I don’t think the title quite captures how absolutely thrilled I am to be sharing this blog post today. 🤩 Last week, I finally bit the bullet and went in for my laser eye surgery to correct my vision.
The day I needed glasses
My reliance on glasses or contact lenses dates back to when I was 16 years old and I was finally taken to see an optometrist to help get to the bottom as to why I could no longer see the whiteboard in my classes. Well, unless I was right at the front.
When I found out that I needed glasses, I wasn’t immediately upset about it. I actually enjoyed waking up seeing my blurry world then correcting it with glasses. It felt cool to see the world both ways. I also appreciated this ability when I travelled knowing I was staying somewhere that wasn’t the best because I wouldn’t get grossed out as much because I couldn’t see. 😂 Strange, I know, but it helped a lot when I found myself in random AirBnBs.
2020 changing my life…
I could live with the other inconveniences that glasses and contact lenses brought, but I always had LASIK at the back of my mind.
2020 was a year of change and it was one of the driving forces behind me finally booking my LASIK consultation. My glasses steaming up and having to fix my mask on the go to prevent that from happening was the last straw.
I’d gotten more aware of what I touch, especially on my face, so adjusting my mask every time I was outside just didn’t feel right.
And there you have it… 2020 yet again proving its value despite being a shitty year.
Going in for my consultation
Leeds has an eye surgery clinic that was easily walkable from where we live and I went in for my initial consultation at the end of July 2021. I spent a few hours getting my eyes looked at and tested to make sure that I was even able to do the surgery.
There are certain rules that are recommended that you have ticked off such as ensuring that your prescription hasn’t changed in the last few years. Knowing that one day I’d like to get laser eye surgery done, I monitored this closely and even created a spreadsheet that I updated every time I got back from an eye appointment. 😆
Luckily, my eyes both looked great and I was a candidate for laser eye surgery! The clinic gave me so much information on what to expect, the risks, the benefits, the expected results… I left feeling very informed and not rushed to make a decision. After a few years of research, I already knew that this is what I wanted and so I booked my surgery day immediately.
On the day of the consultation, they actually put eye drops in your eye that dilate them as part of one of their tests. I struggled to see much for the rest of the day (even with my glasses) but I was beaming knowing that this was finally happening.
I was matched with a surgeon. A week before my surgery, they talked me through my consent forms and gave me the space to ask any questions. The questions on the top of my mind were:
- Does it hurt? How much pain will I be in?
- If there is pain, will I be drugged so I don’t feel anything?
- How long does the surgery go on for?
- Will my eyes revert back? How long does the surgery last for?
- How long is recovery?
The answers I got were:
- The surgery is pretty painless, you will probably feel some discomfort but no pain.
- They do apply local anesthia to your eyes during the procedure
- The surgery shouldn’t be longer than 15 minutes
- Laser eye surgery is permanent but eyes do change over time as you get older so you may need glasses in the future.
- Depends on the surgery you get! In my case, I got LASIK which meant that in under 24 hours I could see the results pretty quickly. However, full recovery can take 3-6 months.
Equipped with all this information, I just needed to wait one more week until my surgery. For the next week, I took extra care of my eyes by reducing screen time, eating more carrots 😆, using eye drops when my eyes felt scratchy.
6th of October 2021 – surgery day arrived 🎉
Before going into the surgery, I had a medical review with the surgeon just to check that my eyes were ready. This stage is super important because sometimes it can turn out that maybe your eyes aren’t ready for the surgery that day and so can be moved. I was pleased that nothing obvious jumped out at the surgeon and I could go ahead.
I waited for another hour or so whilst they calibrated the machine and then I was ready to go. Was I scared? Absolutely. I recall that just a few minutes before my surgery, I was visibly shaken. My mind was like, “What the heck are you doing? Just go back, live with your glasses!” 😂
I was still quite shaky when I got into the surgery room, but also felt cold at the same time (probably contributed by my anxiety.) The nurses were wonderful in making sure that I was kept warm and actually gave me a blanket. It was comforting!
There were two machines in the room. One for cutting a flap on the layer of your cornea, the other for the actual laser. I was on a bed with wheels so they could easily transfer me from one to the other. There were really just two steps:
Cut the flap
Most people talk about feeling discomfort here. But for me, I didn’t really feel anything. It was kind of weird seeing my vision change from blurry but still able to make out shapes to then just blobs of colour.
This was just 15 seconds for each eye.
It was time to open up the flap then laser the eye. This part was probably where I felt my anxiety flare up the most.
I won’t go into the details, but I was very uncomfortable when the surgeon was opening the flap and closing it again after the laser. It’s that part that ingrained into my memory, I just did not like.
The laser itself was only 20 seconds for each eye.
And you’re done!
My eyes were incredibly runny at this point, the nurses took care of that for me and when I was ready, I was led out of the surgery.
Almost immediately, I could see more than I could usually without glasses.
I remember telling the nurse that I could see and I wanted to cry, she handed me tissues and asked if I wanted some hot chocolate. 😂😂😂 They took really good care of me. 💜
A month of recovery
I’m still healing. But every morning I wake up with slightly better vision than the day before. The biggest difference was from a few hours after the surgery! Gosh, even just writing it out right now makes me emotional because I went from -5 and -6 prescription to eyesight that is above the driving standard. It was hands-down the best 3.5k I’ve ever spent and the most life-changing 10 minutes ever.
20/20 vision isn’t promised but it is possible. I think it genuinely depends on recovery and your eyes… obviously! I have a few aftercare appointments coming up where I’ll find out over time.
I’m adhering to the rules to make sure I fully recover that means:
- reduced screen time
- limit exercise
- no make-up
- resting frequently (which can be difficult for me sometimes 🙈)
Thank you to my surgeon, the nurses and if we’re being honest… advancements in science have made this possible. I’m very grateful 😊
Now I’m off to live my life completely free. ✨