Laser Eye Surgery

Posted on October 29, 2009 | 6 minute read

I had my laser eye surgery today. Instead of writing about how awesome (or not awesome) it was, I’ll first tell you how exactly it happened.

As I’m typing this, everything is quite blurry. I’m wearing. protective goggles, which must stay on until my follow-up appointment tomorrow morning.

HHRay and I woke up at 9:30 AM and got ready to go. I wasn’t allowed to wear any moisturizer, makeup, perfumed deodorant, sprays, or anything of the sort.

We got to the Laser Vision Center and Murdoch Hospital about half an hour early and waited in the car for a bit, chatting and reading news on my iPhone before going in.

In the waiting room, they seemed to be running a little behind schedule. During our wait we saw two people come out with protective eye shields literally taped over their eyes with masking tape. I haven’t been nervous at all in the days prior and while I felt a tiny bit more apprehensive this morning (because I had a dream last night about them sticking a needle in my eye, which doesn’t actually happen), I still wasn’t afraid or worried at all.

Finally, HHRay and I got called into the next office. There, a nice lady checked my paperwork and told me that the $6,100 fee for the surgery doesn’t actually get implemented until November and until then, patients only have to pay $5,900. Bonus!

She handed me some paper “booties” to wear over my shoes and a cap to put over my head. Then, a nice elderly nurse came out of the office next-door to give me a mild sedative and put some steroid eye drops into my eyes.

We waited for twenty minutes for the sedative to kick in. HHRay and I chatted with the receptionist, who also gave me the run-down on the procedure, what I have to do post-op, and answered any questions about the whole thing. She also gave me an appointment card to see Dr. Phillip McGeorge (the surgeon) the next morning at 7:45 AM.

Finally, I was led through to the actual operation room. By this time the sedative kicked in and I was even more relaxed than I previously was. I noticed about three or four people in the room, but didn’t really get a chance to look around because the kind elderly nurse got me to sit on the bed and slowly and carefully lay down with my head under some sort of a machine.

She then proceeded to put what felt like two or three different types of drops into my eyes, then dry my eyes. The whole time she was talking me through what was happening, which I definitely appreciated. She was also saying I was doing great - I got the sense that many people must be really scared about this, because she was so careful to sound soothing and make sure I knew what was happening.

Then, the bed I was laying on moved and I saw the surgeon above me. His face was covered, but I can only assume that it was Dr. McGeorge. From memory he put more drops into my eye - these stung for a few seconds. He then covered my left eye with tape of some sort. I remember him putting some sort of a measurement device near (or on top of?) my eye. Finally, the surgeon placed some sort of a white device onto my eye. I heard a nurse nearby saying “Suction” and felt pressure, but no pain. I was instructed to look straight ahead as the first laser began to create the corneal flap by slicing through the surface of my eye. I did feel a little discomfort, but it didn’t hurt at all. It took about 20 seconds for the flap to be created. Then, the nurse said “Suction off” (or something along those lines) and the white device which was on top of my eye was removed.

The surgeon put more eye drops into my eye and then the same process was repeated on my left eye.

Next, my left eye was covered up again and two bits of some sort of tape were placed on the bottom and top of my right eye, maybe to keep the eyelashes out of the way. After this, some sort of a device was placed into my eye to keep it open. As I said, I couldn’t really see anything properly - everything was slightly blurred from the eye drops and maybe from the fact that part of my eye was just partly sliced off. I saw the surgeon’s hand with a thin metal looking device of some sort. He brought it to my eye and, I think, started sliding the flap up and away to expose the tissue beneath. Everything moved and became blurry and distorted at this point. The red pin of light that I saw ahead of me before turned into a red, sparkly blob of light. I was told to concentrate on the red light while the laser worked to modify the surface of my eye. This felt like it took around 30-45 seconds. And again, the same process was repeated on the left eye.

Before I knew it two protective shields were taped over my eyes and I was sitting up. The nurse asked me how I was feeling. I felt totally fine and was led through to another room where I was given a water bottle, sunglasses, and a box of Paracetamol pain killers (two of which the nurse had me swallow straight away).

I went out to meet HHRay in the waiting room, feeling totally fine. It’s when we were outside that the sedative they gave me earlier really started to take effect. I wasn’t sleepy so much as I was disoriented. All I remember is half-stumbling back to HHRay’s car, babbling complete nonsense, and instructing him to go to McDonald’s and ordering a “half small half medium”-sized fries.

Those were some of the most delicious fries I’ve had in my life. I ate them as I was half asleep. When we got back to his house I instantly sank into the bed, where he cuddled me for a bit to make sure I went to sleep, and slept for something like three hours.

I woke up feeling like there was sand in my eyes. It hurt to open them and it hurt to close them. I tried sleeping more, but couldn’t. I took two more pain killers and now I feel totally fine (until the pain killers wear off I’m sure). HHRay’s dad and I went for a walk around the park with his dog. Already, when I manage to look through one of the little holes in the eye protectors, I can read things I never would have imagined being able to read before. I can’t wait until my 7:45 appointment tomorrow, when I can get these things taken off and really experience my newfound 20/20 vision.




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