Monday, August 21, 2006

I Can See!

I had my eye surgery on Thursday and everything went well. I was in and out in 4 hrs instead of 6 hrs, so that was good too.

All in all I'm very happy. It's great to be able to walk into a dark building take of my sunglasses, and still be able to see, instead of having to fumble for my 'regular' glasses first. It's great waking up and doing my hair and not having to put on my glasses to make sure I didn't mess it up somehow. I can walk around my house and see everything; I can look out the window with no glasses on and see that the trees have actual leaves instead of just green blurs. I will be happy when I don't have to put in all the drops, but I'm quite pleased with the results so far.

I'm listening to a LOT of audiobooks right now as I'm not supposed to strain my eyes for the next while. It was sooo hard not to be on the computer the first day. I did cheat and 'glance' at a few emails on the 3rd day, but I've been limiting my TV an extreme amount and no paper books or e-books at all. This is the first day that I've been on the computer for longer than 10 min at a time and that is because it is my first day back at work and 90% of my job is computer work.

The morning went something like this:

  • I filled out a whole bunch of forms which basically said "I know what the risks are and want to have the surgery anyway."
  • After waiting a while, I met with the counsellor to answer any questions I had and make sure I knew what the routine was with all the post op eye drops and such and of course to pay for the operation. - After waiting yet more time, I met with the surgeon who would be doing the surgery to, again, answer any questions I still had and go over what to expect when I when into the operating room.
  • I went right from that consult to the operating room and had to put on a nifty blue hair net. Note to anyone with long hair thinking of getting this done, wear your hair pulled back! It was sooo hard to get all my hair into that net without even having a clip or elastic.
    - I lay down on the table with my head in a U-shaped pillow/holder thingy to keep my head in the right spot and they put in the first of many drops to numb my eyes.
  • Once the settings on the machine were verified they put in the object which holds open the eyes, then put in more drops, then created the flap. It was pretty wild having my vision go to black then come back again, this is totally normal and actually didn't freak me out at all.
  • After folding back the flap they did the laser correction on my right eye. The assistant was great, saying what step we were at and how many more seconds were left to go in a kind of count down. It involved less than 30 seconds of laser time and a faint smell of hair burning. This was the easiest part of the whole process.
  • Then they put the flap back in place and smoothed it out nicely. I could see the little brush thing going over my eye, but couldn't feel it at all. Then yet more drops, this time for antibiotics and help the eye heal. - Then we did it all over again for my left eye.
  • When they were finished with the laser correction I was lead to a darkened room where I had to wait for over 1/2 hr for my eyes to adjust a bit and have a chance for the flap to adhere to the eye again.
  • They called me to a final check of the eyes where they verify your cornea. Since everything looked good, they said I could go home.
  • "Sunglasses good" at this point. My eyes were, and still are, light sensitive.

The next day I was there bright and early for a follow-up exam. I had clear 20/20 vision in my left eye and mostly clear 20/40 vision in my right eye. This means I'm legal to drive. The optometrist also said that this isn't my 'final' vision as they did more correction on my right eye and the vision will keep getting better as the swelling goes down. I'm already noticing an improvement in my right eye as the days go by. I'll be going back in on Thursday for my 1 week follow-up and hope to see a big improvement in my vision then.

I've been putting in liquid tears about every 1/2 hr. The post-op instructions say I could go to every 1-2 hrs after the first day, but my eyes have been drying out pretty quickly so I've been keeping them lubricated as much as possible. I have to put in antibiotic drops every 4 hrs for the first 5 days, so I can stop doing that after tonight. I also have to wear shields over my eyes when I sleep for the first 7 days, so that I don't accidentally rub my eyes and cause the cornea to fold or wrinkle or something equally icky.

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