Brand New Eyes

Sat, Aug 21, 2021 5-minute read

After years of thinking about it, I FINALLY took the plunge! I got LASIK yesterday!

I was unsure about it mostly becuase they take a laser to your flippin' eyeballs, and I just wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be with that. To be honest, I’m done with it and I’m still not sure if I’m comfortable with it. It’s a laser beam! Aimed at your EYES.

I had a consultation a week ago and I passed with flying colors. The doc basically said I was a vanilla case. Just about as standard as they come. Which … to be fair, kind of rings true for my entire life. I’m a pretty vanilla person, and I’m happy that my eyes have followed suit. So with no concerns and a clean bill of health, I set up the appointment and waited for the big day.

It’s kind of amazing how little prep time you need once you go in. They gave me some prescriptions to fill before I came in so I’d have everything available on the day of surgery. They hooked me up with a steroid eye drop, some anti-biotics, and a valium. Only two Valium because this isn’t a time to get too crazy. Everyone gets a couple to help them sleep after surgery. More on that in a second.

After double-checking all my prescription stuff and eye curvature, they got me back to start getting me prepped. After about 15 minutes to let the Valium kick in, they took me backand the fun stuff started. It was kind of like just being processed. They were super cool about the whole thing and took a lot of care with me, but I could tell this has become a bit of a rhythm for them. The room was actually kind of loud, which I didn’t expect. I guess the laser can be kind of noisy. They dumped some droped in my eyes, I laid on the table and we got down to business.

Everything about the surgery was easy. I can’t emphasize enough how little discomfort I felt during the whole thing. They’re fiddling with your eyes, so it’s the weirdest you’ll likely ever feel in a surgery, but it was not bad. Nothing hurt and at no point was I worried that I was going to screw it up. They basically just lay you down, tell you to stare at a green light, and then they’re done. The worst part was them cutting the flap in my eye. So with LASIK, they cut this thing layer of your cornea (the flap) and then they do the laser correction under that flap. It helps your eye heal faster and is just a better option than PRK, which involves reshaping your cornea on the outside. That’s pretty intense.

The suction bit was the worst. I thought they were going to push my eye through the back of my head. It was really helpful that the doctor was there talking me through it and letting me know what was normal and everything. Nothing strange happened. The other thing that struck me as odd was that she told me to stare at the green light, but it wasn’t long before the little pinpoint green light became a big green smudge. It was really weird how my eye felt like a camera lense at one point. There as all this stuff happening on it, and I could see it, but it was like it was millimeters in front and not directly on my eye. I guess when they are working that close, that’s just how it works. After just a few minutes, I was sitting up and told I needed to go home and go to sleep.

That was it! I could see, although it was a little blurry at first, and I was headed home to take a nap.

That’s when things got GNARLY.

I was able to fall asleep pretty quick thanks to the Valium, but it didn’t take long for the pain to wake me right back up. I knew it was going to burn, but I had NO idea how inescapable and uncomfortable that burning was going to be. My eyes were watering uncontrollably, my nose was running and stopped up, I couldn’t breathe, and it was just generally impossible to fall back to sleep in that condition. I did manage to get up and blindly go blow my nose. I was terrified to open my eyes just because I wanted to keep them closed as long as I could so they could recover well. It was at that point that I was pretty happy with my ability to navigate my bedroom with my eyes shut. So in the midst of this, I did do a little celebratory dance that no one will ever get to see.

Once I managed to FINALLY fall back to sleep, I stayed that way for a few hours. That second time I woke up was amazing! I could see and my eyes were only minorly irritated. It was like someone flipped a switch and turned off the hellfire that was emanating from my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. Once the morning came around, I just wandered around the house looking at things. All the things. I was reading board game boxes from across the room just because I could. I was amazing. It’s still amazing! I can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this with my regular, God given eyeballs.

I’ve spent a lot of the day resting a bit more and closing my eyes regularly. I feel like a new person now. 24 hours later and I can barely tell I had anything done. My eyes are just a bit more dry than usual, but I’m using the natural tears stuff they prescribed to keep them good and wet to help with healing.

I ended up with my left eye seeing 20/15 and my right eye at 20/20. I really couldn’t ask for more than that, and I’m grateful to live in a time where this is a thing we can do. Now at least I know that when the apocalypse hits and glasses/contacts are impossible to find, I’ll be able to see. There’s something to be said for that. Not many apocalypse movies have people wearing glasses. Think about that for a little while.