I went for my consultation in April 2016. Beforehand, I read all the blogs I could find.
Here are some good ones:
I think any blogs I read that didn’t recovery as quickly as expected or had a lot of pain, they didn’t (a) rest their eyes for 3 days in a dark room (b) didn’t use lubricating eye drops. It sounds like a lot of dependence on numbing drops and not enough dependence on lubricating drops. That’s just my take.
Although the place I was going to is called Peace Lasik Centre, they don’t actually perform Lasik, as it turns out. Their website indicated they did something called Advanced Surface Treatment (AST) and referenced Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). I’m still unclear on whether AST is the same as PRK. Something I will ask when I go for my second consultation prior to surgery. I’m also going to ask why (or confirm for sure) they don’t do Lasik.
As soon as I switched up my blog searches, I found there was a significant difference to the procedure. The difference is that lasik cuts a flap on the cornea, whereas PRK removes an epithelial layer from the cornea – which is actually less invasive, so I’ve read. Sometimes certain people have to get PRK over lasik if their corneas aren’t thick enough, if they play contact sports, or have a higher level of correction required.
When I booked my consultation, the girl on the phone asked me lots of questions and explained what to expect on a high level. I was really impressed by the time she took. I was told to expect to be at the consultation for 2 hours and that my pupils would be dilated for a while after that. Also, I had to be out of my contacts for a week before the appointment. A week!!! I am accustomed to living in my contacts for at least 12 hours a day and didn’t wear my glasses mostly because they gave me intense headaches.
A week in glasses. The headaches started. They crop up right behind my ears. I’ve had them adjusted in the past, but nothing helped. My husband bet me by the end of the week I’d feel fine in them. I told him he was wrong, that it wasn’t a simple case of not being used to wearing glasses. He was a little bit right. The headaches started fading by the end of the week. I still couldn’t wait to get into my contacts again.
Consultation Day! I met four different people throughout the appointment who took various tests and explained various things. Because I did so much reading in advance, I felt super prepared for everything they were telling me (like this isn’t an overnight miracle, expect not to see perfectly for a month, take all my eye drops, and I will probably need readers as I get older). They put me through multiple tests, including the dry eye test (I have dry eyes). I never actually met the doctor who was going to do the surgery, which didn’t bother me, but just one of those things that other people might expect. In the end, they told me I was a great candidate for surgery, but that I should probably also get an add-on they call cross-linking. Basically it is an added process that seals the deal a bit better, especially since my vision is so poor. You can read about the technical bits about it here.
I didn’t book my surgery right away. By the sounds of it, I probably could have booked it for the following week. I was too busy at work at the time and couldn’t afford to miss work, so I asked about their summer schedule. Unfortunately it was too early for them and they didn’t have their summer schedule available yet. Eventually I did get booked in for July 28, 2016. Scheduled two days before my husband’s birthday and 3 days before our 5th anniversary. I was feeling bad about the date knowing the first day days post-op I would need to be in a dark room. Luckily I have an amazing husband who is very understanding.
I immediately started taking omega 3 supplements 3x a day to help with the dry eye so it would help my recovery. I work at a computer all day so it’s important I can start working again and able to see a computer screen asap.
About a month before surgery, I picked up the prescription I was given, which included 3 sleeping tablets and 2 kinds of eye drops (antibiotic and steroid). It was also required I purchase over the counter drops (Refresh Plus), which aren’t cheap. $13-15 for 30 individual uses. If you’re in the U.S. you can get them at Costco super cheap ($21 for 100). Instructions to use the Refresh Plus are to use every 15 minutes of awake time the evening after surgery and for the first 3 days post-op, then 4x a day for 2 weeks after. That is a lot of eye drops. I guess that’s where the sleeping pills come in and I’m asleep a lot for those 3 days.