Day 1 - 9 Apr 03 (Typed 10 Apr 03)
Well, yesterday I took the LASIK plunge. Figured I would put my experiences here for all the world to see.
First off, a little background. I'm 26, and have had glasses since about 12. They were only a -3.00 (I dunno what that is in 20/xx). But I was sick of them. I did a LOT of homework and decided to give it a try. I consider myself a very lucky person ('cept when I go to AC,NJ), so I played my odds.
I'm also a total 'fraidy cat' when it comes to anything medical. Bad experience in my younger years with appendicitis complications. Anyway, let's just say I nearly passed out trying to give blood.
So the day came along and my GF (Kat) came along to be my drive home. I got there about 1300. They checked me in, and I paid the dues ($2800 for those who care).
They brought me into a room where they laser scanned my corneas (again) to get the topology. (They did this before in the pre-eval.) This was the cool tech part. They took the data and put it into a smart card (one for each eye) to be loaded into the machine later on. Then they brought me to the next room to triple check my prescription (-3 in both eyes).
Now a break to wait for the start. Sitting around with Kat and getting all worried. No caffeine either for the day! Either way, some nervousness made me want to go to the restroom. After I came back, I spotted something I _really_ didn't want to see. Kat asks me - why do I look even more nervous than I was before? No joke - I swear that I told her this - "I'm even more scared - it is running Windows!!!" Yes, walking back from the restroom I saw a screen on the laser unit and it had the Win95/NT4 interface ! :(
Shortly after, they brought me in and laid me down under the laser. They covered my unused eye and taped back my eyellids. Then they put the device in to keep my eyelids open (forget the name - they use it in torture scenes in movies and TV shows like Alias). Next is where they are gonna take the slice off the cornea - the device puts so much pressure on your eye that it fades to grey then black. Then the doc said to hold on a second and to look at the red flashing light. At that point I saw light again but it was like looking thru a shower door or something. Then I heard clicking. They had warned me that I might smell burning hair - damned if it didn't stink absolutely horribly immediately! There is nothing like smelling your own burning flesh! Ack!!!
Let me interrupt by saying I was scared. They told me right before it NOT to hold my breath, so I didn't. I breathed. And breathed and breathed and began to hyperventilate. They told me to slow down. All the while, there is clicking, the smell of burnt flesh, and the voice of a female assistant in the background like a Sci-Fi landing sequence counting down "30 seconds... 25 seconds..." My mouth was dry from breathing so hard. Then they said it was done. They flipped back the flap, and did something like painted it on. They got ready to do the second eye, I nearly chickened out and said "Some other time!" The staff was extremely considerate and gave me about a minute to compose myself. Then pretty much everything was the same for the second run.
When I got out, I was SCARED. They had said things would look hazy, like a smoky room. They were NOT kidding. The only thing I can describe it as is it looked like I had a VERY dirty contact, or the contact had a matte finish on it. Which is the truth - the surface behind the flap and the flap were no longer in full contact. Kat came up to me and said, "Don't ever ask me what I just saw on that video screen" - she later told me that it was very disconcerting to see the front of my eyeball sliced off. She also said it was interesting that behind the cut was a matte finish.
They had given me an Excedrin PM (I thought the "special" ingredient in Excedrin was caffeine which they banned me from!) right before I started all of the topographical mapping, so I was starting to get tired now. Which is good, they wanted me to go home and sleep for 2-4 hours. I won't bore the reader with all the eyedrops involved before and after all this. But they gave me a pair of sunglasses that they said I need to wear 24 hours a day for 2 or 3 days. They also gave me this weird plastic eye shield to wear to bed so I don't rub my eyes in my sleep. I put that goofy contraption on (I am wearing it now as I type this on day 2) and hit the sack. I woke up about 3 hours later, and looked around. From my bed, I could see the individual hangers in the closet! They were hazy. Fuzzy - NOT blurry. If I had looked that way without glasses before, it would have been a big blob. Now they were there but hazy. Every light source seemed to blind me - I was told to expect this for up to 3 months. So I put on the sunglasses, called some friends and family to let them know I wasn't totally blind, and then went downstairs and watched some TV. And played some Final Fantasy Tactics. The TV is OK - it is far enough from the couch apparently.
I went to bed with my goofy goggle things and so ends day 1. Our poor cat Freya is stuck outside the bedroom for the first time since we adopted her.