Eye Surgery…No Regrets

100_1303I look before I leap. I examine. I research. I fret. I worry. I don’t leave any stone unturned. I ask for advice. I seek out those who are in the know. In short, I’m the type of person who doesn’t do ANYTHING spontaneously.

My laser eye surgery was no different. I started wearing glasses at 11. Switched to contacts as a college freshman. Wore contacts all the time til I was pregnant with my first child and my eyes were overly dry. From the point of that pregnancy on, I wore contacts less and less. My eyes were too dry. I needed to apply eye drops multiple times per day. I simply couldn’t wear contacts my second and third pregnancies. Before long, I was only wearing contacts 3-4 hours a day. I was frustrated. I hated my glasses. I even bought new frames that I liked, but still hated having to wear glasses. I missed the clarity of vision that contacts gave me.

I first started thinking about eye surgery in the 90s. Back then the surgery was called radial keratotomy. I researched the surgery and outcomes, but never had a consultation. Life moved on. I was busy as a WAHM of 3 children. Even when I was a SAHM I still was short on time. When my youngest was 3, I started delving more deeply in to vision correction. The surgery was then called Lasik or laser eye surgery. I did my research. Asked questions. Consulted with my ophthalmologist who is a seasoned eye surgeon. I wanted someone who was a trained eye surgeon who also did laser eye surgery, rather than someone trained only on laser eye surgery.

After much hemming and hawing, I set a surgery date and never looked back. The surgery itself was fine. I was prepared for everything except one of my eyes started uncontrollably twitching. It was like my eye was possessed. I couldn’t stop my eye from twitching. The surgeon confided in me afterwards that he considered stopping the surgery. My eye finally stopped twitching. He completed the surgery. My surgery was a success. Possibly because of the twitching my right eye was a tad weaker than my left eye. But with both eyes I was at 20/20 vision. I had not had 20/20 vision since I was a child. Maybe I never had perfect vision. All I know is that in 6th grade I failed the eye test at school. Before 6th grade, I might have had vision issues, but I never noticed and neither did my teachers or the school nurse.

100_1304I had my eye surgery done at a well-known facility where my eye doctor had surgical privileges. A certain famous golfer had his done there too…

My tips for laser eye surgery:

  1. Do your research first. Bring questions to your consultation appointments.
  2. Find a doctor who is an experienced eye surgeon first, and laser eye surgeon second.
  3. Crowd source among friends who hav had the surgery.
  4. Look for discounts. Sounds crazy, right? But I was surprised to find that my eye insurance covered 15% of laser eye correction. I also had a coupon off services at the eye surgery facility.
  5. Get your house in order…literally. You won’t want to be cleaning or bending or doing anything strenuous for at least a week. I found childcare for my toddler. Arranged driving for the day or so that I was not allowed to drive.
  6. And this is only relevant for those with very young children. When you have the surgery, you will be give eye shields to wear at night. Helps you not to scratch or rub your eyes in your sleep. I went one better and slept in my son’s room with the door locked from the inside! I wanted to be certain that he didn’t poke me in the eye to wake me up!
  7. Don’t be surprised if your vision is blurry for a day or two. Mine was. On the evening of my surgery, I could see the numbers on the coffeemaker. By the next day, I could read road signs more or less clearly. By the end of the week, I was back to reading and doing computer work.

I love not wearing glasses. I don’t miss contact lenses either. The surgery was pricey (about $4000 after discounts), but the results are so worth the money. I can use the computer, drive, see road signs, and everything else in between without glasses. In the last year or so, I use reading glasses for close up work, but I would have needed bifocals if I hadn’t had the surgery. Aging is a downer, for sure!

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