Ever since 3rd grade, I've been burdened with bad eye sight. But never again will I have to deal with contacts of glasses (well, at least not until I'm old and need bifocals); because last Wednesday I had laser vision correction surgery! I originally thought I would have LASIK like most people, but due to the shape of my eye, my doctor recommended that I have PRK laser correction surgery. I'd never heard of this surgery, but apparently 20% of "LASIK" patients actually get PRK.
The main difference in PRK surgery is a longer healing process. Instead of cutting a flap on the surface of your eye, the surgeon chemically removes the top layer of cells on your cornea and then uses the laser to reshape your eye. So instead of simply replacing the flat over your cornea, your eye has to regrow those cells over several weeks (TMI??) causing blurry, ever-changing vision. The actual surgery took less than 10 mintues and I was awake the whole time. I was given a Valium pill to "help me relax" - which I think only made me crack dumb jokes with the nurse about how it felt like she was waxing my eyebrowns as she taped my eyes open.
You hear stories from lasik patients about how they went under the laser, opened their eyes and could miraculously see perfectly! It was quite disappointing for me to go under the laser, then open my eyes only to see a whole bunch of blur. "Um, excuse me... could you just hand me that laser real quick? I think I just need a few more zaps to clear things up." I knew this was normal and expected, but it was still a bit of a letdown.
They gave me some super cool sunglasses/goggles that strap around my head, a whole bag of eye drops and sent me blindly on my way. My sweet mom, who flew all the way up to Portland to take care of me (more on that later!), drove me home, put me in a dark room with my goggles, and continued to wait on me hand and foot for the next several days. (This may be hard to believe, but manicures and foot massages highly increase the comfort of an eye surgery patient!)
So what do you do when you're practically blind, can't drive yourself anywhere, can't read or watch movies, are sensative to light, and have a mother who won't let you look at a computer? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And for me, that is torture. But I've tried to enjoy some down time and let people take care of me. I can't wait to actually be able to see clearly again and I know that these few days/weeks of blurriness will be worth it in the long run.
So if you see me in the next week of so and I don't wave and say hello, or if I stare directly at you and don't recognize you or realize that I'm making direct eye contact with you, just have a little compassion on the little blind girl... and maybe drop a quarter in my coffee cup.
I was looking through the comic strips in the paper yesterday (with the paper about an inch from my face and my eyes squinted) and this is the first one I read. I laughed out loud, showed it to West and Megan and said, "This is me!!"