My LASIK Experience

Well everyone, I made it! One week ago today, I got LASIK, and I’m loving being able to see without the hassle. For some background, I’ve been wanting to get LASIK since I knew it existed… but it has always scared me for the simple reason that if anything were to go wrong, it’s my EYES! But the way the do LASIK has greatly improved in the past couple of years…. the biggest improvement being that they “cut” the flap on your cornea with a laser now instead of with a blade – this has significantly reduced the complications that were associated with LASIK.

 

Before anyone can get LASIK you must be examined to see if you’re even a candidate {and then the LASIK has to be done within 90 days of the exam.} I found out in a seminar we attended last September that the exam has to be at least 2 months after giving birth or weaning a baby from nursing {and then you also cannot become pregnant for 6 months after LASIK – all due to hormones affecting the eyes.} I did not wean our little one until November, so I got my eyes examined in January and was put on the schedule for March for the actual procedure. If you missed some of the craziness leading up to me actually getting LASIK, check out this post.

Long story short, after the cornea specialist reviewed the scans from the initial failed LASIK appointment, he said he had no concerns and I was good to go! Leading up to the procedure, soft contacts must be our for an entire week {hard contacts are 3 weeks.} I also had to apply two sets of eye drops four times daily, beginning four days before the procedure. The day before and the day of no make up is allowed {I had gone about 3 weeks by this point!} and you have to use special cleansing wipes twice a day.

This time after checked in I didn’t have to go through all the paperwork and talking through everything that was about to happen… {though they offered me plenty of chances to review the procedure again if I wanted to!} After getting me in a prep room they put a cap over my hair to keep it out of the way, a label with my name and info on my shoulder {to make sure they were setting the machine correctly!}, and some Valium to help me relax. They also put antibiotic and numbing drops in my eyes.

I had seen a few videos of LASIK procedures beforehand and thought that it would be very creepy during the procedure, however you can’t really “see” what they are doing like you can in the video so it wasn’t creepy at all. They applied numbing drops throughout the procedure and I was never in any pain; the most “uncomfortable” part of the procedure was surprisingly the insanely bright lights {but they weren’t that bad.} For those who are local, I did this through Wolfe Eye Clinic and I HIGHLY recommend them {my doctor was Dr. Mason} – and for anyone who is interested their {website} provides a great explanation of each step in the procedure as well as a FAQ section.

Basically, there are two laser machines used. The first creates a flap on the cornea and the second laser reshapes the area under the flap. I did not have to get up in between lasers, they just rolled the table I was laying on from one laser to the other {both flaps were created, one at a time, and then each eye was corrected.} While they were working on one eye, they taped the other lid shut and there was always a focal point to stare at. Each laser was probably about 10 seconds per eye, and I was in and out of the procedure room in about 20 minutes! When the procedure was complete, they taped shields over my eyes that I was not allowed to remove – they removed them the next morning at my local office. I know that’s not a very in-depth explanation of the procedure, but if you want to know specific details the link above walks you through it with videos and everything!

{This was taken before I went to bed the night of the procedure} notice my hair under the tape 🙁 Removing that tape was the most painful part of the whole thing!

Before the procedure the nurses repeatedly suggested that I keep my eyes closed for at least 4-6 hours once I got out to the car. After the procedure there’s about a 20 minute window while the drops were still numbing my eyes that I had to get out to the car, eat a snack {the nurses said I had to!} and take the medication they gave me for pain {Codine with Tylenol.} After I did that, I literally did not open my eyes for 5 hours! And believe me, I had no desire to. I rested the hour it took to drive home, and then my husband guided me inside so I could lay down in bed. I would describe the pain level as moderate… it was mostly a burning sensation that wasn’t horrible but it was just enough that I couldn’t sleep through it – that lasted about three hours {including the drive home} and then I slept for two hours. Luckily my wonderful husband read to me to keep me distracted. 🙂

After I woke up, the burning sensation was pretty much gone. I opened my eyes for the first time to eat dinner. {they were kind of stuck shut from all the draining, but it didn’t hurt to open them} After dinner I laid down and slept for a couple more hours. And after my second nap, I felt pretty good! I snuggled with my husband on the couch and we watched TV {I closed my eyes probably 50% of the time, but that was out of tiredness not pain.} I felt completely “normal” by the next morning and couldn’t wait to get my shields off. Surprisingly I have had no light sensitivity {which is very common at first}, my only “side effect” is a little bit halos around lights at night {which is also common at first}.

There were a few “red spots” on my eyes after the procedure, but luckily they were under my upper lid, so not really visable {my eye doctor said I had less than most people. Here’s what my eyes look like today {1 week later}:

O so flattering :). And I should mention that the no-make up rule is enforced for two weeks following the LASIK as well… so I’ve got another week to go! They also have you do the same drops 4 times a day for four days after the procedure as well and you have to tape those shields on anytime you sleep for the following week {Luckily they gave me some different tape for my super sensitive skin.} I’ve noticed my eyes get a little more tired and have been slightly more dry then normal… but this is very common and a few artificial tears take care of it pretty well. So overall, I would say that I am thrilled with the results and so happy to be able to see!

Kate Alyse

Kate Alyse

Kate is a proud mama to four amazing little sweeties {through birth + adoption} and wife to the best husband a girl could ask for! She considers herself blessed to be able to stay home with the kids, and is just starting to get into the world of homeschooling. In her "spare-time" she enjoys sharing many of the projects, stories, and gluten-free recipes that are a part of their every day lives!
  • Oh my! I think I cringed the whole time I was reading this! I went to the eye doctor for the first time in my life this year and I was not a fan. But I'm so glad everything went well for you and that you're happy with your results!

  • MalloryMusing

    I'm so jealous! I would love to not have to worry about my contacts/glasses.  I have never totally looked into it so I don't know if I am a candidate.  I will now have to wait about a year and a half when I am done with pregnancy/nursing to see if I can do this too.

  • haha! I actually never thought I'd actually thought I'd go through with it, but everything just lined up so perfectly it was like a sign that it was meant to be! Plus I've had years and years to prepare myself mentally 😛

  • Yeah it was weird, I never realized how big of a deal the pregnancy/nursing hormones are for your eyes until we went to the initial information seminar! It makes sense though – part of the reason I really started to look into it more was because towards the end and for a few months after pregnancy I could not wear my contacts at all!  Now I'm on the other end of LASIK and have to drive myself crazy for 6 months until I'm "allowed" to consider getting pregnant again lol. – But I totally recommend looking into it when you can 🙂

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