Thursday, April 1, 2010

LASIK (Day 0) 10th March 2010

^Super kiasu... Wore both sunglasses and eye shield for sleeping. Notice how I fold my arms as a form of "tying my hands up"...

I did my operation the day after my preassessment on 10th March 2010 (one day before my bro's birthday), at 8.30am in the morning.

Some DON'Ts on this very important day for your 2 eyes for INTRALASE LASIK:
1) DO NOT wear cologne or perfume or aftershave lotion; they might screw the laser up.
2) DO NOT wear woollen clothings; the hairy thingies might get into your eyes and laser.
3) DO NOT wear eye makeup; quite obvious why...
4) DO NOT drive.

Some DOs
1) Bring along a pair of sunglasses; trust me, you will need them.
2) Get someone to fetch you back; I got my brother to bring me back in a cab.

So on this big day, I took special care to shampoo my hair a few times, because post-op, possibility of me not washing them for 2 days is high. And I actually forgotten about the warning against woollen clothings and wore something somewhat woollen. Luckily, I went off before my brother, because it's a weekday peak hour (7am in the morning); I wanted to fight the crowd for the bus. I asked my brother to bring a long-sleeved shirt for me before my operation.

I arrived on time, but there were already a few people there in the waiting lounge. Dr Lee's not there yet though. But it was just as well, since I have go through the pre-op routine eye tests again to check for any aberrances by the opthalmologist anyway. Then a nurse came and bring me to this room to prep. She first gave me a small bag with all the post-op materials, then explained to me certain things for post-op:
1) Wear eye shields for at least 5 days at night
2) Wear sunglasses
3) Do not rub your eyes at all times
4) 2 eye drops: 1x Zymar (eye antibiotic) and 1x Pred Forte (eye-anti-inflammatory); she told me the Pred Forte is a white opthalmic suspension, so shake well before use, and got bitter aftertaste (windpipe, ear ducts, and eye ducts connected to gullet...). Eyes drops to be used every 3 hours.
5) 1 box of Refresh Plus Lubricant Eye Drops by Allercan (no preservatives, important). Apparently this is the better drops for dry eyes. Can put every half an hour.
6) NO contact sports (squash included) and swimming for 1 month
7) Avoid water and soap in eyes for a week.
8) Sleeping pills and painkillers.

A good thing she did all those things before the op, because post-op, I don't think I can remember all of that was told if she starts rambling while my eyes burn away. LOLX. Then she applied some eye drops into the eyes and got me to put on the surgical gown. I found her a bit edgy, maybe because it was morning, and mine was the first operation. So she was fumbling with the eye drops - she had to aim a few times to my eyes before she got them in my eyes.... So I was literally 'tearing' even before the op.... Oh, and I was given painkillers and sleeping pills. I had to eat one before the op, because it takes about half to an hour for the effect to come on (total op takes less than 15 min).

Then I was brought to another rest room, with 2 armchair beds. Armchair beds, because they are not flat, but inclined like armchairs. Very comfy with blankets and pillows. Wonder what is it like in less ex places, hopefully it's some 'atas' treatment, then at least I would feel my money is more worth it. HAHA. I waited there for a while, before being brought to another prep room. There, the nurse applied some anaesthetic eyes drops. Dr Lee then came in and gave me some pep talk. Well, with the menacing scratchy humming of the laser machines in the adjacent room, I think I did not feel less nervous. LOLX... Nevertheless, immediately after, I was taken to the operation table, with the laser machine and gadgets, hovering around me. Ok, here goes nothing...

Dr Lee started with my right eye, asking me to focus on a red light, as a device clamped down my eye socket and felt as though it was going to pop my eye out. To me, the red light looked extremely blotchy, well because I got astigmatism. So, I found myself asking the stupid question of "where on the blotch of red should I focus?" .z.z.zz.. Finally I decided to focus in the center or the orb since I think he would want my pupil to be as forward-looking as possible for the cut. Then the laser came, followed by the smell of burnt skin (ewwww), then Dr Lee asked me to hold my focus, counting down out loud as well: 15 seconds, 10, 5... (which I find EXTREMELY comforting because I can then focus on the numbers, instead of an empty "how long more"). Then my eyes started tearing... Like crazy, and my eye muscles found it an effort to keep my right eye open. Then I felt Dr Lee "paint" my R eye with a brush (or something), probably to settle the corneal flap down in place.

Quite promptly, he moved on to my left eye. The second eye I feel was the worse. Because I could hardly open my right eye already! That kindda made the opening of the L eye more difficult. I actually really had to consciously strain my eyes to keep both open and focus on the light. I remembered Dr Lee had to ask me to refocus my L eye and opened it bigger. Something I like about Dr Lee at the op table is that he gives incessant constructive motivation (makes you feel not alone and how long you need to feel strained) and pretty clear instructions. Then same "painting" of the eye, tearing and eye muscles strain and it was done! That's when I realised, my hands were tightly locked together...

First thing I got up, I could see Dr Lee and the nurses SHARPLY! Albeit with a layer of haziness, the images were undoubtedly sharp (NO ASTIG!!!). But the lights were a tad too bright. He waved *roll eyes*, with the cheshire grin and said "Welcome to the world of the reborn eyes" (you might roll eyes now, but when I was there, I chuckled mirthfully at the resolution of the images I could see) LOLX... Think the whole procedure lasted less than half an hour, with no pain but with a lot of discomfort.

Then I was brought to the armchair bed to rest, lights switched off. Told to stay here for another half an hour or so. My eyes felt strained and also some very slight irritation. None of the drama-mamas that I have heard about scotching eyes, faint spells and tears that flooded the seven seas. But I do see some black patches when I was in the dark. Quite scary. Else, everything else was sharp, but overlayed with a tinge of haziness, which I was told was typical post-op.

After half an hour, I was given the bag of eye drops and shield, and went out to pay my bills (can see the bill lo!) and then took cab go home. Other than the lights I found too bright (I put on my sunglasses), and the eyes' slight discomfort, I was actually feeling pretty jovial and was talking and joking with my brother. So, I guess I am one of those lucky ones with no dizzy spells or extreme tearing experienced. But my brother did commented my eyes were really red...

Back at home, was sleep. I just slept the whole day away, but waking up every 3 hours to put my eye drops and painstakingly making sure my hands were washed with soap before applying. So yea, I even woke up every 3 hours in the middle of the night to apply the eye drops. I read the first 3 days is the most critical of the healing process. So the regime must be well-kept. No shortcuts. No hard squeezing of the eyes, no rubbing (eye shields for sleeping, I read online somebody actually tied the hands to the legs after she rubbed unconsciously in the night and developed microfolds that blurred a bit of her otherwise 6/6 corrected vision.... but was too late already....what a pity....). I did not bathe for the rest of the day.

Something else I recommend is getting a pair of googles. I had one pair from my brother's old pair of safety googles. Can get from any hardware shop. But I think swimming googles are fine too, but get those with cushion, and make sure they are not too tight... Though personal preference still the safety googles, since I wore them out (my workplace near construction site) even now, and you would look less alien than if you wore swimming googles, and I found they help with the dry eyes too.
V my googles

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