For a long time, I had no interest in Lasik. It’s not a big deal to wear glasses and contacts, so why would I spent thousands of dollars and go through the risks of having surgery to correct something that wasn’t that big of a deal? For me, Lasik was not necessary.
I can’t say exactly when or why my thoughts changed. I started getting annoyed with my contacts and glasses. They are also so expensive and I knew that over time, Lasik would save me a lot of money. My vision was -6.75 in both eyes so I couldn’t do much without my glasses. For me, it came down to convenience and cost.
Back in October, I just decided to do it, and Nick was supportive of it. I wanted to do it before our trip to the Big Island in December. Nick was planning to help me find a doctor and go to a consultation with me, but with his schedule, it never happened.
So I decided I would do it over deployment. Interestingly, I had some mixed feedback from my military spouse friends on this. Some said it was a great idea, a great deployment goal. Others said it would add unnecessary stress to deployment. I was already determined to it and I didn’t agree with that. I knew that my friends here would drive me to my surgery and help me if I needed help. I also knew that the chances of a hard recovery with Lasik would be small, so I wasn’t worried about Nick not being there. It also gave me something important to focus on and look forward to, which I think is important during deployment.
My determination was fully sealed when my friend got Lasik back in March. She had such a great experience that I decided to go to the doctor she used. After I saw how happy she was with her results, I made my appointment for an evaluation.
The only thing I had to do in preparation for my surgery was to stop wearing contacts for two weeks. I stopped about 3 weeks in advance. At that point, I was only wearing them to workout, so it was not a big deal for me.
The day before my surgery, I had to go for a pre-op exam. The doctor looked at my eyes and checked my vision and dilated my eyes. Then, I had to go pick up three prescriptions. This was the only part of the entire experience that annoyed me because, by the time I left, it was 5:00 pm, and I was supposed to get three prescriptions that night. I had to get two different eye drops – one was a steroid and one was an antibiotic. I also had a prescription for 2 valiums which I was instructed to bring with me to the surgery. The base pharmacy was closed so I couldn’t get them for free. Luckily, the first pharmacy I went to had them. If you were doing this, I would tell you to make your appointment for earlier in the day so that you have time to run around and get everything.
The day of my surgery, I was so ready. I had been ready for months!! I didn’t feel nervous at all. My friend picked me up in the morning. When we walked in the doctor told her she could come into the surgery room with me. I wasn’t sure if she would be into that and I told her she definitely didn’t have to come in, but she wanted to.
The doctor told me to take my first valium and started to explain exactly what he was going to do in the surgery. He told my friend that she was welcome to watch and videotape the screen that the surgery was projected onto as long as she didn’t get up from her seat.
Before I knew it, it was time to go into surgery. I started to get a little nervous when I walked into the room. The doctor gave me a bunch of numbing drops, so I knew that I wouldn’t feel anything.
I laid down on my back and they gave me a blanket and a pillow for under my feet. The surgery was uncomfortable, I’ll admit. Not painful. Just uncomfortable. You have to watch everything happening and it’s weird to see. But I felt no pain and my doctor was amazing. He explained everything he was going to do before he did it and kept telling me what a great job I was doing. All I had to do was be still and look at a green light. My friend managed to videotape the screen so I have the entire surgery on tape if anyone wants to see it.
As soon as I got up, I could see clearly, but it was like I was looking through frosted glass. The doctor told me to go home, take the second valium, and try to sleep for 4 hours. He told me that as soon as the numbing drops wore off, it would feel like I had sand in my eyes, so it would be best to keep my eyes closed for as long as possible.
Probably the funniest part of the day happened when my friend and I got to the car. She was like, “THAT WAS SO COOL!!!” I was totally out of it and just ready to go home and not feeling like that was so cool. Even at the time, I thought it was so funny that she said that. It really was pretty cool that in about 15 minutes you can see.
I went home and took the valium. I put on the goggles that you have to wear while you sleep for the first week or so. The goggles are meant to protect you from yourself so that you don’t rub your eyes while you sleep. Rubbing your eyes, in general, is a big no-no after Lasik since you can mess up the flap while it’s healing. I rub my eyes a lot but it wasn’t hard for me to adjust to this since I really didn’t want to mess up my flap.
I only slept for two hours. I woke up, felt no pain in my eyes, and could see perfectly fine. I went to my post-op the next day and the doctor said everything was looking good. I had to continue taking eye drops, some every hour on the hour and others 4 times per day.
I went for me one-week post-op and I can see 20-15! That’s even better than I could have imagined! It took a while for my eyes to settle. In the morning especially, it would take my eyes a few minutes to be able to focus. But the doctor said it’s pretty normal and it’s already better.
My only restriction right now is that I can’t go into pools, hot tubs, or the ocean for about a month.
Wearing glasses is not a big deal. I liked how I looked in them and I did it for most of my life – ever since I was in second grade. But I am really happy with my decision to get Lasik, and being able to see is a great gift. I love that I don’t have to worry about my glasses breaking or my contacts falling out when I’m out somewhere or running out of contacts. I love that I can wake up and see without having to fumble for my glasses.
My insurance is Tricare, and it did not cover the surgery. I was able to get financing through a company that does healthcare financing. As long as I pay off the balance within 18 months, I will pay no interest, which sounds great to me.
Disclaimer. Obviously, Lasik is not for everyone. A quick Google search will bring you to some horror stories, some people have terrible outcomes and bad side effects. I had to sign about 15 pages of documents explaining everything that could possibly go wrong. I decided that the risks were worth it for me. If you are interested in Lasik, talk to your doctor. Everyone will have a different experience and this is just mine.