Having glasses on my face has been a part of who I am for most of my adult life. The first time I realized I couldn’t see well was at church when I was in middle school. Standing at the back of the church I couldn’t read the hymn numbers posted on the wall towards the front of the church. Shortly after I got glasses for distance I would wear them periodically but wasn’t yet an every day glasses wearer. As the years progressed my distance vision steadily worsened so by the time I graduated college I was wearing glasses full time.
A big part of my time over the last few years has been focused on investing in myself! Therapy, exercising regularly, doing things that fulfill me, and investing time in people that make me happy. After the pandemic hit my glasses became a bigger nuisance because they would fog every time I would wear a mask. It dawned on me that I didn’t have to keep wearing glasses on my face just because I had for the last 15 years. I had options! So after some research on AAO.org I found a LASIK eye surgeon I trusted and scheduled a consultation with Newsom Eye in Tampa.
If you’re considering LASIK the consultation is the most important part because not everyone is a candidate! I learned that whether or not you’re a candidate has everything to do with the depth of your cornea. Luckily at my consultation I learned my corneas were the perfect depth. It seemed like the stars aligned and I loved the staff so I scheduled my surgery for the middle of February!
I woke up extremely nervous! I was scheduled to arrive for surgery at 11:45am and that morning was pacing around the house with lots of nervous energy. Phil dropped me off (he couldn’t come in because of COVID) and I was looking forward to just getting the surgery over with. The friendly nurses took my vitals, gave me a small dose of Valium and then a warm blanket to relax in. I slowly felt myself getting more comfortable as the Valium kicked in. Before I knew it I was led back to the surgery room but at that point (thanks to the Valium) I felt as cool and calm as a cucumber.
I was laid down on a large bed and the surgeon and team moved efficiently around me. They talked me through every single step and gave me a little stress ball to squeeze throughout the process which helped! After my eyes were numbed the first and worst part was the suction. Medically I can’t speak to what was happening but the pressure on my eyes was quite intense although not painful. If I was fully “sober” it would have been unnerving when my vision went black/gray and I saw stars and bursts but the surgeon talked me through it all and told me to expect it so in the moment it wasn’t alarming. After the suction in both eyes was complete (taking only a few minutes if even) I was ready for the laser. They did more prepping around my eyes that I couldn’t feel and then told me to hold steady and look at the little green light in the machine above my head. It was about 10 seconds per eye and then I was done! I had fear that I’d look away from the laser as it was blasting in my eye and I’d go blind but the laser tracks with your eye movement so if you happen to look away there is no harm!
In the blink of an eye (pun intended) surgery was over and I was walked outside of the surgery room. They gave me some water and goggles to protect my eyes and had called Phil who was ready and waiting to drive me home. I had a folder with my eye drop schedule and off I went! They encouraged me to nap once home so once in the car I took some NyQuil and once home I crawled into bed and passed out.
After waking up I expected pain or a “sand in my eyes” feeling but had no discomfort whatsoever. I did make a chart that hung on my mirror which helped me keep track of my eye drop schedule since the first two days there was 4 different drops to administer regularly.
One Day Post-Op
I woke up with extremely clear vision! I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed after hearing people with stories that their vision was 20/20 the next day. I had a follow-up appointment where the doctor evaluated my eyes and said I was healing nicely but was eager for my vision to clear entirely. I experienced absolutely no pain and was cognizant to not touch/rub my eyes and wore my goggles to bed each night.
One Week Post-Op
At this point I had extremely clear vision in my right eye but a blur in my left eye. I was growing frustrated and Googling like crazy to figure out if it was normal. Of course I had known that it’s normal for your vision to fluctuate as you heal but I wasn’t very patient about it. At my one week appointment I learned that my left cornea was swollen which was causing the blurriness! I was told to purchase a specific ointment and put it in my eye nightly. The ointment frankly was gross and caked over my eye so I couldn’t see out of it. A tad unnerving but after 5 nights of it I was waking up with perfect vision in my left eye!
Two-Three Weeks Post-Op
I started waking up every morning with perfect vision! Crystal clear and crisp however in dark rooms and throughout the day the blur would increase. My doctor has assured me that it is normal and part of the healing process. Especially days I was staring at my computer all day I noticed the blur. At this point though I promised myself I would be patient and simply let my eyes heal. My doctor had moved up my monthly post-op appointment to evaluate my swollen cornea and my vision in both eyes checked in at 20/15!! They evaluated me on the machine where you have to pick which looks better “one or two” as they flip the glass. After doing it for both eyes they said I kept selecting the “prescription” for my current eyesight aka I didn’t need any type of corrective lenses or additional LASIK enhancements.
Four to Six Weeks Post-Op
My vision at night has improved dramatically and I can see now well without any of the orbs anymore (another normal and expected result after surgery). My vision is staying 20/15 throughout every single day with a few days here and there where I experience some blurriness in the early evening! It’s amazing seeing perfectly upon waking up and now living in sunny FL I can pop on sunglasses whenever I need to. It’s extremely liberating not having to depend on my glasses to see. I didn’t necessarily hate how I looked in glasses but I hated that I didn’t have the option to not wear them (I have astigmatisms in both eyes so contacts never worked for me). I’d get dressed up, spend time on my make-up and hair and then throw glasses on which felt like it took away from all the effort I had put in to my appearance! All in all getting LASIK is one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s certainly an expense but worth every penny.