Hey Curlfriends! Back again for another blog I see! Thank you so much for your support! My blog has been growing immensely and I am beginning to see the growth in our small community. Feel free to comment below and make a new CurlFriend!
I chose not to write about hair today because many of you had so many questions about my experience with Lasik that I had to address them on all platforms. Needless to say, I will be posting a bit more this month to make up for any lost content!
So first thing first!
What is Lasik?
Lasik is a corrective surgery that reshapes the inner cornea. This will in turn change the way your eye processes light. The surgeon would creates a customized cornea (flap) using a microkeratome (a surgical oscillating blade ). Then, the surgeon would remove your cornea and then reshape the cornea with the new flap. It is not to be confused with PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy), this is the procedure where they scrape the top layer of your cornea with a metal brush to improve eyesight. It is much safer than Lasik, with less side effects, although lasik is just as safe.
Why did I need Lasik?
When I was in the second grade my mom took me to an eye doctor spontaneously. I suppose it was because I was an avid reader. There are many theories as to why I am blind as a bat, however, my eye opener (no pun intended) was when the doctor told my mom I would need glasses. WTH? Then she picked out the ugliest red glasses. I looked like Steve Urkel. I knew when I returned to school, the kids would laugh at me.
I would carelessly and purposefully leave my glasses in the car where they would melt or break them on purpose. Over time I got crafty since my glasses seemed indestructible and I knew I would get my butt whooped if I “lost” them. Eventually, my eye doctor got tired of my shenanigans and told me that my eyes have gotten to the point if I don’t wear my corrective glasses, I could be blind by my twentieth birthday!
Over the years, my parents, the military and I have spent thousands of dollars for my glasses. The older I got, the worse my eyesight became. I began getting migraines, blurred vision, and horrible night vision. I knew I had a problem when I was driving late at night in my 2001 Volkswagen Cabrio and I hit a man on his bike. (He was okay.) I vowed I would never drive without my glasses again. Wearing glasses became a pain and expensive. Contacts were not an option because my eye was in the shape of a football rather that a baseball. My astigmatism was pretty bad.
The Spontaneous Decision
One day I was getting ready to set up my appointment with the Veteran’s Affairs. They told me because I had already gotten my free pair, the total costs would come up to $600. I quickly logged out. From that moment on I began being stalked by plenty of ads for glasses and lasik. I have never considered Lasik before, as a matter of fact, I only thing I “thought” I knew about Lasik, was that they used a metal brush to brush your eye.
No thank you. Fast forward now. After spending thousands on my glasses and no improvement, I figured… What could a free consultation hurt?
I set up my appointment and I was in the office the very next day!
My First Consultation
I went to my first appointment. They ran a few tests on my eyes and had me fill out forms and asked basic questions. While I was in the lobby, they let me watch a video which completely eased my fears of the surgery.
I asked the basic questions: Will it hurt? How long will it last? Will I be asleep? What are the risks of me going blind? How soon after can I see? Any restrictions?
They were quite patient as I had recited the questions over and over to see if the answers would change. The nurse went as far as to touch my eyeball to show me how it would feel. They decided to give me a prescription of a double dose of Vicodin to calm my nerves. They also prescribed me two vials of eye drop antibiotics and told me to pic a pack of eye drops in the vials to avoid infection and dry eyes.
After I met with the doctor, they were able to give me a clear glance at what the costs were. From the ads, I just knew it was going to be $250 for the surgery. I was clearly mistaken. Because of my absurd amount of astigmatism, I was given the grand total of a whooping $1,800 PER EYE! Apparently, the $250 was for people with fair eyesight and that was per eye as well. So do not expect to spend less than $500.
We went over financial plans and I went with the option that worked best for me. Total there were 3 options for each tier depending on your eyes.
They set me up with an appointment the day before the surgery to have my eyes dilated. At this was the beginning of my journey.
The Day Before the Surgery
That Thursday, I took an Uber which costed me about $12.31 because they told me I would not be able to drive home. I got there and they dilated my eyes and ran more tests to ensure the accuracy for the surgery. I was given my prescription and told to start my drops from the night before. I went to Walmart to pick up my prescription and the total was about $167!
Then I remembered goodrx.com. They give you a huge discount on prescription medication. I was able to drop my tab down to $67!
The Day of Surgery
The day of my surgery. They gave me more tests to make sure they had the right prescription. They explained to me EXACTLY THIS:
- When you go in, you are going to lay still cover your left eye.
- We will put a clamp on your eye to keep it open.
- You cannot fall asleep.
- Remove your sweater because it is linty, we don’t want it in your eye.
- Follow the surgeons every word.
- You will feel a “little” pressure do not be alarmed.
- Each eye will take about 5 seconds tops!
- AND THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE! STAY PERFECTLY STILL!
Simple enough right? Wrong!
I felt my pits sweating, my pelvic area, my forehead. Mind you, the operating room is on 60 degrees! I took my Vicodin, and I started psyching myself up for this. You can do this. Ten seconds and you are a free woman.
As soon as my head hit the pillow, I began trembling uncontrollably. I could tell my doctor was getting annoyed of my antics. They brought in two nurses to calm me down. He then put numbing drops in my eye. I felt a little as ease…. That is until I felt the cold, sharp metal of the clamp ripping my eyes open. “Your eyes will be numb not the eyelid by the way.” “WHAT???!!!!!” I started freaking out again!
Then he said we are almost there, I covered my left eye with the black spoon, and I looked up at the green dot. All of a sudden he said he was about to begin. I clenched my teeth so hard and held my breath. Nothing prepared me for what was next! I felt the blade cutting my eyeball. It almost felt like a dull tattoo needle. The thought of my eyeball being sliced again played tricks with my mind.
I began to smell a burning smell, almost like when a bug flies into a bug zapper. THEN IT HIT ME… IT WAS MY EYE THAT I WAS SMELLING.
He counted backward from 5 to 1 slowly. The next thing I knew the room was pitch black. No little green light. No bright white light. No nothing. I tried opening my eyes but then I realized that my eyes were already open.
Wth is going on? Did I move? Am I blind forever? WTF? After my moment of panic, I began seeing some light but it was as if I had layered my eyeball with vaseline. I still couldn’t see. Just the white from the light. He put a clear coat of liquid on my eye and finally, my vision began to restore. PHEW! Then he put a contact lens/ cup on my eye as a protective “bandaid” which he would remove the next day. This is to ensure proper healing of the new flap.
Now it was time for the left eye. I felt it WAY MORE than the right eye. This time they had to hold me down because I was having second thoughts about completing the surgery. I still got through it. They escorted me to the next room to rest my eyes in the dark.
I DID IT! The surgery was a success!
They gave me a little kit with all the tools and directions I needed to make sure my eyes healed properly and set me an appointment the next day to remove the “bandaids.” In the kit I recieved:
- A pair of 100% UV Protection Sunglasses
- One Pair of Goggles that I would need for sleeping and for sex… YES I SAID SEX
- A thank you card
- Care instructions for the next 90 days.
- They let me know I couldn’t do any exercise for the first 14 days. I could submerge my face in water. I have to keep my eyes lubricated at all times. No rubbing the eyes. DO NOT SLEEP OR HAVE SEX WITHOUT THE GLASSES. No sports, skydiving, etc.
Once I left the office, I should have gone home and sleep for about 3 hours. I won’t disclosed what I did after. Eventually, I fell asleep. When I woke up. THE AMOUNT OF CRUST THAT MY EYES DISPELLED, IT WAS DISGUSTING. IT WAS CRUSTED SHUT!
I had to delicately pry my eyes open. In the week that I have had the surgery, I have experienced:
- pain behind my eyeballs
- blurry vision
- aggressively itchy eyes
- tired eyes
I do think this would happen when it was either time to hydrate my eyes or for the antibiotics, however, blurry vision can last up to 3 months of the surgery. It does get better over time.
Overall, my advice for anyone who would like to try Lasik. Set the the appointment for the free consultation. Do not talk to your family or friends about it because they might try to talk you out of it while being grossly misinformed. Once you have an educated opinion from a PROFESSIONAL in that field, you will know if it is right for you.
I know this post was long, but I want to make sure I answered all of the questions that was asked.
Will it hurt? Not too bad. Just hold your breath so you won’t get freaked out from the smell. The worst part is the clamp.
How long will it last? The entire procedure took about 3 minutes including prep.
Will I be asleep? No, you need to be awake.
What are the risks of me going blind? 0.0000000000000000001% There are always a risk but this won’t be a common risk for this procedure.
How soon after can I see? After you get off the table.
Any restrictions? Yes. No strenuous activity.
Should I do both eyes at once? I would recommend it. If not, you will never go back for the other one.
Is it worth it? YES!
Will I have to do the surgery again? Depends. Each person is different. If your eye changes every year, then yes in as little as 10 years. If it pretty much stays the same, then you can get away with no more eye surgery.
Comment below if you have any questions or if you want to share your own experiences or concerns!
Remember to Dream Big! Take Chances! And Never Stop Learning!
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