They started with a few tests to measure how awful my eyes truly are. Over my 20+ years of horrible vision, they progressed to -5.50 on each eye. The nurse said that I was essentially too blind to be measured on a 20/20 vision scale. In preparation for surgery, I was given valium and many eye drops. Then I took my glasses off for the last time as they walked me into a small cold room with a reclining chair between two big machines. The entire procedure took about 15 minutes.
This is how I would describe the procedure to a 9 year old:
- An eyeball shaped vacuum was placed on my eye so it would stay still. The suction unintentionally made my vision go grey while the laser made tiny holes on the outer layer of my eyeball.
- I had to stare at an orange light that I could barely see because I was so blind. Even though I was very fidgety, the computer was still able to keep track of me.
- The same vacuum sucky thing on my other eyeball and I went grey again.
- I couldn't see the other orange light either.
- The procedure ended and I could see the clock on the wall. It wasn't very clear but I could see it far better than I could before.
THE NEXT THREE HOURS were to be the most crucial and most uncomfortable of the recovery. I was instructed to sleep through it. Unfortunately, we didn't get home in time before the itching ensued. I don't know if it was the valium, the itching, the Tylenol PM, or all of it combined but I was absolutely miserable. I wept several times because all I wanted to do was stop the itching. I couldn't change my circumstances. I couldn't help my situation - I could only hurt it. I even tried to scratch at my bug bites to try and transfer the itching to another place on my body but that didn't help. The last resort was to sit out by the TV and listen to the news with an ice pack on my cheeks and forehead to help dull the itching.
After those dreadful 3 hours, I was able to put in my drops and it helped a little. My Norwegian eyes betrayed me as my sensitivity to light was more intense than ever before. Thank God for those goggles. Jonathan put up a make shift bedroom curtain so I could sleep. He also enjoyed calling me a variety of super villain names based on my new goggled appearance.
THE NEXT DAY was much better. I had a check up and the doctor was pleased with my progress. My vision isn't 20/20 and it may never be, but I can function without corrective lenses! Everywhere I look it seems like I'm in a 1980s soap opera with vaseline on the lens. The nurse said that should clear up in a day or two. I also had some bleeding on my eyeball from the vacuum - the doc said that will clear up, too. I only have to wear goggles at night now - huzzah!
DAY TWO and the vaseline is disappearing as items appear sharper. I still look a fright with a vacuum ring around my eyeballs. This is also the first day that I drove after surgery! I could see everything on the console and inside of the car clearly. Road signs were a different story - anything further than a few hundred feet away were blurry unless I squinted. I drove at night and it was worse. The dreaded halos made headlights look like balloons glued to car hoods. All of this is within the normal range of recovery.
DAY THREE and my distance vision keeps improving. I'm less cautious about interacting within smacking range of Joanna (Joanna's smacking range, not my own). I desperately want to wear mascara. The closest consolation to my lack of eye make up is I'll be able to have fun with bright lip colors.
DAY FOUR - the halos are getting smaller.
DAY FIVE - the overcast weather means I can go outside for extended periods of time without getting a headache.
DAY SIX - my drops are nearly gone and I am missing my mascara more than ever. I feel like a 12 year old with my undefined lashes.
ONE WEEK and the doctor is pleased with the results. Everything is not super crisp. I see very well up close, but distances are still a bit blurry. I chalk it up to the amount of correction that was needed. My vision will continue to improve in the coming weeks!
All in all, I am very grateful to have vision. It's indescribable to go from practically blind to near 20/20 in the span of a week. God is so good.
TWO WEEKS and everything is still okay. I still can't read road signs at a distance very easily. Close up is pretty crisp.
THREE WEEKS and my eyes look almost back to normal. I still have some redness around the colors of my eyes. I'm still not seeing road signs very easily but the halos at night are much smaller.
FOUR WEEKS and I can drive at night much easier now. My overall vision is probably very close to 20/20!