Thursday, December 29, 2011

1 month post-op

At my one month post-op, my eyes are still doing great! The halos that I was seeing aroung lights at night have now almost disappeared and my vision is even clearer. I am seeing 20/15 in both eyes and have no complications at all. The decision to have LASIK has been a great one so far......keep reading for an update at my 3 month post-op.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1 Week Post-Op

My 1 week post-op was done by Dr. Benfield. Everything looks great and I am seeing 20/15. I am currently still taking Pred Forte 4 times a day, Zymaxid 3 times a day, and Polytrim 4 times a day. My shields are still taped to my face at night, which isn't so bad. I try to sleep on my back and I don't seem to mess with my eyes at all while I sleep. Next check up is at 1 month post-op so more updates to come!

The Day After

My 1 day pot-op appointment was at 8:15 on Saturday. My son had a soccer game, so my mom drove me to Greensboro. Again, I didn't have to wait long at all. Dr. Stonecipher examined my eyes and was extremely pleased with how they were healing. I was reading the 20/20 line and even a few letters on the 20/15 line, WHOO HOO!! My instructions were to rest, stay away from pools, lakes, spas etc because of the threat of a corneal infection from the water, use my drops as prescribed, no makeup for 2 weeks, avoid getting water in my eyes when showering, and wear the shields at night while sleeping for 1 week.

Ladies, I know what you are thinking.... no makeup?!? I normally only wear a minimal amount of makeup, but 2 weeks without eyeliner was hard to imagine. It really has not been that bad. You do have to throw away all of your eye makeup and get brand new stuff, but this is because your eye makeup can harbor bacteria, so better safe than sorry.

OK so back to Saturday. My mom and I left and again, my vision was already great. We decided to grab some coffee and head to the soccer fields to take in a little of my son's game. It was cold and windy and my eyes started getting a little dry so we scooped up my youngest child and headed home so I could rest.

I slept for a little while, but come on, it's Saturday and college football is on. I watched our Alma mater NC State play, a few more games, then called it a night.

Surgery Day

On Friday September 30th 2011 I was scheduled for LASIK at 12:40pm. I worked that morning, just to keep my mind off of things. I left from work, went home and ate a light lunch. My husband drove us to Greensboro and as soon as we arrived they were ready to take me back. They did more tests on my eyes, looking at corneal thickness, curvature, etc. Then, I was taken to the exam room where Dr. Stonecipher refracted me and looked at the health of my eye. His assistant explained to me all the forms I needed to sign and then gave me a Xanax to calm my nerves. I was then excorted to a dimly lit room that had two oversized recliners. There was already a woman in one of the chairs waiting. I sat down, someone cleaned my eyes in preparation for the surgery and I then relaxed listening to the music they had playing.
A few minutes pass and the woman waiting with me was called back. I watched the clock, or what I could see of the clock (my glasses were off) and that same women came back out in no time. I thought wow, that was fast. Then it was my turn. I was escorted into the room that had the Allegretto Wave laser. This is the fastest, most precise laser out there.

I laid on a bed, was covered with a soft blanket and given a pillow until we were about to start. When Dr. Stonecipher was ready they moved the bed under the part of the machine that was going to make the flap in my cornea. My eyes were numbed and he placed a small device on my eye. All I felt was pressure as my flap was made. I believe this is the part that most people remember. The pressure in your eye bulids but only for a few seconds and then it is over. It is not painful at all, just a little uncomfortable. After the flaps were made, the bed I was on moved under the laser that was going to correct my vision. I was instruced to look at the green light. This light was definitely a little fuzzy. Again, my eyes were numb and Dr. Stonecipher carefully pulled back the flap to prepare my stromal bed (part of the cornea that is lasered). He once again said to look at the green light and very soon I heard the laser correcting my vision. The flap was laid back down and smoothed into place. At this point the green light was MUCH clearer. The same was done to the other eye.

All in all, I believe it took less than 10 minutes per eye. So easy!! I don't know why I got so worked up. After the surgery, my cornea was examined and shields were place over my eyes with sunglasses. I went out, they called my husband over and we left. As soon as we were on the road, I could tell a HUGE difference. I could see!! I could read the street signs and I knew my vision was just going to get better.

As soon as we got home, I took an Ambien and slept as instructed. I woke up to have dinner and then went right back to sleep.

Days leading up to surgery

In the days leading up to surgery, I wore my glasses as instructed as well as put in the prescribed drops. I was prescribed Pred Forte 4 times a day to reduce inflammation, Zymaxid 3 times a day for antibiotic coverage, and Polytrim 4 times a day for MRSA protection since I work in a medical environment. I am usually putting drops in patients eyes, so now I was on the other side. I made a little excel spreadsheet so I could keep up with how many times and what drop I was putting in.
The Tuesday before my surgery I had Dr. Benfield perform a cycloplegic (dilated) refraction on me. It came out I was overminused, but I already knew I was. So now it became a waiting game until Friday!

My Initial Consult

My initial consult was in August of 2011. I made the trip to TLC in Raleigh to have all the appropriate screening tests done. Everyone in the office was great! After several measurements of my cornea were taken and an exam was performed, I was definitely a candidate for surgery. I scheduled the surgery for September 30, 2011 at TLC in Greensboro because they do surgery on Fridays and the 1 day post-op on Saturday morning. This would allow me to have the weekend to rest before work on Monday. My instructions before the surgery date were: no contact lenses 3 weeks prior to surgery, a cycloplegic exam given by one of the docs in the practice I work for, and begin my regimen of drops 3 days before surgery.
I wanted to give a BIG Thank You to everyone at the TLC Raleigh office!!

The decision to have LASIK

Many people ask why I decided to have LASIK surgery. The answer was pretty simple to me, I was tired of glasses and contact lenses. I have worn glasses since I was in the 4th grade, so we are talking 22 years of glasses/contact lenses. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE glasses as an accessory. However, my prescription was around a -6.00, meaning I'm blind without them. As for contact lenses, I love those as well. I never had any problems with my lenses over the 16+ years I wore them. So again you ask, if you never had problems wearing glasses or contact lenses then why have the surgery??
I think my serious interest came last year when I had my second child. Anyone who is nearsighted can relate to this......your child is crying in the middle of the night and you fumble on the night stand to find your glasses only to have them fall on the floor, well then you feel around on the floor until you finally find them. After this I started to wear the extended wear contact lenses, Air Optix Night and Day. These lenses were great! The FDA has approved these lenses for 30 days of continuous extended wear, so that's exactly what I did. I wore them for 30 days straight, maybe taking them out a few times here and there, but mostly wearing them for the full month. I did this for almost a year and had no problems, but the idea of LASIK and not having to wear corrective lenses was still in the back of my mind.
So fast forward to last month when I finally made the decision to have the LASIK. I placed the call to TLC for the initial consult. Dr. Stonecipher is one of the top LASIK surgeons in the country and I knew I would not let anyone else operate on my eyes but him.