I did it!
I can see!
I am driving without contacts or glasses for the first time in my entire life!
Honestly, its hard to really appreciate the whole concept of not driving without glasses or contacts b/c when you drive with contacts you kinda feel the same way as you do without them, not that I'd know if there was a difference, until now!
So I went in around 3:30pm and finally got my long awaited Valium. I thought about my fathers negative reaction to drugs, mainly cuz he OD's on them, but thought it best I only take one Valium since I've never had it before. They say they usually give patients two of them. I mentioned I am a lightweight and one should prolly be best.
I'm pritti sure they postponed everything until my Mom showed up. They didn't tell me, but I think they have issues starting the procedure if no one is there to pick them up when they start. So my mom showed up like 4:45 I think? She was still driving down from Logan when I told her instead of 5:30 they would be done around 4:30. Neither of which happened might I add. We left around 5:30 instead of her being there at 5:30. Anyways! Didn't matter to me much I was just...relaxed and chillin.
I don't know if it was the Valium or what, but when the two docs came in to check out my eyes one last time before surgery the one was giving me the basic "something could go wrong, we can't promise anything, the machine might stop and you might not have the surgery today" blah blah, but it felt like he was yelling at me. All I wanted to do was ask "why are you yelling at me?" But I was oh so calm during that time. Usually you get anixety when you feel someone is yelling at you. He's just a loud talker I guess. He said I looked familiar and he might know me from somewhere and I just shrugged and said, "I wouldnt know I cant see you"
I'm glad there were two doctors there. They werent used to the microscope equipment in that office so the two of them were trying to figger it out there in front me and frankly it didn't give me a lot of confidence before the surgery.... I was calm enough I mentioned it to them. One doc is like "How do you adjust the ...." and the other is like "trying turning that thing, no, the other way". Oy vay. I'm like "this is giving me great confidence in you guys with what you are about to do to me...." They laughed. But they know the laser machines better, thankfully.
The room was super cold. They gave me a teddy bear and blanket and I needed both. The lady in there wasn't really graceful with her delivery of help... She'd grab your eyes and pry them open and drop the numbing drops in every once in awhile. Although the eyeball itself is numb, you can still feel the skin and eyelids when you tug and pull on them! And the worst part was her gracefulness in -taping- my eyelashes back. I'm surprised I still have some left. And I can only imagine how wide/big they open your eyes so they are just working with the eyeball itself. You can prolly recall some TV show or movie where someones eyeballs are being poked at and opened really wide.
Anyway, they have to suction the eyeball to hook it to the machine so neither move too much I guess. The put a patch over one eye. The first eye, the right, they just suctioned it and hooked the laser machine to it and then weird-like darkness came and I could tell that machine was cutting the flap part of the cornea they peel back before the laser works on the eyeball itself. It was weird. Didn't hurt, but I could like...feel it ya know? Kinda like at the dentist, yer numb, but you know which area they are working on and can feel the tooth move or whatever.
It wasn't so scary on the first eye, because they remove the patch on the left eye and I could still see. But once they covered the right eye and cut the flap on the left I was left with no eyes. I still had some vague vision with the flaps cut, but once he lifted them up to work under it then it was weird. It was weird feeling him poke around my eye trying to gently pull up the flap of cornea. The left eye though, I guess didn't suction at the right place for the laser to work. Both docs gave their opinion about that decided together it needed to be moved. They suctioned that eye three times. Finally got it to a place they both agreed it would work with the laser. I like second opinions. My doc techinically cant do the procedure cuz he can't do laser work in UT cuz he's not licensed for UT I guess. So he was just coaching, helping teach, and giving his opinion of his patient while the other doc actually did the work.
I think I knew what it felt like to be like Brent for a bit. One concept I didn't think would be an issue was when one eye was covered and the other was being worked on so it eventually went dark and they sit there and tell you to keep your eyes open and hold still... how do you tell if your eyes are really open when you cant see anything either way? Like if a tree falls in the woods and no one was around to see it, did it really fall? I dunno.. I had to consciously think if my eyes were open. Of course they put some device on the eye they are lasering to make sure it stays open the whole time. I was still trying to blink, so I'm sure my eyelids were all twitching on top of that device trying to come down...
Meanwhile, I didn't really say one word to them while in there. I was sold rock. I gripped that teddy bear and was freezing and I didn't move an inch the whole time I swear. Its like on roller coasters for me, if I scream I'm having fun, but if I don't make one sound then I'm scared to death and holding on for dear life. They asked me how I was doing every once in awhile. I dont really recall answering them much. I'd say okay if my eyes werent attached to one of the laser machines. They all coached the holding still, like a statute, don't move at all, during the lasers 30 seconds, but they didn't have to worry much about that. I'm pritti sure I wasn't even breathing, let alone thinkin of moving. I wasn't gonna move even if they asked me to. I couldn't even if I wanted to. I definitely wasn't breathing when my eyes were attached so in between machines I would let out a breath. I think they got the hint that I was freaking out. I'm pritti sure I didn't breath or move during most of that procedure, luckily, it wasn't that long. So much for the Valium huh? Maybe I needed two.
But when they were done and she ripped my eyelashes out they said I could sit up before standing up. It was weird going from a laying position to sitting, but thas like normal when anyone gets up, but they asked if I could walk. I didnt see why not. So I got up and walked back to the room so they could check my eyes with the microscope thing again. I only stumbled once. I think if I had taken two valium I would have been worse. They both looked at my eyes and said it looked good. Because they had to suction the left eye three times it had a big ol' red, bloody ring around it. You can see how wide they opened the eye to get such a big ring. The nurse lady, a nicer one, taped these things over my eyes so I wouldn't bump them. They made sure I had my meds and we went out to me Mum. He mentioned that I would want one of the meds before I got home cuz my eyes would be 'burning, itchy, or stinging' for the next four hours and the numbing drops would wear off in the next 10 minutes (before getting home).
I'm getting used to anything that Dr. Barnes says not coming true.
I didn't have any 'burning, itching, or stinging' for the next four hours. I didnt feel any pain at all, can't even call it discomfort really. I felt fine. Kinda glad I didnt spend $500 on medications for pain if I didn't have any pain. Dr. gave me a play by play of what happens with the surgery and I dont know if I juss didnt know it happened or happened so fast or something, but I think something was missing from the verison I was told and what happened. Either way I feel slightly deceived by all of this. What he says vs. what really happens.
He called me that night to see how the pain was and I told him I wasn't in any pain. He was really surprised. He said of the 15,500 cases he did only like 100 of those patients didnt have pain after surgery, some even after PRK surgery (more painful than what I did). The doc himself didnt have as high prescription as I and went home in pain. I'm one of the lucky ones. The only pain I got was when I put the medicine he got for me in my eyes. But the more medicine I put in the less it hurts. But some of those drops are thick and milky like, like glue. Ew. Hurts to try and blink out. He also said it would be all blurry for awhile, but I dont think he really knows the definition of blurry. Cuz I mean, when I think of blurry I'm thinking like -9 blurry and juss seeing blobs, not even outlines of people, but the only 'blur' I got was just a haze over everything like looking through dirty glass. There were still outlines and details there. They said I would see halos and glares at night too. I'm not sure what the definition of those are either. I see the center of headlights clear and like a sunburst around the rest of the headlight, is that a halo? And isn't a glare when something reflects off of light and theres not a lot of light at night to reflect off of other things is there? Confused. Anyways!
Mum wouldnt let me drive the next day to the doc. The doc says most people feel good enough to drive into their appointment the next day. So instead of me getting there by myself and on time, we ended up taking the van full of kids so Min could go to work and Claine was at drill. Unfortunately, with Mothers luck with cars, the van broke down like five times on the way to the doc. We stopped and started the car each time and got as far as we could before it went out again. We finally coasted into the hospital parking lot and I just walked the rest of the way. The appointment was at noon and we were already going to be late leaving at like 11:50am, so I showed up like 15-20 after noon. He called me just as I entered the office. I think he had one more patient after me so he still had to wait. I told him my car broke down. (The serpentine belt died on the van apparently)
We checked out my eyes. He wanted to see how the blood spots were doing, if the flap settled down on the rest of the cornea just fine seeing how they had to take so much off the flap has to adjust to the missing area, and he wanted to see how well I could see in each eye.
I covered my right eye and could see the letter chart thing like perfectly. He asked what line I could read and I said the second to last and he says "really?" like he's surprised. (He's been surprised by me and my eyes since day one) I spouted out the second to last line of letters perfectlly. It was awesome. 20/20 in my left eye and that eye was my "bad" eye! My left was like -9 with stigmatism and I always kinda relied on my right eye when putting in contacts or without them. I don't think I've even been able to say that line perfectly like that, ever, in my entire life, even with contacts/glasses. Maybe, I dunno. Technically I bet I can see better than mom right now and she's the one that didnt let me drive.
The right eye only at 20/40 right now and that was my "good" eye at -5 something I think. Oy. But I can totally see the difference, I can tell that my 'good' eye has switched sides and its kinda weird. I'm used my right hand doing all the work and the right eye catching up and following along, but now my dominant eye is my left and I have to turn my head a long ways to see something I really want to focus on, ya know? Its weird, but hopefully the right eye will catch up and focus in time after it heals some more. It was only the day after surgery, things can change right? I hope so. Give it time.
The lady at the surgery place said she likes doing lasik to patients with prescriptions that are high like mine. She finds it more rewarding that way. The doc said he usually sees them after a week, but he wanted to see me Tues to see how it was healing b/c my prescription was so high. So I think I have just one last appointment.
I'm only super freaked out now that the flap will come open if I let my eyes get too dry. Esp at night when I have them closed and dry for hours and try to open them in the morning. The only discomft I feel is like theres a dry contact in there and that makes me want to squeez my eyelids and move it around, but its not even that bad that I'm really tempted to do that. I saw a guy at church the other day with glasses and he lifted them up and rubbed his eyes. I was so jealous. For two weeks I could lift up my glasses and rub my eyes, but I cant do that for awhile now.
Now I just have random questions in my head like "cuz they severed the nerves there on the cornea when cutting it, does that tell my eyes not to cry so I cant cry even if I wanted to? cuz ya know its that time of month were I cry at everything..." and basics like "if I cry does the salt from my tears sting the open wound in my eyes?" and "how long til I can actually wipe/wash off the milky gup off my eyes/eyelashes?" and "when is it safe to be able to rub my eyes like a normal person?" and "how does going to the gym/exercising effect my eyes? why cant I do that again?" and then theres the neverending command of "Stop touching your eyes/face!" so many germs, trying to protect from any infections.
Meanwhile, I thought Mum was annoying with her stipulations of what I can and can't do after surgery. Turns out, Evan is much much worse. Mother is juss glad I dont do what dad does on drugs like get totally loopy and/or OD on stuff, or take others medications or neglect that body part after surgery and at least do what the doc says in part, at least! Evan came over and brought me flowers and chocolates and told me not to read my texts, not even look at my phone, not look at the TV or a piece of paper with writing on it. Might as well close my eyes and go back to complete darkness the rest of my life. I mean the first day or two maybe sure I can handle that bossiness, but its post-op here and if I can drive to my appointments the next day I think day three is fine to watch tv and read.
I'm pritti sure, almost positive, they do the Lasik procedure so you can USE YOUR EYEBALLS!
He's a weirdo. He gets 'mad' at me for driving in the rain or dark, for watching movies in the dark, for reading and/or going to work and looking at the screen, texting/looking at my phone, yet he wants/invites me to come over in the dark, wants me to watch movies with him in the dark, and texts me expecting an answer etc. He says if I go blind using my eyeballs after surgery he'll say I told you so. Does that really make sense to anyone?