On August 14th I took the plunge and got PRK laser eye surgery. I got glasses in grade 6 (apparently braces weren’t enough) and figured that one day I would be brave enough for contacts- I wasn’t. Fast forward 20 years and I finally snapped when I realized that I could not remember what it felt like to wake up and be able to see clearly. After that depressing realization, I booked myself in for a consultation at Pacific Laser Eye Centre (they are in no way affiliated with this blog), waffled back and forth, then ultimately scheduled my procedure. I chose Pacific Laser because they use the newest PRK technique that did not involve my eyeball being scrubbed out (excuse me while I scream into a pillow). I got the newest style of PRK that is just a laser (I knew there was a reason I waited so long!) so my recovery was not the horror show that old style PRK victims received.
My laser eye surgery diary:
Friday Aug 14th
“Is it too late to cancel?”
My stomach is in knots but I choke down delicious cheese toast that I can’t enjoy because I’m taking mental snapshots of everything around me so I’ll have memories after I go blind
Xanax! Tylenol 3!
Stare intently at the green laser beam and smell my eyes burning. It’s over in 10 seconds and I didn’t feel a thing (thanks Dr. Holland!).
Saturday Aug 15th (coincidentally also Treat Yo Self)
Woooooooo I can see pretty well and treated myself to the gift of eyesight! Everyone with glasses is a sucker!
In honour of Treat Yo Self I go to the casino with friends and win $36 on the dog slot machine. At this rate I shall pay off my surgery.
Sunday Aug 16th
I can’t read my phone, watch TV or walk too far because my vision is so blurry. This is apparently normal but I’m still alarmed. My obsession with Alone begins because watching grown men run crying from the forests of Vancouver Island makes me feel a bit better. Also, everything on the show is various shades of green so my blindness doesn’t detract from my viewing enjoyment.
Tuesday August 18th
The contacts that have been in my eyes since Friday are removed and it was way worse than I expected (and I’m including showering with swim goggles and wearing old lady sunglasses to bed). I’ve never worn contacts and this removal was like peeling a grape. I still shudder at the memory.
After contact removal I am effectively fuzzy again. Let’s see what the guys on Alone are doing.
Vanity, Table for One Please
The most life life altering part of the surgery wasn’t the lasering of my eyeballs or getting the nice woman at Blo Dry Bar to feel sorry for me and wash my hair while I held goggles over my eyes (thanks Kara!). Not being allowed to wear eye makeup for two weeks was the biggest impact on my life because I was the kid from Mask and everyone pretended I wasn’t (except for the two awesome honest people who shall remain nameless). After reading this article about women who wear makeup earning more and being treated better, I was not surprised to confirm that it’s all (depressingly) true. As of Monday I’m back to wearing makeup so I’m not a monster who’s scaring children and bruising fruit anymore. That was sure a long two weeks.
Wearing glasses every single day for 20 years has resulted in my brain being unable to understand where they went. At least once a day I reach for them only to be surprised they aren’t there anymore. Now I can’t adjust my glasses and pretend to be pondering something really profound. Goodbye brief, glorious window in which my nickname was Liz Lemon…
Oh, the drops go IN my eyes?
I’m currently using various forms of eye drops (one is appropriately called FML) about 6-8 times a day so I’m super aware of what’s happening near my face. For example, during the Vancouver windstorm I wouldn’t go outside because of the debris flying through the air and inevitably into my eyes. Plus, my face feels really out there without the protection of glasses. I’m not sure the world is ready.
*sorry to anyone at work who had to witness me using eyedrops and spilling them down my face and shirt or blinking furiously while jerking my head around. Now I know why everyone works from home.
Since the first primitive form of eye surgery, (go ahead and read it, I’ll wait) laser eye technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. The nearly 100 year gap between the first recorded eye surgery and the more modern ones in the 90’s gives me a strong indication of how painful and rudimentary the technology must have been. The laser technology still stuns me- I can’t get over how a laser can be shot at your eyeball for 5 seconds and then you can see. The procedure sounds like something out of Star Trek and everyday I think about how lucky I am and I wonder what people with poor vision would have done 500+ years ago.
Did all the cavemen with bad eyesight get eaten by lions simply because they couldn’t see predators? I can’t even imagine the future of laser eye surgery (a bionic contact lense? a recording of everything you see?) and how the technology with progress. It’s both thrilling and terrifying (Black Mirror does a phenomenal job of showcasing how current technology can easily go too far) and I can only guess at what future technology will soon make my surgery look barbaric. Plus, I’ll be ready when the zombies come because you know who never survives something dramatic? The person with glasses!
I am not ashamed to admit that I was in total bitch panic before the surgery but it was much better than I expected it to be. There were moments where I wondered what the heck I had done to myself, but overall it has been fine. I was super paranoid of one of my contacts falling out but it got a lot easier once they were removed *shudder* and I didn’t have to worry as much. I’m happy I got PRK because I won’t ever need to deal with the flap becoming dislodged which can happen with Lasik. Yes, my recovery time was longer, but I’m playing the long game and I seem unable to not poke myself in the eye with a mascara wand. The worst parts are over and I’d still recommend the PRK at Pacific Laser Eye Centre to anyone that’s interested. All hail technology (and Dr.Holland).