i'm not back. i'm not, lori! ;)
but i had laser eye corrective surgery and want to document how it all went down. i scoured the internet for blogs when i found out i was having PRK (instead of LASIK), so want to add my experience to the myriad of others.
because some of the others i've read are sort of terrifying.
but i sit here on day six, slightly blurry-eyed, but back to work (yesterday) and feeling great. so let me break it down.
i won't go into the differences between LASIK and PRK (do it yourself!), except to say that my corneal thickness and left eye crappy prescription excluded me from the (easier) LASIK route. so PRK it is.
i would also like to say that i did my research and chose my doctor accordingly, but honestly...i found a groupon. so there it is. very un-keri.
Day #1 - surgery day!
i did my PRK at the laser vision institute in st. louis. dr. charles miller was my doctor. i saw him for about 15 minutes. the rest of the (five hours) time was spent waiting. and taking a valium. i was finally brought into the operating room, had my eyes held open with patches and lots of stuff squirted in my eyes. i starred at a light while they messed with my eyes. it wasn't super pleasant, sort of gross, but manageable and just really...freaky. but quick and painless. i rested a bit afterwards, put on my sunglasses and went back to my step-mom's to rest.
two types of drops four times a day (steroid + antibiotic) and rewettening drops a lot. i made sure to use the wettening drops as much as possible to avoid dry eyes. they also gave me percoset and instructions to take a half if i felt pain. well. i just took the half (and the recommended iburophen) to keep ahead of any pain. good stuff.
i was tired, but didn't have any pain at all. they put a bandage contact over the exposed section of your eye (will be taken off on saturday!), and that was the only thing i could feel. i could see a little bit, but my vision was off-kilter and blurry. to be expected.
Day #2 - post-op appointment and pain!
i woke up feeling really good. the light sensitivity was there, but still no pain. i made sure to take the ibuprophen and did all of the drops as recommended. all good.
the post-op appointment was easy. the opthomologist checked my eyes, said it all looked good, and told me to go hole-up at home in the dark and ride it out. days two and three are the worst following surgery (and this is the major difference between LASIK and PRK. LASIK has an easy-peasy recovery. PRK, not so much). when the doctor told me that, i was all...yeah, i got this. i was expecting pain, but it was super easy so far. i totally thought i was going to dodge that bullet.
and then at almost exactly 24 hours after my surgery, it all went south. the light sensitivity was brutal. my eyes didn't even want to open..even in a darkened room. i cursed my light-filled house. i had 18 (two) pairs of sunglasses on and it still sucked. it also felt like tiny needles were in my eyes, but it wasn't as bad as the light sensitivity. i just made sure to take my percoset and iburophen and tough it out. i had moments of greatness where i would fold some lauundry, but those were few and far between. so i just slept.
Day #3 - holy light sensitivity.
brutal, brutal light sensitivity. brutal. my eyes would roll around when i tried to open them. i'm not going to lie. i was getting nervous. i kept thinking - what if my muscles have weakened in my eyes? is this what it's going to be like? i kept my two pairs of sunglasses on, but it wasn't my favorite day. i stayed in the darkest room in the house and slept the majority of the day. just me and my percoset/iburophen. the pain wasn't too bad - wasn't great - but manageable. it was the freaking lights. again, cursing my light-filled house. why all the windows? WHY ALL THE WINDOWS?
Day #4 - okay.
i woke up to light sensitivity again. was it as bad? probably not. but i made a decision that i was going to force the issue. i was due back to work the next day and there was NO WAY i could go with the light sensitivity the way it was. so. i started in a dark-ish room and held open my eyes. i would close for five seconds, open for 10. close for five, open for 15, and kept going unti i was pretty comfortable in that room. and then i moved into a slightly less-dark room. and i did this all.day.long. it was like a workout for my eyes. and it worked. the light sensitivity improved dramatically over the course of the day. but that night, when my eyes were tired, it sucked again. i sat at the table in the kitchen with two pairs of sunglasses on and just...sat there. wasn't sure how work was going to be the next day.
Day #5 - back to work, here we go.
i woke up with minimal light sensitivity! hooray! i drove to work! yay! just one pair of sunglasses and was feeling really great. my eyes felt dry and a blurry, but i could certainly see enough to feel comfortable on the road. i had our janitor take out one of the lights in my office, and that helped a lot. i looked like death warmed over (NO MAKE-UP FOR TWO WEEKS <-- almost a dealbreaker for the surgery, not gonna lie), but i made it through the entire day and out to dinner that night. my eyesight has improved dramatically, and the only thing that bothers me is the dry-eye feeling. and that will hopefully go away when they take off the bandage contact this saturday. it just feels as though i have slept in my contacts. really feeling good.
Day #6 - today!
at work and my eyes just feel dry like i slept in my contacts. zero pain and my vision is really clearing up. it will take several weeks/months for the clarity to really be there, but i am truly at a point now that i can see almost as good as with my contacts. almost. i felt a little bit emotional this morning when i looked at my alarm clock and could clearly read the numbers...and could get out of the shower and put on my make up (JUST KIDDING - no make-up...except i did put on some bb foundation and cream blush. but nothing powder and nothing on my eyes. except i did curl my eyelashes BECAUSE I AM SO SO VAIN).
but i had such a sense of relief that i seem to be just fine. it's such a nerve-wracking thing, messing with your eyes, and i'm so glad that it all turned out okay. days two and three really sucked bad. and four wasn't great. but compared to some experiences with PRK, i'm getting off pretty easy.
we'll see how saturday goes once my bandage contact is removed. i've heard that vision will decrease afterwards for a time. i'm not looking forward to that.
will update again soon!