Women Wednesday | Laser Procedures I Swear by | Part I

My last picture wearing eye glasses: pre-laser surgery

I wanted to share my experience with laser treatments because it has definitely changed my life. First, here’s my experience with laser eye surgery.

I had really bad eye sight all my life and didn’t get glasses till my last year in high school which made it worse. One of my eyes was near sighted while the other was far sighted. It was a disaster to see but like all things, you get used to it. That same year I got glasses, I also got contacts and I finally saw my reflection for the first time without squinting. I liked the way I looked a lot better without glasses, so I wore my contacts everyday and only wore my glasses when I was too tired. The glasses cost my mom’s insurance company $500 and I was off my mom’s insurance before I had thought to replace them, so I never did. I instead, wore the same glasses until I was 29 – yeah around 10 years. My daily disposable contacts costs me around $150 every 6 months, sometimes I would wear contacts for a few days just to get more wear out of them and prolong the time I would have to refill them. Yeah, I’m cheap. So that was $300 a year for about 10 years.

I had heard about laser eye surgery, but was frightened at the prospect of it, besides it was too expensive. When I was 24, I went in to get a consultation done at Lasik. This was prompted by a cousin who had recently got it done and had a friend who worked at the clinic. I went through the 6 hour initial consultation and was told that since the tissue on my left eye was too thin, I would need the more expensive procedure. Although one eye would be $1500, the other one would be $3000 and so the total came to a whopping $5000 for the procedure. I promptly cancelled my appointment thinking there was no way i was going to pay 5 grand, so it was another 5 years of hassle. Traveling with contacts is even worse, you have to make sure you have extra contacts, solution and your glasses to be able to go anywhere. I travel quite a lot and beside that I had my own place and my parent’s place so I would have to ensure that both places had ample supply of eye stuff. I once even left my only pair of eye glasses in Boston and they had to be mailed to me.

In January 2012, I received an email from Lasik giving me a $200 discount off a procedure. Funny enough, that prompted me to make the call and book an appointment. Lasik is very thorough, the first consultation is 6 hours long, they literally check and analyze your eye at every angle. The day of the procedure is a similar process of more tests and prepping the eye. I’m not going to lie the actual procedure is traumatic, although it only takes less than 3 minutes. You’re led into a hallway with 8 other people and one by one a person goes in and comes out with their face covered and hurried into the recovery room. Finally my turn came and I was afraid. I cried uncontrollably as a nurse held my hand tight. There was a point where I couldn’t see and I freaked the hell out. But, the procedure was so fast that 30 seconds later my vision was back and it was more clear than it ever was before. I instinctively tried to rub my eyes but the doctor sternly told me not to, it was a fresh surgery, the flesh was still raw. Finally, I was given a series of drops to put in every hour for the next 8 hours plus a dosage of painkillers and a nifty pair of sunglasses.

My sister-in-law who was 8 months pregnant at the time (great timing on my part) along with my mom came to pick me up and took me home, where I enjoyed a few days of any meal I wanted (pancakes, sweet potato fries, and chocolate) along with a foggy drowsiness that kept me in a state of blurriness and dreams for 3 days. I was not allowed to look at screens or anything bright. I did have a follow up appointment the following day where the doctor assured me that everything looked great. Before I left the clinic, I put my 10 year old frames inside a giant glass vase which was already filled to the top with all the other glasses of other Lasik patients. Those glasses had served me well.

It’s almost 2 years later, and I have never looked back. My vision is 20/20 and I have never missed putting on contacts or glasses. I wake up and I can see and I can travel anywhere without having to worry about it. I had no side effects or worries about my eye sight. For the rest of my life, I won’t have to worry about my eyesight (until I’m super old), the one time payment was definitely worth the increase in quality of life and peace of mind.

Next week, I’ll talk about another laser treatment I swear by. Stay tuned.

Have you gotten laser eye surgery? Are you on the fence about it?

One thought on “Women Wednesday | Laser Procedures I Swear by | Part I

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