It is such a thrill to be able to do the one thing I've never been able to do before--drive without contacts or glasses for the first time in my life. I can see my alarm clock at night. When I wake up, I can see my toes! There is NOTHING between me and the world now. I can see with my very own eyeballs and that is a miracle in my opinion.
Was LASIK worth it? YES. Every penny. But the entire process was not without a little minor adjustment in my routine.
BEFORE THE SURGERY
Some things to take into consideration if you decide to have the surgery:
- First, (this was the best advice I got) get a consultation to see if you are even a candidate (My husband and I did some research and found some helpful sites which addressed my questions and explained the difference between some of the cheapo-never-more-than-$499/eye-centers, the quality care and service for your money centers, and the where-will-ALL-my-money-go? centers). I got some opinions from those with first hand experience, asked for referrals, and went to a couple consultations before making my decision on the doctor that I would trust to cut my eyes up.
- If you are a contact wearer, you'll need to be out of your contacts for at least two weeks if not longer, like a month. I didn't have current eyeglass prescription so I purchased new lenses for my old glasses. (Try wearing your glasses underneath sunglasses while you're out on Lake Havasu.)
- You'll need to pick up a box of preservative-free artificial tears (roughly $17 at Costco) and fill your prescription for antibiotic eye drops (ranging anywhere from $50-ish if you have insurance to $80-ish if you don't have insurance). I heard you can negotiate with the pharmacy though I don't know if there is any truth to that. (Dr. Gorski: your insight please?)
- A few days before the surgery, they will do a more in depth exam than during the consultation (measure tearing, eye dialation, etc.)
Now comes the hard part--AFTER THE SURGERY.
- Use one drop of antibiotic 4 times per day for five days
- Use one drop of anti-inflammatory 4 times per day for five days (I wasn't too fond of these drops. One of them left a bad taste in my mouth (literally) every time.)
- Use preservative artificial tears 15-30 minutes for the first day of procedure, every hour from day 2 to day 30 after surgery. Because I opted for collagen punctal plugs in my tear ducts that would last 6 mos., I only need to use the artificial tears every 2 to 3 hours on day 2 through 30.
- Wear these uber sexy goggles to protect my eyes while sleeping or napping for the first 1-2 weeks. (Don't I just look smokin'?!)
- No eye makeup for a week. (It's okay, I didn't have any eye lashes to put mascara on anyway).
- No water in my eyes for 2 weeks--which means I either have to keep my eyes closed while showering (how else am I going to clean myself?) or I can wear goggles (which is not easy to do while shampooing or conditioning my hair)
- No rubbing my eyes for 3 mos., no squeezing eyes shut, no squinting, no strenuous exercise for a week (not a problem this last instruction...LOL)
- For the hours after the procedure, no watching TV, reading, computer work (which meant no blogging), or going anywhere. They basically wanted me to sleep--which I did. Besides, I couldn't see clearly immediatly after the surgery any way (I didn't get to sit up from the surgery table and see right away like I've heard happening. My vision was murky, like being under water or in a room of smoke. It wasn't until the next morning that I saw clearly and boy was it the most glorious feeling to be able to see with my very own eyes!) I had no problems checking out from the time I got home around 5:30 p.m. (four hours later from check-in) all the way until the next morning. I only got up for a brief moment to see my husband when he came home from work (he brought cut flowers and my favorite foods (pad-see-ow and squid salad) from my favorite Thai restaurant). After that, I crashed until 2:30 a.m. when I forced myself awake to use the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops I should have used before bed time.
- FINALLY--the last instruction (not found anywhere on the post-procedure instruction I was given but nevertheless and important point) NO ALCOHOL while I am using the antibiotic drops. (This...was hard for me to swallow but for the most part, I adhered to the post-procedure instructions.)
That's it. That's all you have to do. In my opinion, it's not that much of a temporary inconvenience to be able to see free and clear (hopefully) for a very, very long time.