10:07 PM

See you in hell, glasses!

Gazette - "Filth in the beauty"


About a week ago, I went and finally zapped my eyes. And I found that in the process of trying to do some research and see other people's takes on the experience, well, there were none. Except for gushing testimonials that really told me nothing.

So instead of my usual snarky post, I'm going to do something serious, and walk everyone through the procedure. Hopefully anyone else who's thinking of doing it will stumble upon this and get some insight on the world of laser eye surgery — at least from a Torontonian perspective. Whatever, the world revolves around us anyways.

Long story (and I mean really long story plus a bonus picture of my creepy post-surgical eye) short: it's pricey but so worth it.

Before
I'd been meaning to get laser eye surgery for a while. It wasn't something that I did on a whim. My eyes don't handle contacts well, and I was sick of running my schedule on when I could wear them and when I couldn't. Vacations were a hassle, sports were worse, and nights that I wanted to go out turned into squinty fun times. In fact, by the time I was in 2nd year of undergrad, I was wearing glasses almost all the time unless I was playing sports or going out. Then there was the added bonus of snow, sleet, rain, fog, and people making fingerprint smudges on my glasses for fun.

I talked to anyone and everyone who had done it, I searched online for as much information I could absorb about th
e procedure and the risks, I went to see my optometrist to get her opinion and she referred me to the more reputable surgeons. I went to two different clinics and an opthamologist to get a third opinion from someone who wasn't trying to sell me new eyes.

In essence, I did a lot of running around. And you should too.

I finally decided on Herzig Eye Institute. I'd heard nothing but good things about them, and they made me feel the most comfortable. They charged about $5,000 but price wasn't about to be an issue for a lifetime of good eyesight. So bam, appointment booked.

During
On the day of t
he surgery, I was told that I'd be at the office for about an hour and a half to two hours. I got there, testing was done, I got a free massage, and an offer for valium (which I declined) and whoosh, there I was, lying on my back, taking my glasses off for the last time.

The procedure wasn't painful, but it definitely wasn't pleasant either. The doctors were really good about telling me what to expect throughout the 15 minutes. It started with a million different eye drops, some to clean, some to lubricate, some to numb. One eye was covered, and I felt this uncomfortable pressure around my eyeball. My eyesight was gone for about 20 seconds. When it came back, I was told to focus on a flashing light while the laser did its work. This was probably the weirdest part because I could see something scraping over my eye and every nerve in my body was tingling, telling me that this should be very very painful, but it wasn't.

Then it was do
ne. I got up, and I could see....sort of. Things were blurry and hazy. It wasn't like being nearsighted or farsighted, it was more like everything had an airbrushed quality to it. I got a quick checkup, instructions on how and when to put a bunch of different drops in my eyes, and then I was out.

Here's something useful to think about: don't take the subway. That was a mistake. Before the surgery, I'd insisted that Eric leave his car at work so that he didn't have to pay for parking twice. As we were leaving the surgeon's office, the anasthetic started to wear off. And my eyes started to burn. Like, really burn. Like when you leave your eyes open too long and they burn before you blink. Eric had to navigate me through downtown Toronto and the subway while I sported some awesomely cool giant shades, courtesy of Herzig, and squeezed my eyes shut in a futile attempt to alleviate the burning.

It's probably goo
d that I had the shades. My eyes were not a pretty sight.

After
By the time I had my follow up appointment the next day, my eyes felt fine. The only uncomfortable part was having to wear sunglasses because of the HIDEOUS BRUISING. I looked like one of those kids that are too cool for school wearing shades on the subway. And at night. My eyes weren't sensitive to light, nor did they feel dry or gritty. They were just aesthetically so very unappealing.

One week later I have 20/20 vision. Creepy bloodshot eyes aside, I see a lot of glare at night, and I have trouble focusing up close, but this is all supposed to pass and it's nothing debilitating. I only missed a day of work, and I started taking classes and playing volleyball right on schedule. I'm done with a
ll of the eyedrops except for the ones that moisten my eyeballs. I'm not completely out of the woods yet - my eyes will take about one to three months to stabilize completely, but the doc says everything's healing as it should. So thumbs up chum.

It's awesome. And liberating. And totally worth it. I still reach for my glasses in the morning, and I'll occasionally poke the bridge of nose thinking that I need to readjust my glasses. But hey, I've been bespectacled for the better part of my life and old habits die hard.

6 comments:

MC said...

AH! ZOMBIE! *runs away*

Eric said...

Did I tell you that your eyes are gorgeous? Now that they're lens free, they're more vibrant then ever! Good move!

Now for the bad news. I am jealous of your glass free look because I still need to wipe the slush and mud from my glasses all the time.

Also, you had a very Cyclops (X-Men not mythology) look for a couple days.

chrisBEAN said...

eeeek, ERIC SAID WHAT I WANTED TO SAY!

I was gonna say that I love your eyes (and I know your eyes VERY WELL.. in a non-freaky way.. okay maybe a little freaky!). So now when I do your makeup, there will be no contacts irritating your eyes any longer. whehe. :]

But seriously, I'm glad you finally got them done!!

HTY said...

Hey, what did you do to your eyes? They're all red.

Ju said...

Your story scares me.
I have the hugest fear of having things near my eyes. If anything were to happen my life would be done D;

Also the part about losing vision for 20 seconds freaks me out.

My eyes are really bad though, I should get it.
But I'm scared 8[

Vickie said...

DUDE. you did it! you're my hero. lol... i hope you're enjoying the freedom. this is before i read your entire post... which i'm about to do, but decided to comment. i love the freaky zombie looking eyes. you should have gone to work looking like that saying you got pink eye. yum.