Monday, August 28

I CAN SEE

I made it through and it is great to not need contacts or glasses at all. I currently have 20/20 vision which I have not had since I was a kid. Unbelievable.

It definitely was one of the scariest things I have ever done.

When you first get there they double check your vision using the chart and prescription do hickey that you say better 1 or 2, 3 or 4, etc. Then you leave all of your possessions with your designated driver. Including your glasses.

They lead you into a back waiting area where they swab all around your eyes with iodine and then make you take Benedryl. Why Benedryl I am not sure. But I was proud of myself for being somewhat calm and deciding to not take the Valium. Already back there is a couple on one of the couches and another lady on the couch next to the chair I decide to sit in. OH-nearly forgot they make you put on a surgical cap and cover all of your hair and put gauze under it and over your ears so that drops don't run into your ears. That was a pretty sight. At least I can imagine it was because I couldn't see anyone clearly enough to tell you. Everyone is fuzzy except the man who is only there to lend support to his wife. HE has his glasses on still so he was able to see. He offered to help me turn on the massage chair if I wanted to sit in it but I thought that would just make me more nervous so I stayed put. We all chatted briefly about our prescription strength and I was the lowest so I guess that is something....

The other 2 ladies were taken back before me so I was left to myself for a few minutes. Then they called my name. I tried to put on a brave face but I fear it didn't work. The "helper man" (HM) walked me to the first laser that was going to cut the corneal flap in each eye. He did warn me that it would go black while it was going. My eyes were numbed with drops and then it started. You have to try to lie still as you are tipped backwards in a dental type chair. Feet in the air. They put a cover over one eye and then suction cup a device over the eye they are working on. That didn't really hurt but it was a lot of pressure and did freak me out a bit. I tried to stay still and control my breathing but I was struggling a bit. The laser did its job and I couldn't see anything for a minute or so. When it was done that eye was extremely cloudy. They moved me a bit and did the second eye. The whole time I am thinking I don't even know if my eye is straight since I can't see a thing since you are "blind" while the laser was making its path along my cornea. Yikes. Once both eyes were done HM had me get up and go into the next laser room. He held my hand and guided me along. I still don't know what he really looks like but he is being very gentle and comforting. He reassures me that it is ok that it looks like I am looking through a bunch of bubbles. And in my head I think that is exactly what it looks like. How'd he get into my head?

In the next laser room I am left alone for 10 minutes for more drops to take effect. I am supposed to keep my eyes closed this whole time. I try to relax and I start to hear someone moving around. Next thing I know the Dr. is introducing himself and moving me under the laser that will now change the shape of my eyes. He again covers the left eye while they start with the right one. He asks me to look up as far as I can. He tapes my eyelid but I can't really tell if I am doing it right. I must be since he then told me to look down as far as I can and he again puts tape to hold my eye open. Dr. tells me to watch the red light. I think I am doing this and I hope I am doing this. I hope my eye is not wandering as my mind is. I can feel myself start to panic a bit as I smell the laser working it's magic and the Dr. must have sensed this as well. Before I can really get myself worked up I feel a gentle touch of the Dr.'s hand as he puts it on the side of my face. It was so reassuring that it calmed me down immediately. He did have to tell me to keep watching the red light during my left eye so I must have wandered but he wasn't at all gruff about it. Which again calmed me. The strangest part is before and after the 2nd laser does it's thing the doctor is swiping and brushing and fluttering my eyeball. At least that is what it seems like since I can't really feel it nor see it. It was as if he was tickling my eye with a feather. I knew he was moving my cornea and replacing it and making sure it all went back together correctly but it was almost comical in a surreal sort of way.

I know during each phase I was clenching my hands together and holding my breath as I do in the dentist office. But it was fast. Thank goodness it was fast. The parts that really shook me were the suction cup thingy and the smell. The smell wasn't really a burnt flesh sort of smell but it was definitely a hot burning smell. Thank goodness it was fast.

I was taken in the back waiting room at 3:00 and I was out the door and heading to the car by 3:30. But not before they put the clear plastic guards taped to my forehead. Now that was a lovely sight. And not before they snapped a picture of me with the doctor before I had a chance to catch my breath after the surgery. Again another beautiful picture. You have to go back in the next day for a follow up 1 day after surgery. At this visit when you are seeing clearly they present you with this photo. I couldn't even look at it. Oh my it was bad.

My sister was quite happy she decided to drive me since she was able to get a chair massage while she waited for me. They have food, drinks, TV, massages and who knows what else that they give kindly and freely to the people in the waiting area.

I couldn't really see too well Friday on the way home as my eyes were very sensitive to the light. Similar to when you get them dilated. You are supposed to go home and sleep for 3-4 hours so that you keep your eyes closed. It helps them heal faster and better. But with a 4 year old that wasn't a possibility. I did keep them closed the majority of the time until 6:30 (which was then 3 hours post-op). My husband was nice enough to go get pizza so that I didn't have to cook. But by 7:30 I needed to make brownies for a BBQ at John and Lauri's house on Saturday. I meant to make them before work on Friday but forgot. Then I decided to give Jaclyn a bath since I knew I wouldn't have time on Saturday. My husband thought I was crazy but it really wasn't that hard to do by that point. I was really feeling like something was in my left eye and it kept running but my right eye was fine. By 8:00pm both eyes felt fine. I took some motrin around 9pm and Jaclyn and I both went to bed.

Jaclyn was so sweet when she got home. I actually was home first and was lying on the couch when her and J got home. She came in and just started rubbing my leg and saying, "Poor mommy. I am going to take good care of you." over and over. It was the cutest thing. She really does have a good heart.

When I woke up Saturday morning both eyes felt great. They weren't really light sensitive anymore and I was able to drive myself back to the office for my check up. All was well and my goodness my vision is 20/20. Amazing....

Now I just have to get past not wearing any eye makeup for a week. That is the hardest part for me. At least when I am not at home.

4 comments:

Lauri said...

My that does sound scary... but the benefits seem to be great... so glad your feeling better & it was nice seeing you at the bbq

Jenn (formerly gibby23roarof84) said...

The procedure itself sounds frightening, but what I'd give to be able to see without glasses or contacts!! If I could just hit the lotto. :-)

Diana said...

I'm so glad it all worked out wonderfully. I'm still way too chicken to do it, but that doesn't mean I'm not awed by (and ever so slightly envious of) those who do it. I've worn glasses since I've been 7 or 8. I can't fathom what it's like to see without lenses, but thank goodness contacts work fine for me.

jeneflower said...

Congrats that you made it through! It is so worth it!