Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laser Me

I had laser eye surgery two weeks ago tomorrow at Lasik MD here in Toronto.
I was quite nervous prior to the procedure due to the media, stories like Kathy Griffin's, and a general rumour that things could go wrong.  This wasn't helped when I went in for my consultation as they give you three prices, $2400 for the surgery, $2900 for the surgery and a 5 year guarantee, or $3900 for a custom wavefront surgery and a lifetime guarantee.  I had already decided the $4000 was too much but if I took the $2400 would I be blind or have the dreaded night vision problems?  And they said I had *gasp* large pupils!  Run for the hills.
All of this was played up like a bad horror film and if I didn't get the $4k option I may as well shoot myself.  Having previously decided $4k was too much, it made me wonder if I should just skip the whole thing.
I started looking around on message boards and found a few people who were very unhappy making 75,000 posts per day.  The best/worst was this one girl who wrote in for advice and some guy wrote back to her as her future self. "This is your future self writing.  You decided to have the surgery and now you're blind, your dog died, the world ended" etc. etc.
The thing that changed my mind is talking to people in my office who have actually had the surgery.  They all said they loved it, it was the best decision they ever made, and any problems they had were very small in relation to having to wear glasses.

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I opted for the cheapest surgery with no warranty.  The warranty reminded me of electronics stores where they sucker you in.
I was nervous the night before and slept little.  On the day of the surgery, I woke up and took a tranquilizer. Once I arrived at the clinic I took another.  I knew I had the option of watching a video of the surgery beforehand but I had opted not to, the "Clockwork Orange" eye opener thing was too creepy.
I waited and filled out forms, saying things like "I agree not to hold the clinic libel" or "I understand the risks" or "I acknowldge the surgery may do nothing and I have no options". I didn't care at that point I was pretty relaxed.
They gave me another tranqilizer and they took me in to a room and I lay down, they put drops in my eyes and taped my eyelashes down.  The metal eye holder thing is no big deal, it looks terrible but you don't even feel it, especially with the numbing drops they use. They put a suction cup on my eye which apparently cuts it for the flap, I didn't feel a thing.  Nothing.  They lift the flap up which is a weird sensation but again I felt nothing and then you look into the laser.  All kinds of lights flashed around my head, like when you rub your eyes for too long and see stars.  I could smell my eyes burning from the laser, which was also weird and then it was over.  They put on sunglasses on my face and led me out.  I waited in the waiting room while someone came by to put drops in every few minutes.  When I could leave I took a cab home and fell asleep.  I don't remember how well my vision was at that point, I was really out of it from all the drugs. 
I awoke six hours later, about midnight, and it was a miracle, I could see.  I felt fine, no pain, I was paranoid about touching my face as they said I could move the flap so nothing above the cheeks was touched.  When I put in the drops I let them run down my face which was also weird but no wiping.
I went back the next morning and had 20/40 vision and was given clearance to watch a little TV or read.  Previous to that I wasn't allowed to focus my eyes so I would just listen to the tv.
The doctor said there was some inflamation and advised me to take more eye drops.
The next day I went outside at night and when I looked at the street lights or headlights of cars I did see a halo around them but it was really a minor complaint and even if it never improved I knew it was better than glasses.

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It's now two weeks since my surgery. I was a passenger in a car last night and had no halos or night vision problems. The inflamation in my eyes (which I never felt) is gone and I only have to use the drops three times a day now.  I expect this will lessen as time goes on.
I am beyond happy with the results.  I got my hair cut the other day and I could see what she was doing.  My vision is 20/20 and better than it was before even with glasses.  I love it, I love it, I love it.  Very glad I got it done.