In the spring of 2004 while at Ohio State, I spent two nights in a row with my contacts in. After the second night, I took them out for a few hours, but put them back into play softball with my friends. Within an hour, my eyes came under intense pain. Washing them out did nothing, so I ran home and took my contacts out.
It was too late. My filthy contacts had given me a corneal infection, and I had a housemate, Ryan, take me to the hospital. Some antibiotic drops every hour for two days took care of the problem, and I learned my lesson.
The lesson was this: “When I can afford it, I’m getting LASIK surgery.”
I kept true to that promise and saved up for LASIK this year using a flexible medical spending account, and shopped around Austin for the best clinic.
So on Thursday, Dec 14, I had LASIK at LaserView in Austin.
Steve-o took me to the clinic at 7:30am, where they put some painkilling eye drops in, dilated my eyes like never before, and gave me a deliciously tasty valium (along with an Aleve).
I like LaserVIEW because they use two lasers – one to cut the flap of the eye, rather than a blade, and then a Wavefront-Guided Custom LASIK laser as well.
The first laser was easy enough, and the flap cuts were made. My right eye took it well, but some bubbles got into the left eye’s flaps, so we had to wait five minutes for the bubbles to dissolve out. A normal occurrence, but it could have caused some future problems.
At this point, I was well under the effects of the Valium, and was helped to the LASIK machine. The surgeon, Dr. Walters, moved the flaps with a mini-spatula, which made my vision move around like something out of a bad trip as he was getting the cornea out of the way.
When the flap was off, everything was ridiculously blurry. My eyes were clamped down, and I was staring intently at the tiny red light, which was absolutely enormous in my field of vision at the time. Thirty seconds for each eye, a nasty smell of burning flesh, and they then “painted” the flap back over my eye.
Steve almost vomited twice while watching my eyes on TV.
After the flaps were put back on, things were very foggy, but under that fog I could instantly tell that things were already greatly improved. It was amazing. I thanked the doctors, stumbled out with sunglasses on, and Steve grabbed some breakfast tacos from El Arroyo before I passed out. Looking into light really hurt due to the dilation.
With these lasers, there’s about an hour or so worth of burning pain. It helps to sleep through it, which I half-succeeded at. Unsurprisingly, the goggles they gave me to protect from scratching my eyes didn’t fit so well on my rather large nose. The burning feeling wasn’t all that bad, it felt exactly like when I’d get hot sauce in my eyes (as a hot wing devourer and contact wearer, this happened more than you’d imagine). I’d rather not have it, but it wasn’t that bad.
The Valium did numbers on me. I slept more in the next two days than I have since being a baby. I would gladly take another Valium on a boring weekend.
The next day, my right eye was 20/20, and my dominant left eye is unfortunately 20/30. Every time I wake up I get so excited to look at my clock…
My complication is that I have some inflammation in the left eye which is right by the pupil, and it has not yet gone down. Everything in my left eye is just a bit “off”… as if I have a contact that’s not exactly fitting right.
So it’s now Sunday, and I cannot yet say that I’m completely satisfied. I need my left eye to read, and it is still not as good as the contacts were. It is amazing that I’m not wearing any lenses, but I want perfection and my inflammation still hasn’t gone down. I also have poor night vision and lights at night give me the “halo” effect around lights at night, but that’s all normal.
I will keep you updated to see if my left eye’s problem goes down, but if it stays like this forever, I will have it touched up.
Until then, I’ll continue my steady dosage of eye drops, and hope that the claims that it gets better throughout the first month are true. At that point, I’ll give a full recommendation for LaserVIEW in Austin.
Thanks again, Steve! And Ryan too!