Thursday, November 8, 2012

LASIK - five months of new eyes

It's time for my 5 month update on the LASIK surgery I had at the beginning of June.

I had my 5 month exam on Monday, and the surgeon said I was "all healed up!" Sometimes I feel otherwise, but I guess she's refering to my "flaps." She looked at my actual eyeballs for . . . Oh . . . less than 10 seconds and pronounced me healed.

Here are the previous posts for recaps, if you're interested:

1. Pre-op thoughts
2. Post-op review
3. Two month followup

When I last updated, I had finished a round of steroid drops due to my TLS (transient light sensitivity) which apparently affects a large percentage of patients who have all-laser surgery (or blade-free). In addition, it is more common a side effect for women - aren't we lucky? Basically I would get waves of a blindly, burning, stinging sensation in my eyes and would, at times, weep uncontrollable in response. Not "boo-hooing" tears. My eyes would just leak. It wasn't necessarily always bright, blinding sunlight that triggered it. It was scary that this would often happen when I was driving with tinted windows and sunglasses on. Sometimes it happen just by the light of my bedside lamp.  The round of drops lasted 10 or 11 days.

For the duration of the steroid my eyes felt amazing and the issues I'd been having with dryness also disappeared. For about two weeks after the round of drops was completed, my eyes still felt great. Then the sensations returned, the weeping started again, and I was getting really irritated by it all. So I called for another appointment. This time she put me on the same type of steroid drop, but for a full month and a different dosage per day. I was just finishing the drops up when we went to Greece. I thankfully had no problems with my eyes on our trip!

It's been over a month now since I finished the second round of drops and, while I'm still slightly sensitive to very bright sunlight (but who isn't?), I haven't had any really terrible episodes. Sometimes my eyes get really tired from the computer screen or watching TV in the dark, but I realize I'm still healing. They aren't kidding when they say it can take up to a year for you to fully complete your recovery.

I can't remember who, but someone recently asked me if I would do it all over, now that I'm on the other side. I still can't really answer that. Now, of course, I know about the initial pain and the long-ish road of recovery that I completely did not expect and was unprepared for when I decided to have the surgery. So I know I would have felt much less confident if I'd had that knowledge beforehand, but I also think my expectations would have been massively different and perhaps more realistic. I'm glad to be on the other side though, and that same person also reminded me how awesome it is that I can see when I open my eyes in the morning. And yes, that part is definitely awesome.

My next appointment (one year) isn't for another 6-7 months. Hopefully I'll remember to update, but I don't plan anything that far in advance!

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