Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let There Be Sight

I have worn glasses since the 4th grade when my teacher expressed concern because I was having trouble seeing the chalkboard.  In 7th grade, all of my friends started getting contacts so I jumped on the bandwagon and begged and pleaded with my mom to let me do the same.  For 17 years, I have been placing little plastic hemispheres on my eyeball each and every morning. Though contacts are much more convenient than wearing glasses, they are still a pain. 

Contact wearers are always having to haul a contact case and solution and glasses with them on vacation. Being extremely careful when swimming not to open their eyes under water or get splashed in the eyes.  I often take an extra pair of contacts with me just in case I lose one, drop one or one falls out. I never felt comfortable going out and making a last minute decision to stay at someone else's house because I didn't like sleeping in my contacts.  Taking a nap or even closing my eyes for fifteen minutes was always inconvenient because I would wake up with my contacts glued to my eyes.  Getting an eyelash or fleck of mascara in my eye always seemed to be the most painful thing ever. And it always seemed to happen when I didn't have any solution or drops available. 

All of these issues will be a thing of the past come Friday.  After weeks of consideration and bugging my eye doctor and his staff with a million and one questions, I took a huge leap and made an appointment to have LASIK corrective surgery.  Because we are talking about my eyeballs and my sight here (omg!), I decided to go with the most precise (and most expensive) procedure with the least amount of room for error possible - Intralase. And it is soooooo going to be worth it! 

I am very excited and very, very nervous.  I mean, we are talking about one of the most precious senses our body has.  Hence the reason it took me three weeks and a half dozen stops at my eye doctor's office to make the decision.  Now, the day is nearly here!

I have already started preparing for surgery. Monday was my pre-op where they dilated my eyes (pic above) and, again, performed another eye exam. I was given a prescription for antibiotic drops for my eyes - one drop every four hours for three days.  I was also given a packet full of information (some of the information seemed a little three pages explaining what LASIK and Intralase are).  Included in the packet are instructions to prepare for surgery and what to do post-op.  I was a bit surprised by some of the instructions.

  • If you wear anything with a scent or have cigarette smoke in your clothes, your surgery may be cancelled since this hinders the operation of the laser. No scented hairspray, gels, mousses, after-shave cologne, lotions or perfumes. My-oh-my!
  • No smoking the day of surgery, before or after the procedure. Um, yeah, no problems there.
  • No eye make-up for 2 days before your surgery.  OUCH! Hello. This one hurts. But it's worth it.
  • No face make-up of any kind the day of surgery. This I can handle.
  • Do not wear any facial jewelry.  No problem.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol at least 24 hours before your surgery. Yeah, this one really hurts too. Because, you know, I LOVE Mountain Dew.  But I'll survive.
  • Wear comfortable, casual clothing. The laser room is kept cool. No problem. Casual clothing is my favorite kind!
  • Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of your procedure. Eat a light meal before your appointment.  Well, considering the no caffeine rule, I think the water thing is a given. Check!
  • You may not drive yourself home. Please make arrangements for transportation home. Check! Thanks mom and grumpy!  Since they give you valium, I didn't figure I'd be driving. Duh.
The make-up thing really hurts. My instructions also say no eye make-up for two weeks after surgery. That is going to suck too!  Eye make-up is the most essential part of my make-up routine. But, it's going to be worth it. Totally.  Other than that, goggles are required for sleeping. That should be interesting.  No exercise for a week. No swimming, hot tubs, sauna or tanning for two weeks.  And no rubbing for four weeks.   Piece of cake. I hope. 

The countdown has begun. Less than 48 hours until my LASIK appointment.  The anxiety hasn't quite yet begun, but it will surely keep me up the night before surgery.  Though I am nervous, I am also excited about the prospect of being able to see. To see when I wake up in the morning, to see the alarm clock, to see my legs when I'm trying to shave in the shower, to see more than just an outline of My Friend's face at night, to see without having to stick my finger in my eye every morning.  The outlook is very positive. I can't wait to explore the sights with my new eyes very soon!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. You MUST tell us what the procedure and recovery were like. I'm so interested in getting Lasik myself someday.