Sunday, March 25, 2012

I now spy....

....with both eyes 

For the first time in years, I am able to read the digital clock that sits next to my bed, watch television and see the dashboard of my car clearly without glasses.

For the 7 days prior to my Lasik surgery, I was so excited.  The morning of, I was a nervous wreck.  It was an hour drive to the doctors office where the surgery was to be performed and couldn't wait to get there so I could get the 5mg of Valium in my system to calm my nerves.  I sent a text to my girlfriend about half way there looking for some comfort and she told me, "Being nervous is normal. Just don't back out of it!!! Remember, they do thousands of these. You will be in capable hands. Make sure you take the Valium!!"

After I checked in at the reception desk, I watched a post op video, was handed a big cup of decaf coffee, paid my bill, took a Valium and was directed to the waiting room.  After a few minutes, the technician checked my left eye once again, taking all kinds of measurements for the doctor and was then seen by Dr. Fleishman.  

Dr. Fleishman is all of 90 pounds soaking wet, has a fantastic personality and a great sense of humor.  She has twin girls who are 3 years old, a sports enthusiast, a sky diver and an older mom, so we had plenty to talk about. I knew I was in good hands.  Especially seeing the crystal statue in the waiting room stating she has performed 20,000 surgeries.

Once I was in the surgical room, I laid down on what looked like a massage table and was given 2 stress balls to hold on to. The assisting nurses asked if I was nervous.  I told them I'd rather be doing this than be in the dentist chair having a tooth drilled and then I wondered just how hard I'd be squeezing the stress balls.  Last week, I was in the dentist chair to have a very minor procedure and the box of Sensodyne toothpaste I was given ended up mangled and unreadable by the time I got out of the chair.

Dr. Fleishman explained the first machine she placed over my eyes would create the flap so the second machine could correct my vision using a laser.  She told me once the flap was made, everything would go black but it would only be for a few seconds.  With the 3 numbing drops the nurse put in each eye, I felt nothing. This procedure took all of 30 seconds.

The nurse then assisted me to the other bed.  When I stood up, I felt like I was back in NYC shrouded in a very dense fog on 5th Avenue.  It was the next procedure where I got to try out those stress balls.  Dr. Fleishman told me she was going to place device around my eyelids to keep them open so the laser could do it's job in correcting my vision.

I still don't know what was done, but it felt like a metal device was clamped around my eyeball.  It was not painful in any way, just a very uncomfortable feeling overall.  Dr. Fleishman told me to stare at the green light at all times, no matter where it moved.  The nurses counted backwards so I knew just how much time was left once the laser started its job.  My right eye took all of 27 seconds and my left eye took 20 seconds.  The balls were hardly used.

Dr. Fleishman then took the flap and placed it back in its correct position and squeegeed my eye to make it smooth and flat.  Watching her do this task was weird and the feeling was very odd.

After the clamps came off, the nurses handed me a funky pair of black glasses to put on, for 3 days, handed me a lollipop and told me I was good to go.  I walked out with my husband and we headed home.

By the time I got home my eyes were burning. No itching sensation and no feeling of sand in my eyes, they just burned like if you touched your eye after cutting up an onion.  You have to lay down with your eyes closed for 2 to 4 hours after the procedure, so I had a quick sandwich in bed, took 2 Tylenol PM and slept for the next 4 hours. When I woke, the burning was gone, I could read the alarm clock and felt great.  A bit tired still from the Tylenol but my eyes felt great.

Tomorrow I can shed the glasses.  I will have to continue with eye drops 4 times a day, and I have 3 different drops I need to use for the next 7 days.  Artificial tears will need to be used for the next few months.  I was told my vision for close up work would be wonderful and it is.  I do not need my reading glasses at all but my vision for distance would be a bit blurry until the brain started communicating with the eyes.  Each day my vision will change, my distance will become sharper and I am pleased with the outcome so far.  The day after my surgery I had to go back for an eye exam and it was the first time in many, many years I could read the bottom line of the eye chart.  I was told 20/20 vision is in order for me.

Was it worth it? Hell, yes.  I was told a long time ago to live big, or don't live at all.  I don't want to be one of those people who go through life saying, "If only I'd a ~ or I wish I had".  I only have one life to live so I might as well do it up big, cause ya just don't know how much time you really have to enjoy yourself and that's what I intend to do, enjoy myself until my final breath.


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