier to do. I was able to make an appointment online for Monday 8/6, and the consult was basically just checking my eyes to make sure I was a good candidate. The doc there told me that I had slightly dry eyes (which I had no idea) recommended that I start taking an omega-3 supplement. After that was done, I talked to a lady about how much it would cost, and I booked my surgery for that very Saturday. Basically it is $5,000, but that includes the wavefront scan [which makes it a custom Lasik procedure, much safer. Read up on it here], using the Intralase laser instead of the microkeratome [read up on that here], and lifetime enhancements in case my eyesight were to ever regress to needing a prescription again (which, admittedly, is a very low chance).
I got my two eye drop prescriptions filled (one is an antibiotic, the other is a steroid drop) and went in on Saturday with my mom so that she could drive me home. They first took me back to do the wavefront test on my eyes and gave me a care package that included sunglasses, sleeping glasses, and of course, a tumbler. And then I went over financials with another guy. Obviously they will need payment upfront because it's a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance. That's when I also received my one lorazepam pill. After that, I was taken to their "relaxation suite" to wait for my turn. They were pumpin' people in and out of this office; it was crazy. Lasik can be done in about 15 minutes. Add that to about a 15 min turnaround time to prep and sterilize the room, they were gettin'em done every 30 minutes.

The Lorazepam kicked in while I was waiting, and it made me tired and heavy but didn't do much to alleviate my anxiety.  I got to meet Dr. King to ask any questions before I was walked into the laser room. 

First step was the numbing drops; and then I was put into position for the first laser. This laser is the uncomfortable one. He places a plastic shield over one eye and tapes the other shut, and it causes pressure on your socket. The laser is then pressed directly down onto that shield, creating even more pressure. All I could see were these little flashing pinpricks of light as the laser cut open my corneal flap. After both eyes were done, I was completely blurry as I was walked over to the other chair. I laid down on this one, and my eyelashes got taped back. The worst part was Dr. King having to lift the corneal flap. I could feel it, and it was disturbing and uncomfortable. The lorzeapam was barely helping at this point. I was breathing heavily and was super anxious; wondering how I'd feel without the drug in my system. Now that the corneal flap was out of the way, all I had to do then was stare at the laser, and smell the retinal tissue burning (smells like burning hair).

Then, it was over. I felt a little ill, and I was shaking, but otherwise okay. Dr. King checked my eyes with the microscope quickly and declared me a success. Hooray? After that, I got to go home. I wore the wrap-around night-time glasses basically all afternoon. I had to avoid straining my eyes, so I couldn't get on my phone or computer, or watch TV. I have to take both sets of drops every 4 hours for a week, and the refresh drops ever 1-2 hours for 2 weeks. I also can't rub my eyes and I have to wear the night mask for the next week.

Like they say, the first couple hours after the procedure are the worst, but I think I personally got off very lucky. I managed to sleep for a little over an hour after I got home, but I had a stinging sensation in my eyes for a couple of hours. They didn't water much at all. It was just kind of uncomfortable. And my eyes felt fatigued so even though I wanted to check out how good my eyes have gotten, I just continued to wear the night mask (which isn't really a "mask", just sunglasses with foam for comfort) and keep my eyes closed for the remainder of the afternoon. I did end up with burst blood vessels in each eye which should dissipate in about a week, otherwise, I was/am doing very well.

Today at my post op, I got my "legal to drive" card that overrides the "c" on my driver's license. I have 20/20 vision now, even though I'm still having some hazy blurriness from the procedure, which should go away in a few days. She also told me "Good job not rubbing your eyes. I don't see any wrinkles." and I was basically like "wat???" in my head. I had no idea that I could flipping winkle my corneas. That's a good reason not to rub your eyes. Much more convincing than someone just saying "don't rub your eyes". I'd be like, "bitch please." lol

Anyway, now that my vision is fixed, is anyone interested in contact lens solution and about a year's worth of -3.00d Air Optix night and day contacts? (They aren't cheap!!) Hit me up if you're interested. 

Man, I sure am going to miss my anti-onion powers.

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