EYE SURGERY ~ Intro, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight

    (Recovery: April 10, 1999 - July 25, 1999)

    The first two days after the surgery were a haze of blurriness, tired eyes, and light sensitivity. I could only do things for a short amount of time before my eyes got tired. It was difficult, because my mind was restless and there wasn't much I could do (read, use the computer, etc.) because of my eyes. Steve bought me some cassettes of old radio shows that helped to occupy my mind during my recovery.

    Three days after my surgery, I went to my eye doctor, who removed the bandage contacts. That was a relief because they had contributed to eye fatigue and dryness. I could see for the first time that my vision was very sharp, although some blurriness remained. I took an entire week off of work and convalesced at my parents' house, enjoying homecooked meals and loving care. By the end of the week, the blurriness wore off and I thrilled at my new 20/15 vision.

    My vision stayed at 20/15 for almost a month before settling somewhere between 20/15 and 20/20. I didn't mind the slight decline because I don't think I had even 20/20 with my contacts, so everything still looks sharper than it used to. I experienced a few fluctuations, days where my vision would get a bit blurry, but that has stopped now and I have consistently sharp vision.

    In addition to visual acuity, another gain is my improved night vision. With contacts, I saw big haloes and starbursts around lights. After the surgery, it didn't go away immediately, but by now it's almost completely gone.

    Since the surgery, I have been on an eye drop regimen. At first, there were three different kinds of drops that had to be taken several times a day. It tapered down, and now I take one kind of drop twice a day. It may be a few more months before I can stop completely, but I don't mind.

    I was surprised at how anti-climactic my new vision was. I was anticipating it so excitedly, but when I finally had good vision, I felt very calm about it. I think that a lot of that is because during the day, I'd have been wearing contacts, and so it just looked like I was wearing them. I had moments of excitement, though, in places where I usually couldn't see: the shower, getting out of bed in the morning. I was, of course, always very glad I did it, but on a day-to-day basis, it was less exciting than I expected.

    As the months go by, though, I find myself more jazzed about it. I'll look at a distant treeline and admire the sharpness of each branch. I enjoy the extra time each morning that I no longer spend on my eyes. When I do things like swimming or river rafting, I'm very grateful for my new vision. I'm looking forward to ending the eye drops so I can completely forget about my eyes.

    Since my surgery, I've noticed the prices are dropping. People ask if I'm mad I didn't wait. Honestly, I'm not mad; I've already gotten a lot of benefit out of my new vision, and when I think that $2100 gave me good distance vision for the rest of my life, I don't mind at all.


    ( Someone else's PRK experience, with pictures )

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