On October 25th, 2019, I made a life-changing decision to get LASIK eye surgery. I know this isn’t like my typical blog posts, but it does talk about clarity 😉 and I really want to share my personal journey with this experience!
I have had glasses/contacts for about 15 years. I truly never realized what a pain it was until I didn’t have to deal with either anymore. Contacts were my preferred choice, but if they got dry or irritated from something there were limited options: to deal with the pain temporarily or choose to take it out and go blind in that eye (because 90% of the time I did not have my glasses on me). I would carry a back-up pair of contacts if I had plans that were overnight just in case an issue came up. The other big issue with contacts is that they are expennnnsiveeee!!! I would find myself over-wearing them which obviously isn’t smart, but frankly I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to order my next 6 month supply. On the flip side, I do think glasses are cute and I had fun having multiple frames, but there are a lot of things that aren’t ideal with glasses either. Running and yoga- which I thoroughly enjoy… not so fun. The worst was probably trying to watch a movie laying down and your glasses would get all out of sorts and you then can’t see OR get comfortable. Also, working in the orthodontic field, I have to constantly wear a mask which would fog up glasses instantly. Glasses are also expensive depending where you would buy them. I got mine from EyeBuyDirect which had super cute frames for a lot less than an actual optometry office, which was nice.
Continuing on, my sister is the reason I even considered LASIK. She wore glasses for about 17 years and decided to have her surgery done in May 2019. She asked me to take her to her appointment because you need to have a ride the day of. I went with her and became introduced to this process. I never was interested in it because it is expensive and because my minor issues with glasses/contacts didn’t seem worth the investment. After witnessing her experience in the office and over the following months, I knew this was something I wanted. I was almost out of contacts too, which definitely nudged me more to get started on this journey. I chose to go to the same place Chelsea went to because I knew the process there and absolutely loved Dr. Davis after meeting him.
On September 11th, 2019, I had my consultation. It was pretty much just a very intense eye exam. They ran a bunch of tests to check my current vision and to make sure I was a candidate. My surgery was scheduled for October 25th. I had to get two eye drop prescriptions filled that I would need before and after the surgery, as well as some artificial tear drops to have on hand. I had to wear my glasses for a week straight before both the consultation and the actual surgery- which was not fun because of reasons previously stated. Lastly, I had to avoid eye make-up for a few days prior to surgery.
October 25th came quickly. I had to start my eye drops the night prior to my appointment then continue the next five to seven days after. I had my boyfriend take me bright and early on that Friday morning. It was pretty crazy seeing the reception room filled with many people also there for LASIK surgery. I was called back initially to talk about finances and payment plans, then back to the reception room I went. I really wasn’t nervous at all prior to that day, but the sitting and waiting started to get to me. It didn’t feel real until I heard my name called again. THIS IS HAPPENING. They called me back into a room where they start placing numbing drops in each eye. Thankfully Jon was there with me because that’s when I really started feeling nervous. I had to sit there for 10 whole minutes with my eyes closed while the drops were activating. My thoughts were SCREAMING “what if they don’t numb fully?” “what if I can feel it” “HOW DOES A TINY DROP MAKE MY ENTIRE EYE FEEL NOTHING!!!” I instantly felt tears coming, but held it back and snapped myself out of it. They perform this procedure all of the time. It works. It is safe. I have nothing to worry about.
After those 10 minutes, I was instructed to open my eyes and follow a lady down the hall into the surgical room and Jon was escorted to a waiting room until I was done. My eyes felt wet and heavy at this point. I entered the room and there was country music playing and three ladies standing there welcoming me in. “Hey there Jess! Go ahead and lay down on this table. All you have to do is lay real still and don’t move at all!” Next thing I knew, Dr. Davis was behind me positioning my head into the headrest and aligning my face with the machine. One of the techs sat by my side and placed her hands over mine to make sure I didn’t move. HERE WE GO.
Dr. Davis talked me through the whole procedure. He told me that I would feel pressure, but no pain. He also said that it would go black for a few seconds, but not to worry because that was supposed to happen. He placed a retractor on my left eye to hold it open and this firm push came down onto my eye almost feeling like a suction cup. There was the blackness he warned my about. This was when the flap was created. The suction cup then lifted off and my vision was back. Onto the right eye now, but this time once the initial cut was made it lifted a little and the laser part started. There were two red lights and one green light in my field of vision. He told me to follow the green dot. This was hard, but Dr. Davis redirected me when I struggled because hello something was literally pushing my eyeball and it was hard to focus. I then saw the flap open and a Q-tip looking device come at me and rub my eye. I felt a wetness flood my eye and the machine lifted once again and headed back to my left eye to complete the same process. Once completed, Dr. Davis instructed me to blink a few times and begin to sit up. I was done and it took maybe seven minutes TOTAL. I sat up and was guided into the hallway. Yes, my vision was a little hazy, but I could see immediately. I DID IT!! I entered the room with Jon and he said, “you’re already done?” because it really was that unbelievably fast. A different doctor came in to do a quick eye exam and said everything looked great. He gave me all of my drop instructions, some pretty cool goggles, and sent me on my way with instructions to go home and take a nap.
I got home, took melatonin, and passed out. About two hours later I woke up, put in my eye drops, ate some lunch, and went back to bed for a couple hours. The one eye drop was to be used every two hours while awake for the first two days, then three times a day for five days. The other drop was four times a day for five days. The artificial tears were to be used every couple hours for the first week, then really as needed following that. I had a piece of paper I carried around with me to document the drops because it was a lot to keep track of. After napping on and off that first day, I was awake and had no irritation at all. I had to be very careful with rubbing my eyes or touching them. I also had to pretty much avoid screens for those first 24 hours because of eye straining. I listened to podcasts, talked on the phone, and just rested. Jon came back over later to keep me company. Day one was complete!
The next morning, my vision was near perfect besides a slight haze which was expected the following day or two after surgery. I had a follow up exam with my main eye doctor and everything looked great. I was 20/20!!!! I had to have check-ups with him a week after that and then three weeks later just to make sure everything was healing properly. Other than that, I was doing great and just had to continue to avoid eye make-up and wear my goggles at night for the next five days.
Fast forward two months later and I can see perfectly. The only thing that I am still adjusting to is driving at night because lights seem to have a slight halo effect; it really is getting better every day though. I do still carry artificial tear drops with me if I feel any dryness, but honestly it’s rare that I need them. I am still cautious with rubbing my eyes, too. It definitely took some time for it to hit me that I didn’t have to worry about contacts or glasses anymore! I now can jump out of bed and SEE and I can go to bed without worrying about remembering to take out my contacts. I absolutely love it.
From start to finish, my LASIK journey was very easy. The healing process was truly a piece of cake, too; I mean go home and nap??? Yes, please!! It was expensive, but it will pay itself off in a couple of years because a lot of money was previously going to glasses and contact supplies anyways. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone even considering it. Yes, it was an investment, but it was SO worth it and I will never regret this decision to change my life for the better.