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April 2010
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May 2011

Lasik is Great! Why Didn't I do This Years Ago?

I have been having problems with my contacts for about 7 months. It started in Dubai last November when I kept having to take my left contact out around 5:00 every day. For the next 7 months, I had to pull one of my contacts out almost every night. I finally broke down and decided to get Lasik.

I've wanted Lasik forever, but I'm kind of chicken about pointing lasers in my eyes. I specifically remember being told in my physics classes that you shouldn't look into the lasers. But i just couldn't take it any longer.

I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of friends before I decided to get Lasik and to go to Dr. Boothe, so I figured that I would blog about it as well for others who are doing research.

I'll start with Dr. Boothe. I had heard and read everything from how caring he was to how rude he was. I found him to be very friendly. He speaks in a monotone, which took some getting used to, but I liked him.  I think that during the "hey day" of Lasik (his term), he was much busier, so maybe that explains why so many reviews said it felt like an assembly line.

There were two steps to the process, which I believe made it very efficient. First they cut the flap by laser, then they do the correction. I was told that the process of cutting the flap and the minutes immediately after that were very painful (one person told me) and weird because you are blind (several prople told me). Before cutting the flap, they put something in your eye to hold your eyelid back and then some suction thing which I assume was the laser. I found the cutting of the flap as extremely uncomfortable as you can imagine without actually having pain since my eyes were numb. I could feel where the laser was in the cut and could not wait for it to get to the end and get the stuff out of/off of my eye. The total time each eye was about 20 seconds.

Next I sat to the side with my eyes closed while a couple more people had their flaps cut. There was no pain during this time. During this time, I mentally went through my ice skating programs for my upcoming competition. Next is the laser correction. This was quick and basically not uncomfortable. It looked like I was staring into an unfocused laser. The weirdest thing about this part was when he brushes something on the flap, then on the eyeball, then closes the flap. Again, no pain, just a weird sensation of tugging on the flap and squeeging your eye. Oh yeah, there's also a burning smell, which I wasn't sure if it was my eyes or just the laser. A clear bandage contact was put in my eyes, then my eyes were taped shut.

Next I went into a room where we got instructions and the tape was removed. I could basically see, but everything was hazy. It felt like I was wearing dry contacts all day. The 1st day I put eyedrops in every 15 minutes. Getting ready for bed the 1st night, I thought for just a minute, "I need to take my contacts out" then realized that I never needed to do that again. Pretty cool.

The worst part was probably having to wear the clear plastic protective shields to sleep for a week. Mainly because I would wake up whenever I rolled over face down and they moved, but also because it was impossible to get the tape residue off my face in the morning. Not wearing eye makeup for a week was also pretty annoying (and let's face it, it was almost a deal breaker for me when I found out).

I had Lasik on Friday and could basically see fine Saturday. I am still seeing stars at night, but it's only been 2.5 weeks. I hear many people get dry eyes and/or light sensitivity, but that hasn't happened to me (yet?).

I completely reccommend getting Lasik. I wish I had done it sooner. I'm hoping that my love of swimming will come back now that I don't have to deal with contacts any more.