Thursday, December 23, 2010

Had Lasik - Why didn't I do it before?

If you read my blog regularly, I will tell you that I am a self-proclaimed idiot. This just proves it.  I had lasik surgery 2 days ago and it was so easy.  I've had periods worse than what I went through in the laser room.  I should have done this YEARS ago. 

I went to TLC Laser Center.  They are all over the US, but the one I went to was in Reston, Virginia, only about 5 minutes from our house.  Unfortunately, I couldn't have the actual surgery done there because of my astigmatisms in both eyes, so they sent me about 30 minutes (sans traffic) away to their Rockville center.  There are over 12,000 doctors in their network and I wish they had centers in Kuwait.  It is a little expensive, but you get life-long treatment and the treatment is awesome.

They were AMAZINGLY thorough.  I went through a gazillion tests on the consultation (back in August) and they started me on medication to ease the dry eye problems I have had.  The consultation and all the testing is free and they never pushed me on payment - no hard-sell.  They only brought up financing once. 

The post-op appointment was the day before the surgery and another battery of similar tests.  Again, no hard-sell on the payment.  They never jammed a form in my face and demanded an insurance card or anything. 

I can't tell you how friendly EVERONE at these centers were.  From the receptionist all the way through to the doctors and administrators.  They were just all kind, decent people and all of them took the time to talk to me about me and my life and what it is like living in Kuwait (and eye conditions there).   Just genuine concern and kindness. 

The day of the surgery (2 days ago), my sister went with me to hold my hand.  Okay, that and to crack jokes with me which is usually what I do when I get really nervous.  This time, oddly enough, I was quiet and couldn't talk a lot.  My sister is always there when I need her.  Always.  She had laser surgery like 15 years ago when it was pretty new around here and she always told me I should get it.  I'm the chicken in the family (yep, it's true).  This is my first surgery of any kind (ok, with the exception of having a mole removed, but that doesn't count).  My sister is a cancer survivor and has gone through so much. I was really ashamed to make any noise about being afraid or in pain. 

So, she went with me and we laughed and I took 2 doses of valium and went into happy land (they gave it to me, I didnt' buy it on the black market or anything).  She watched me for a while through a little window and said that I was very peaceful (valium). 

It didn't last long at all and contrary to what people had told me, I didn't see any eye clamps or any of the aparatus they use.  They just told me to look into the light - which is similar to the tests that you have to do, so it was no big deal. I didn't feel them "creating the flap" or any of that - which was my biggest fear.  It was  all over within minutes.  They gave me 2 Tylenol PM's and I was out for 4 hours of sleep.

I have to use eye drops for the next week, but that is the only down side.  My left eye was sore for several hours after the operation, but that was probably just where the thing held my eye open during surgery.

It is amazing how I can see now. I'm shocked.  The biggest deal was that I could see in the shower.  If you are someone who wears contacts or glasses, you'll know that you usually don't wear either in the shower.  I could see!  Amazing.  I started laughing.

This was my Christmas present from my sister:  The gift of sight.  She has done so many kind things for me in my life that it makes me weepy just expressing my gratitude.  She's an amazing person who has helped so many people.  She's my personal Oprah (and I am sure the other people who she has touched feel the same way).  I am ashamed because I never think that I am doing a sufficient job in showing her my gratitude.  I hope I do.  What a wonderful thing to do for someone.  I love you dearly, Caitie.  Thanks for allowing me to see so well.


Stan said...

Mabrook with the operation Thingy. Hope you see the world more clearly now :-P

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think you see the world pretty clearly.

Merry Christmas, DG and enjoy the gift of improved sight!

Farah said...

I had mine done 3 years ago,without lenses I was almost blind :D There isn't a day that passes without me thanking Mom for pushing me to do it and taking care of me after. It's beautiful to wake up and SEE, go swimming, the shower bit...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Desert Girl said...

Thanks for the very nice well-wishes. Anonymous 7:28 - a special word of thanks for your compliment. :)

Snow said...

Glad you did it! I really want to do it and am looking for someone good here in Kuwait. My sis also had it done and loves it. Congrats and Happy New Year!

RBG said...

I had mine done before Thanksgiving in Houston. It was easy and am really happy I had it done. However, my right eye was bloodshot from the device to hold my eye and I had a slight scratch on my left eye which had to be medicated. The dry eye got me as well. But the good out weighs the bad obviously. I simply could not see before the Lasik.

JourneyKitchen said...

I'm still a chicken, I have been considering it for years now but oh how i get shivers thinking of the word "operation" but you last line to be able to see in shower lol strangely I'm tempted to get it done more than ever. I just wish I don't chicken out as always!

Desert Girl said...

JourneyKitchen - I tried not to think about it before I had it. Then, I told them that I didn't want to see any of their movies or pictures on what to expect. I had an idea, but I didn't want to see it.

When I went in for the surgery, I NEVER saw the eye clamps. I NEVER saw anything they did. It was over so fast that I left wondering if there was more.

Seriously, I've had gas that was more uncomfortable.

When you wear glasses or contacts you don't realize things that you are missing (like those hairs that you miss around your ankles or the fact that you can open your eyes in the middle of the night and be able to see things).

Get it. Get them to give you a couple hits of valium.

lasik dallas said...

good article...keep posting

Mal said...

I've found that the Al-Salam, Bneid Al-Gar do the LASIK surgery. I went for tests last November and will hopefully finally get it done in the next few days. Costs less than KD 400 including the tests. Will keep you updated!

Unknown said...

How did it go ?! Can you give me the update what is the exact coat now?!

Desert Girl said...

Unknown June 8 - Well, I'm 6 years into it now. I have had problems reading but that is part of the thing with the lasik - they were correcting my distance vision so I had problems reading from the beginning. It has gotten gradually worse, but not terrible.