Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Lasik Experience part 1

Yesterday my eyes went through a now-common procedure called Lasik. This is something I had wanted to do ever since I got engaged and started to plan my wedding. I'd been living with my glasses since I was in middle school and I had no complaints. It's just that only for this one day, my wedding day, I didn't want to wear my glasses. Contacts were not an option since I wasn't comfortable touching my eyes and putting on eye drops. Anyways, as much as Lasik had been so common nowadays and I'd known so many people around me that got it done, I was still super scared. I'm not gonna go into that much details so that I won't scare people who are gonna go through it soon, but you probably have heard how Lasik procedure is done (if you're still waiting for your appointment time, I suggest not to watch any Lasik videos because it might freak you out). Really, the procedure is quite invasive. All this time my biggest worry was, what if something went wrong and I went blind? Thank God everything went well and I'm perfectly back to normal now. I have a pretty good experience, I thought I should write about it while it's still fresh in my mind.

I started with going online and find places with good reviews. Generally it's really hard to find reviews for medical related stuff, but I managed to find two clinics with several good reviews. After narrowing it down to one, I immediately called and scheduled my free exam. I was already nervous by the time I went through the exam. I repeatedly told the nurse and doctor that there were three different things that made me think twice about getting Lasik: getting my eyes touched, having to use eye drops, and becoming blind if something went wrong. They assured me that so far there had never been cases where someone went blind (even if there were, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't say that lol, but I don't care as long as it calmed me down). With eye drops, they asked me to buy lubricating drops and started practicing with it. As far as getting the eye touched, they also said they had been touching my eyes this whole time. I just didn't feel it because they used the numbing drops. Well, the clinic managed to assure me and I booked my procedure time immediately.

The appointment was still a month ahead, but I decided to google and find out more about people's Lasik experience. That was a bad move. Reading those made me freak out and I was so tempted to cancel my appointment. Luckily I remember people raving about some funny TV show called Shinhwa Broadcast so I decided to not think about Lasik at all and started watching the show instead. Boy, that show was super funny. My days were filled with Shinhwa Broadcast until I reached the week before the appointment day (while practicing my eye drop technique of course). The week before, I started preparing for my days after Lasik. From cleaning my dirty apartment, paying all my bills in advance, until buying food ready to eat for the next few weeks. I felt like I was ready to go to war!!! Hahahaha... Right then, my colleagues started asking me if I already made an arrangement to go home after the procedure. I told them I would go home by taxi. They said that wasn't a good idea since the eyes would hurt so bad ('burning hot' is the term they used), and what if the taxi driver took advantages of it. What got imprinted in my mind was the word 'burn' and I started freaking out again. I told my colleagues to help by stop talking about it, and I went online to read the good reviews for the clinic again. That calmed me back again, and to top it off I started watching other funny TV shows by Shinhwa since I finished the Shinhwa Broadcast.

The day of the procedure finally came. I got off work early, had lunch at home and took a shower, and went to the clinic by taxi (at the last minute I found a friend to pick me up when it's done). Surprisingly I was doing really good. Even until that morning I didn't feel nervous at all. I was still able to sleep, eat, and do everything normally. But as I was waiting for my turn to come, I started feeling the nervousness creeping up on me. Oh shoot... I felt like running away. I took out my phone and started looking for Shinhwa videos again when my name got called. The staff brought me to a 'personal waiting room' where I could do anything while waiting. They asked if I would like to take a mild sedative (calming meds), which I said "please". To my horror, the medicine came in the form of capsule >_< I was the kind of person who couldn't swallow medicines. Tablets were okay before I could chew it (it's bitter but I get used to it). I asked them to get me a spoon so I could take the medicines inside, but what's worse the capsule couldn't be opened!!! Oh fine, I put it in my mouth and tried to swallow it but it just wouldn't come in. I was forced to chew the capsule until I tasted the bitterness of it then I spit out the capsule container. Whew, first obstacle conquered. Next, the staff gave me a briefing on post-procedure care, what I should do and shouldn't do. She then gave me an ipad to play with while waiting for my procedure. Well then I should watch more funny Shinhwa videos!!! Apparently I became a fan ever since I watched Shinhwa Broadcast lol.

In the middle of watching and laughing, the doctor knocked. He said he would do one last exam before performing the procedure. I sat on the chair thinking of all the exams they had done a month before, but the only thing he did was looking at my eyes with bright light. Suddenly the staff started putting hairnet and asked me to lay down on the procedure bed. Before I could think of anything else, the bed moved and I was under this bright light. They put numbing eye drops, covered one of my eyes, taped my eyelashes of the other eye, put the eye ring (something to prevent you from blinking), and the light started blinking. Mannn it started before I even got a chance to think about anything! There were red light, green light, and some moment of darkness. I couldn't really remember much because I was just too nervous to pay attention to anything. I just remembered the machine sound making a countdown '30 seconds', '15 seconds', etc., which made me do my own countdown with my fingers xD The procedure itself was painless, it just felt like someone push or put a pressure on your eye. Things happened pretty fast and suddenly they moved to my second eye. I couldn't feel anything earlier but for some reasons, I was able to feel what happened on my second eye. Either the numbing drops had slightly worn off, or it didn't get enough of the drops. But since they already started and it didn't really hurt (I just felt my eye was being touched here and there) I stayed quiet and just sucked it up. Within a few minutes everything was done. Oh wow that was lightning fast!!! Immediately I was able to see! Thank God I didn't go blind! I started smiling and laughing with the staff, but I think I had been piling up the stress, worries, and nervousness. Because it was finally done, those feelings were released and my body started shaking/trembling by itself.

The doctor gave me a protector sunglasses which I should wear even to sleep for the next 24 hours. He reminded me to do all the post-procedure care instructions before he let me go. My eyes were able to see clearly when I was in the procedure room but when I got to the car, I felt like I was seeing through an old scratchy plastic/glasses. Contrary to what my colleagues had said, my eyes didn't feel burned at all. Throughout the ride home, my eyes produced excessive tears, which changed my voice too as if I had been crying. At that time I probably would be able to act in a sad movie and win the crying awards xD Because of the excessive tears though, my vision was blurred. It was like trying to see underwater. As soon as I got home, I took the recommended 4-6 hour nap. I couldn't really sleep because of the sticking sunglasses frame under my eyes, but even with only 3 hours of sleep, my eyes were back to normal. Hooray!!! By the next day, I was even able to drive myself to the clinic again for the 1-day checkup.

All in all, I'm quite satisfied with my Lasik experience. It's uncomfortable, but painless (I'm really bad with pain so if I say it's painless, it's really really painless :D). Still, it's a scary procedure. So unless you really have to, I wouldn't recommend it hahahaha... But if you really want to, I will confidently say, "You'll be fine. It's gonna be alright." I would like to say thanks to the staff and doctors at the clinic for performing my Lasik successfully; to my friend Mr. EI for agreeing right away to pick me up even at the last minute; to my husband for assuring me that everything's gonna be okay; and of course to Shinhwa for the laughs which kept me from running away xD

I'll continue with my post-procedure stories in the next post. For now thanks for reading :)

1 comment:

  1. Your story has helped me so much Pei! I have been trying to read peoples opinions on Lasik because I am strong considering getting a all laser lasik procedure performed. I just wanted to hear other peoples experiences before I go through it for myself though. Thank you for sharing!