Thursday, January 29, 2009

LASIK Week 2 and 3

It has been 20 days since I had LASIK and finally things are starting to feel a lot better. Last week things were clearer and much of the discomfort was gone. This week the vision continues to get even better with less halos at night and just crystal clear visions. The best way I can put it, is that the first 2 weeks it kinda felt like I was wearing old contacts. The vision was definitely dirty and my eyes were uncomfortable. I kept wondering when I could take my contacts out. Now things are super clear and my eyes are starting to feel like my eyes. I can definitely tell that my right eye tear duct plug fell out. That eye lets me know if I haven't put enough drops in.

If you would have asked me about getting this done in the first week after, I would have said it might not be worth it. Now it is totally worth it. It isn't really better vision, just easier vision. That said, I am still using drops about 6 times a day, but mostly in the morning and after any sort of commute.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

LASIK: Day 6 and 7

Well we are over a week past my eye surgery and I was actually started to get worried. I ran into some issues where in the morning my left eye (which still has the tear duct plug in) was dry and painful. I would be able to open it and it would remain sore all day long. So I called the office to see if they wanted to look at it or if there was something I could do. My right eye has been doing pretty good and the eye bruising has started to subside (basically instead of a well defined red blob, it is now starting to drain away so there is still a red tint, but much better looking).

After talking to the doctor, they said that they think I may sleep with one eye partially open and that I should switch to use gel based tears at night. Last night was my first night trying it and the results were generally good. I did wake up in the middle of the night with a dry eye, but it was not painful. I applied more gel drops and went back to sleep.

Really that sums up the last couple of days. My eyes are still dry but the discomfort is decreasing each day. I can't wait till I can wash my eyes thoroughly. The drops leave me feeling yucky, and the splash/pat dry method just isn't cutting it. Also I am still having halos so computer work is still a bit off for me as it makes black text on white hard to read.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

LASIK: Days 3, 4, and 5

Today I went in for my "1 week" checkup. It looks like my eyes are healing nice and the bruising on my right eye is going down. Today is my last day with medicated drops and I can use plain old drops which I see as a huge plus. Just a few more days of wearing the ugly sleeping goggles.

Sunday was spent mostly listening to football. I woke up in the middle of the night with very dry eyes. I got up and put in some drops before heading back to sleep. My vision got steadily better through the day and I noticed that some of the halos around objects were shrinking quite a bit. No really problems other than my eyes are pretty dry but I keep using drops and that helps.

Monday I decided to go to work and try my luck with that. I again woke up in the middle of the night with dry eyes. Again more drops and back to sleep worked fine. The first half of the day my eyes were definitely not happy, but by midday things were getting better. My vision seemed to improve quite a bit through the day as long as I limited the eye strain from computer work.

Today I worked from home. I woke up in the middle of the night, but my eyes weren't dry, YEAH! But when I woke in the morning, I needed a lot of drops just to open my eyes. It's getting better, but taking time. During the day, I am noticing I need less and less drops which is nice and visual halos are now down to just lights and not even all the times. Eye strain is still a concern, but setting times to walk around and look at large objects help.

So far, I am only a few days after surgery and vision is holding steady at 20/20. Things are a bit dry and scratchy but not bad. I still have amazement periodically through the day when I can see without corrective lenses. Definitely would recommend this to people who are tired of contact lenses and the work involved and the limitation and irritation of glasses. If someone is fine with either of these solutions, then don't get the surgery. The convenience is really what is making this worth while.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lasik: Day 1 and 2

Yesterday I went in to have LASIK corrective surgery for my eyes. I decided to go with Clearly Lasik and they have been very pleasant. To start with I had two pre-op visits. The first one was just to see if I should even bother with corneal thickness and other prescription and shape requirements. That was a go, but I needed to be out of my Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses for 4 weeks plus 1 wee for every decade I have worn them so 5 total weeks out of contacts and wearing glasses from the mid-90s. Oh well.

First and foremost this is expensive and given that they were playing with my eyes I then opted for all the bells and whistles. Here is a list of their stuff:

  • Extended (pre-op, LASIK or PRK, post-ops for a year, 1 year free enhancements, $499 enhancements later): $1199/eye
  • Extended Wavefront (pre-op, LASIK or PRK, post-ops for a year, 1 year free enhancements, $499 enhancements later): $1599
  • Lifetime (pre-op, LASIK or PRK, post ops for a year, lifetime enhancements): $1399
  • Lifetime Wavefront (pre-op, LASIK or PRK, post ops for a year, lifetime enhancements): $1399

  • Intralase (bladeless, otherwise making the flap uses a blade): $400/eye
  • Temporary Tear Duct plugs: $100/eye
  • Permanent Tear Duct plugs: $150/eye

I opted for LASIK w/ Wavefront w/ Intralase. Basically Wavefront allows for more precise laser signal. Older LASIK had a limit in the diops it could correct for and variation between prescriptions. New technology is more exact. (for more information checkout Wikipedia LASIK)

So I arrived Friday morning at 9:45am for a 10:00am appointment. I filled out my consent forms and headed back to the payment room. Payment was due prior to surgery and day of. Luckily Clearly Lasik is covered by VSP so I got 15% off the bill. After payment, getting some valium, and going over my prescription guidelines (when to take which eye drops) we went back to the relaxation room. Really this is just a second waiting room where they have movies going and snacks available. Luckily I only had to wait about an hour back there before I was taken to the operation room which has a large window where friends and family can watch. Put on some surgical booties and a surgical cap and lay down on a chair. Next step, they lined my eyes up under each machine and made sure everything was set and gave my eyes some numbing drops.

After that they lined me up with the LASIK machine and put on some sort of suction cup for my eye. This was pretty uncomfortable. Let me stress that. When they put the suction on the eye, it must impact the optic nerve as everything goes dark in that eye. Not a big deal, the problem for me is it was not comfortable. It didn't help that I twitched the first time, and it didn't line up well the second time, so it took 3 tries to get the suction on my right eye. Once it is on, you can't see anything out of that eye for about 1 minute. The slid me over to the Intralase machine and it made the microbubbles in my eye for the flap. Next, they did the same thing for my left eye, but that went much smoother but still darn uncomfortable.

Once both eyes were prepped, I found my head under the LASIK machine for the rest of the time (the easy part). The attached another device to my eye to keep it steady. They then flooded it with fluid and peeled back the top layer of my eye where the bubbles where made. After I was lined up you felt gentle puffs of air or water (couldn't tell) and some popping sounds for about 15 to 30 seconds. Next they irrigate the eye again and float the flap back into place. Right eye went well on this round but not so for my left. Either the numbing solution wore off or wasn't good enough because lifting flap made me yelp. With some more numbing solution we were underway and it went very smoothly. Overall time in the operating room was 15 minutes, but really talking 3 minutes total under the lasers. A little check up and plug install and I was sent home.

The rules are you need to keep your eyes closed for the next 8 hours. Optimally you should sleep. Unfortunately, I had trouble getting to sleep. It didn't help that it was now about noon and I really wasn't that tired. Second my eyes HURT. Started out just a slight burn, but it progressed into bad burning and itching. I called the office and they said take some Tylenol PM. I had taking some tylenol earlier as well as my second valium pill. But the Tylenol PM finally kicked in and I slept for a few hours. Ate some dinner, and some more Tylenol and I was down till the next morning.

As it stands, on day one you are taking 3 types of drops at a steady rate. Drops one is the antibiotic which is a breakfast, lunch dinner, bed type drop. Drops two is the anti-inflammation drops which will be a 4 times a day like the antibiotic but is every 2 hours for the first 2 days. Finally, I also have plain old drops that help keep my eyes moist. It is really important to do that or else the flap can dry and lift and that is very bad, so lots of those extra drops.

So now I am on day 2 and I have finished my post-op visit (I have 2 more post-op visits). The result of my first visit is 20/20 vision (almost 20/15). But I still have some blurriness as things heal. Everything after surgery looks like you are looking through a piece of wax. You can't really see. Today I have moments of clarity but lots where it is just cloudy. If you would have asked me yesterday if this was a good idea, I would have said no way. But today things are just getting better and better as the day goes on and I am very happy to see without any lenses (although it does feel like I have lenses in).

Here are some pics:

Day of LASIK before heading out:

day of lasik

Day of LASIK after surgery:

day of lasik after

Day after LASIK:

day after lasik

day after lasik

day after lasik

I don't know how many more updates on this there will be. Things are pretty good right now and look to be healing very nicely. I will still need to do drops for a while but I am sure that that won't be forever.

And my question to the Sarcastic Weasel, is if this is the Ferrari?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Eyes, Football, and Free Apples

First off wanted to say thanks to Skidge for the apples. When they moved to Germany they dropped off a bunch of food. Well yesterday, Michelle, Miranda and I went do see Cory and Mike before they head off to San Jose and Michelle whipped up some apple crisp from the frozen apples. Yum! Plus it was fun to just get out of the house and talk to other adults. Miranda wasn't quite on her best behavior though but the sight of new animals usually sets her going. Mater and Oliver were quite friendly and adorable.

Only a few more days till I have Lasik done. I am definitely looking forward to not needing corrective lenses again. The nurses and doctors kept mentioning that your vision will not be better than what you have with corrective lenses. I don't care about that, what I care about is not having to deal with contacts and solution anymore. To be able to shave my head without tipping my glasses to shave by my ears. To be able to see the numbers on my clock would be awesome. Wearing glasses tends to give me a bit of a headache and would be glad to have that gone as well. Now my concerns are how quickly can you heal from the surgery. First and foremost really worried about recovery and what I am allowed to do during that period.

Football... well at least the Lions went out and started to clean out their front office. Oh wait, they didn't. So I bought my NFL jersey per my statement. Bought a John Standeford Jersey as he just happens to wear number 16. I could have done custom, but felt it meant more to have an actual player jersey from the season of infamy.

Also along the lines of football:

Dear NFL Operations,

I am married with a child and designating two days for football just doesn't allow me the family time I need. Since you are playing 4 games, why not use the normal slots you have available. Sunday at 1, 4, and 8 and a Monday night game would give you those options. Of course limiting NFL to a cable network would be a bad decision, so work with the ESPN parent company and get it played on ABC.