It's been almost a month since I started to feel like a kid again. When I was ten I remember sitting on my front porch and looking across the street and not being able to see the leaves on the trees anymore- just blobs of green color. I remember becoming scared about taking the eye exam at school the next time it came up. Oh God, I knew I'd have to get glasses! And when I was in school, glasses weren't fashionable and they weren't worn just to look cool- they were metal framed and round and you were lucky if at best you only had to wear them just to see the chalkboard. Thankfully, after I failed the test and had a good cry, I did only have to wear them for the chalkboard.
Since I was about 13 or 14 I've had to wear contacts or glasses on a full-time basis. It sucks. It always has sucked. Even though the glasses have become cooler and the contacts had become more comfortable to wear, I kept dreaming of the day where I would be able to see again without them, if that was at all possible. I heard about my cousin getting LASIK done and thought, "If I ever have the money, I'm totally getting that!" For years I kept on saying to my mom that I was going to get it done- but then LIFE got in the way; a car, college tuition, then a wedding, and then a mortgage. Finally, I just decided one day, after my contacts ran out, that I was going to do it. My insurance through my hubby was crap for glasses and I rationalized getting the surgery because over the years, I'd pretty much pay more for contacts and glasses then I would for the surgery. So I got the information, traveled to Philadelphia, and started to get the ball rolling. I was going to be able to see again. No squinting. No more fear of fans drying my eyes out. No more Mr. Magoo.
|I'm not a JETS fan, this was all for the hubby, a day before my surgery.|
Let me tell you, the fear of the surgery, the fear of the unknown, the fear of going blind, was so much worse than the actual surgery! I couldn't sleep for two days. The anxiety was killing me! Everyone was telling me to calm down, but could you imagine the fear?! It's not like getting bridgework done, it's messing with your eyesight!
After having to wear my glasses for a month straight and getting plenty of "sexy librarian" comments, which by the way, I didn't mind too much, I finally went in for surgery. After a last bit of testing, I was told by my nurse how fabulous my glasses were while another nurse told her not to say that right before I was going in for LASIK! They were so friendly and the laugh helped calm my nerves, along with some calming drugs; then I was given a sexy paper gown, shoes, and hat—I was going in for surgery.
My hubby was prepared to sit it out for the long haul while I was in surgery. Little did he know, it wasn't going to last long.
A nice nurse in a paper gown came to get me out of the waiting room and reluctantly left my hubby's arm. She asked me my name and asked me what I was in for. After being a little drugged up, I said, "my eyes." She definitely had a good laugh because apparently I was suppose to say LASIK, because there are different kinds of eye surgeries going on at Kremer.
I was laid down on a chair that looked like a dentists' chair and the doctor greeted me by asking me my name once again. And then the sci-fi moments began...
I remember Dr. Aronsky, who is so nice, and not too shabby looking either, asking me to close my eyes and then he said he was going to push on my eye to see how the pressure would be on my eye and if I was ok with it; it was nothing. He put this little circular thing in my eye to hold it open, and then it started. I remember laying there and knowing that my eye was open, but I couldn't see, everything went black and I thought to myself, Oh Geeze what is going on... I felt something circle my eye, but it wasn't painful, I just knew something was happening. In the background I heard one of the friendly nurses doing a countdown, "19 seconds doctor, 14 seconds..." and then when that countdown was done they went to the other eye and the countdown continued. When they said they were done with that part of the surgery I felt like I couldn't open my eyes. It was a weird feeling. I didn't know if my eyes were open or closed. They gave me a blanket because I was cold, and then they told me to open my eyes and see if I could get up and walk to the next laser. I said I couldn't for some reason, but they convinced me I could, I did, and then moved to the next chair.
The doctor asked me how I was doing and I said fine in a very loopy voice. Then I told him that this felt like,"sci-fi shit" with the countdown going on and all the feelings and sights, it definitely felt like a sci-fi movie. He laughed and agreed on it being sci-fi shit and then he said that the hard part was over. I couldn't believe that because it felt like nothing! Just, weird.
They then covered my face and covered one eye while they started work on the other. Again, my eye was held open and the doctor told me every step of what he was doing. It was so weird to see what was going on but not feel a thing! I was told to continue to stare at a yellow beam and then I was told to listen to the sound of the laser just so I wouldn't be startled by it later. I saw water go over my eye with a little tool that looked like what you'd see at a dentist— you know how weird it is to see water go over your eye, but you can't feel it!? It's weird; the first reaction to water is to normally close your eyes, but with this it was like looking at it with glass over top, it looked cool. Then air came, then it kinda looked like he was painting something on my eye, possibly my lens thing?! I don't know! and the order could definitely be messed up, but then I heard the "da da da da da" of the laser and it was over with. Then we were on to the other eye. Again, the countdowns were going, "19 seconds, 10 seconds..." Hearing people working around you working and saying, "yes doctor"- Now I know what the aliens feel like in those sci-fi movies!
After a minute they sat me up and told me all was finished. It was like my eyesight was better but like swimming under water. Just a little grainy. I got up and walked to a room where the doctor checked my eyes and said the nurse would be in with my care package and that I was good to go. With my fabulous goggles.
|Had to wear this fabulous eye wear every night when I slept for a week.|
I came out of the office and my hubby looked up and couldn't believe I was done. It took ten minutes. Literally.
I could see. My eyes felt like they had sand in them and I didn't want to keep them open. They also make sure that for healing you have to have them closed for six hours. I fell asleep on most of the car ride home and then when my hubby stopped for food I peeked out from my goggles and noticed that I could see! Like no longer grainy, but my eyes were still sensitive. The surgery was done at two in the afternoon. After I woke up from sleeping at nine at night, my eyesight was perfect! No sandy eyes. No pain. No sensitivity. It was amazing! I cried and cried.
The next day I drove down for my follow up appointment and couldn't stop crying over how amazing it felt to see. I was back at work that day too. My only complaint is that I never saw Dr. Aronsky again to thank him personally for the amazing gift I received. How do you thank someone for the gift of sight? You honestly can't. It's something I dreamt of but never thought I'd have. No more glasses, which disappoints some people, but makes me smile from ear to ear. It was the best decision I ever made. I can't wait for the summer so I can swim under water with my eyes open again and really feel like a kid with not a care in the world. I can get splashed in a pool, I can shower without my contacts falling out, I can use fans, and I can work my long hours without pain.
It's been almost a month and I've never felt more free. The first two days I had to set my iPhone every hour for eye drops, but let me tell you how soon you forget the little inconveniences once you can see! I can wake up whenever and be able to see. I can run and be able to see the leaves on the trees. It's the most amazing feeling in the world. I've never felt more happiness.
|Halloween, four days after my surgery|