One year of seeing 20/20!

At the age of 24, I decided to have corrective eye surgery. I knew my vision wasn’t perfect. I got my first set of reading glasses when I was in high school, but rarely wore them. In college, I had an eye doctor tell me that my vision had gotten so bad that she highly recommended I get contact lenses. She told me I was almost legally blind… which although it did scare me, I felt she was being dramatic. She kept telling me that I would notice the difference between just wearing glasses versus contact lenses … and I did! But I hated it. I hated contacts. In fact, it took me over an hour to put them on the first time. Thankfully, I got better at it, I just hated it. Since my prescription was so high, I wasn’t even able to get colored contacts, which let’s face is… it’s the only perk of contacts. Well, I decided to wear my contacts only when needed and for the most part, stick with my glasses. When I ran out of contacts, about a year later, I realized how expensive they were!! At my yearly eye exam, I learned that my vision had gotten worse, and so had my astigmatism. So I picked out new frames for glasses and ordered the “test” contact lenses in my new prescription, but because the prescription was so high I was told it could take 3 weeks to get the test contact lenses and after that another week or so if I order a pack of them. It was all becoming a bit much and realizing how bad my vision was… I asked my eye doctor if I would be a candidate for Lasik. She said no and that my vision was so bad that there isn’t enough research on the consequences and success of Lasik on my level of astigmatism.
At this point, my mother had already had LASIK eye surgery (bad eye sight runs in the maternal side of the family). So, with my mom’s encouragement, I decided to get a second opinion from her eye surgeon. After a consultation, I was told that I was not a candidate for LASIK.
My heart was crushed, and I almost wanted to cry because I knew that my eye sight would only get worse. At the age of 24, you don’t think about losing you sight as you get older. I then got some great news…. PRK surgery was still an option! I knew a little about PRK so I was extremely happy that I was a candidate! PRK stands for Photo Refractive Keratectomy. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that in LASIK, an incision/flap is made to make the correction; PRK, the top layer is basically scrubbed off to make the correction.
I scheduled my PRK surgery for an evening in February 2017, specifically the Thursday before President’s Day weekend. There was a good amount of paper work to fill out and a few surgeries scheduled, so there was a bit of a wait time – However, I spent it reading the cutest get-well letters from my husband’s first grade class ❤
The procedure from the time I entered the room to when I exited took less than 15 minutes. I laid down on a chair (similar to the dentist chair but way comfier) and was given a teddy bear to hold on it (gave me something to do with my hands/distract me).
I am not sure if the surgeon used a sticky pad/tape or a clump but something was put on me to keep my eyes from closing –it didn’t hurt at all, I didn’t even feel it. Which is why I can’t exactly tell what was used (I am sure I was told at the time).
The surgeon commented on my astigmatism and told me he would try to fully correct it and the goal was to get me to 20/20 vision. I was administered different drops into my eyes and instructed to look straight up into a red dot. While the laser is going it smells like burning hair but there weren’t any weird noises and I didn’t feel a single thing! The actual lasering takes seconds per eye. As soon as the lasering was done, I was administered more drops and the surgeon put band aid contacts on my eyes. The surgeon told me he was able to fully correct my astigmatism. He told me I had 20/20 vision and when I got up from the chair, I glanced at the eye test chart that was on the wall in front of me and I couldn’t believe it… I was able tor read every single letter on the chart, without putting effort in to it. I had stared at this chart before the surgery, only being able to read the top line.
I was then taken to a dark room where my band aid contacts were checked again, just to be extra sure that they were okay. I was given a little bag that had a starter pack of eye drops, sunglasses, googles, and post op care instructions. I was given a prescription for pain killers and other eye drops, one of which was steroids.
I wore my googles to sleep that night and for at least the rest of the week. When I wasn’t sleeping, I wore the sunglasses. I stayed indoors for at least 3-4 days and tried to stay in darkness as long as possible for proper healing and to avoid light sensitivity. I had absolutely no discomfort or pain after the eye surgery.
After the long weekend, I returned to work on Wednesday (I decided to take an extra day even though I was okay).
The most important thing for a healthy recovery is to follow the post care instructions!! Wear the goggles, wear sun glasses, make sure to use all eye drops without missing a dose!
I just had my one-year post op exam and I am still 20/20! Its amazing to be able to see so clear. PRK has been one of the best decisions and investments I have made!