When I started writing about my LASIK experience - I wanted to write my daily experiences for the first week. But I didn't - because the first week was hard and I didn't want to write a post when I had some doubts about the entire procedure.
Monday to Friday of the first week was really the hardest set of days. As I had to work during the week - I think that viewing the computer screen for hours on end, definitely added to the strain I was putting on my eyes.
- Mornings - it was hard to even open my eyes.
- The night before - I would have to put some funky eye shields to protect the flaps as I slept. This by far was the most irritating part of recovery. The shields went on with tape. They felt awkward while I slept. And when I woke up it was hard to take them off - as the tape really sticks to your skin!
- I had to remember to put 2 sets of medicated eye drops into my eyes every four hours.
- My eyes felt gritty and dry.
- Sometimes I almost felt like poking them out - as the dryness would get really troubling.
- In the mornings - my computer screen felt a little blurred.
- I would get head-aches off and on - I think caused by the strain of working continuously for 9+ hours everyday.
- During night time driving - street lights and on coming head-lights would have a halo/star burst around them.
- Driving in the sun - needed sun-glasses otherwise my eyes would hurt.
That as you can see is a long list of post-operative problems that I had. And when the pain or dry-ness in my eyes would reach the highest level - many times I wondered if I really should have gone for the LASIK treatment. Also - many times - I felt as though I couldn't see as well as I could with my glasses. (Remember - to begin with I had a pretty low prescription for my eyes. I am sure if you had 1.5 or over in your eyes - you would see a change almost immediately and it would all feel worth it from day one).
Even on the day of my one week appointment - I did not feel as though I was able to see as well as I could with my glasses on pre-LASIK.
But I can drive around without my glasses - what a relief. I can buy any damn sun-glasses that I want - no more prescription based ones - that I have to be extremely careful with - least I forget them - especially on a trip. All these small things are what makes LASIK so worth-while.
Finally yesterday I decided to go to the theatre to watch 10,000 B.C. Now before - whenever I went to watch a movie - I had to remember to take my glasses. If I forgot them - it was not going to be fun. The movie would be a blur, I would have to trouble somebody near me to read off text on the screen - which my friends hated - especially in a crucial scene in a movie. Many times, when I forgot my glasses, I would turn back home to get my glasses - again not a very popular move with my friends.
But this Sunday - I intentionally went to the movies without my glasses. Really had no idea of what to expect. Now, 10,000 B.C is a movie that is set in - you guessed it right - 10,000 B.C. So obviously the actors speak in some 10,000 B.C. language and hence the movie was peppered with sub-titles. Sub-titles that if I had missed - then the movie would have probably been a truly boring movie (Not that it wasn't as is - again - that's another post). I was able read each and every one of the sub-titles. No problems at all. (This after 3 glasses of Irish beer - it was St. Patty's day after all). No head-aches after the movie.... no irritated family or friends. Proof that indeed the LASIK procedure had made my life better.
What helped through this first week were preservative free eye drops. I used them almost every hour or as soon as I felt my eyes dry up. (The times I felt like pulling out my eyes - were when I got too caught up with work and would skip the artificial tears). So here is my advice for the first week:
- Be patient - your eyes are healing - and you might not get to 20/20 right off the bat.
- If you work with a computer a lot - try and get a timer going - that reminds you to look away every 20 minutes at something at least 20 feet away.
- If possible try and get a few minutes of shut eye after 4 hours of work.
- Use preservative free tears as often as you need.
- Don't let your eyes dry out - as that hurts and probably adds to the strain on your eyes.
- Speak to your doctor - he is your best resource. Any time you feel pain in your eyes - or your eyes begin to feel strange - it probably is a good idea to talk to your doctor. And if he is not around - or doesn't take your call - then obviously you chose the wrong doc and he definitely is not from Icon Lasik of Denver.
As I go forward - I only expect my eyesight to get better. My next appointment with the doctor is in 6 weeks.