Like any good nerd, your eye vision tends to suck.
Without giving away my vision prescription (Ray Charles) lets just say I have bumped into walls, literally started to cry when I drove without my glasses, and gave myself headaches and bruises from falling asleep with my glasses on. To make matters worst, other people would try on my glasses for a “drunk” effect.
At the end of the day, I was sick of being blind and wearing glasses. Forget vanity, I just wanted to be able to see across the room without everything looking blurry. Plus, I gave up on contacts because they dried out my eyes and turned them bloodshot red after 3-4 hours.
So, after a lot of research and praying, I decided to check out the Lasik Vision Institute in Boca Raton. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the place because it was always packed with people and it took forever.
However, after sitting in the office for 30 minutes, I realized that they were not slow; they just refused to be rushed. The staff took their time with each patient to ensure that no detail was missed.
Long story short, the initial consultation took 2-3 hours and yes the wait was annoying as hell however, after the consultation you understood exactly the condition of your eyes and if you were a candidate for Lasik surgery.
Immediately after the initial consultation, I signed up for the following Saturday surgery /procedure (you will want to choose a Friday or Saturday surgery day, for recovery.)
The day before my surgery, I went to the pharmacy to have my prescriptions filled, started taking the required eye drops, and confirmed with my friend Joann about the arrival time for surgery.
Speaking of Joann: this surgery will test any friendship. Any friend who is willing to spend an entire day and a half of their weekend to make sure that you are taking all of your eye drop medication, eating, and recovering well is a keeper 😉
Day of Surgery Tip: Eat well that morning and keep the Valium handy. For one, you will be at the center for 3 hours so you will feel unusually hungry and irritated. The Valium helps because you will probably be scared shitless after reading and signing the consent forms.
Anyway, after confirming everything (including payment,) you are led to the back of the office to be slaughtered. Just kidding, you are led back to be prepped for surgery – hair net, booties, and to take a Valium (if you haven’t already.)
The surgery itself reminded me of some Final Destination or creepy Sci-Fi movie.
Here are the steps as I remembered them:
- Lay down on the table face up.
- One eye is taped shut.
- Your body is moved under some NASA looking machine. The doctor will tell you to focus on the red beam of light from the machine.
- The eye that is opened has local anesthesia applied to it. Then you eyes are kept open by some clamp (and trust me, your eye will not close/blink/fidget.) This clamp will have a kung fu grip on your eyelid.
- Before you know it, you will see a clear flap moved to the side. Yes, it is the flap from your eye.
- Then, everything goes black for 3-4 seconds.
- Your vision reappears very blurry and then you see little beams of lights moving.
- This is where the action happens and yes, it smells like burnt hair.
- The clear flap of the eye is reapplied. The doctor brushes over the flap and examines your eye to make sure everything is ok.
- Second eye is tapped shut. Procedure is repeated on other eye.
The crazy thing about the surgery is that it doesn’t hurt but you do feel pressure!
Once my eyes were completed, I sat up from the table, turned right, blinked, and saw the Alpha Kappa Alpha emblem on my tote bag halfway across the room. Nice!
The doctor examines your eyes and goes through the post procedures with you again (you will be slightly high and weirded out, you won’t be listening.)
Joann drove me to get something to eat, gave me my second and last Valium, and I went to sleep.
After Lasik eye surgery, you want to go to sleep for 4-6 hours immediately after surgery. And yes, tape those damn eye shields as tight as possible because you will rub and touch your eyes while sleep.
For example, immediately after the surgery, I slept for 2 hours and woke up to my eyes burning (not a serious burn but a lot of irritation) and watering like hell. Guess what I did? Rub A Dub Dub! Rub my eyes. But the eye shields protected my eyes from my hands. I took some Aleve and went back to sleep.
For the most part, I slept the whole night.
The next day, I had a 9:30am follow-up appointment. My vision was not 20/20 but I could see halfway across the room.
It takes a varied amount of time for your vision to stabilize to optimal vision. However, here are the rules for the first 2-3 weeks: no mascara(the first week), no swimming, no beach, no excessive sweating, no horseplay, and you must put eye drops in your eyes every so many hours. Plus you must wear eye shields for 2-3 weeks.
It has been four days and my eye vision has improved but at night I still see a slight halo around car headlights. And yes, I use the moisturizing drops every hour or so because my eyes are still recouping and slightly dry. You may have to apply the drops for up to 3 months to alleviate the dryness but this depends on your eyes and healing time.
This has been my experience; of course your experience may be different. The average cost can range from $2500 to $3200 for both eyes. From my understanding a lot of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) plans allows you to save for the cost. Also, you can apply for credit (0% interest.)
So far, I have no regrets.