Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lasik Pre Op details

I had my lasik pre-op appointment today.

It's a three hour intensive eye exam to make sure your eyes and you are darn ready for surgery. No messing around! Either you're in. Or you're out. And hopefully that means in with good vision, out with boring old glasses or toric contact lenses that never seem to fit right.

The exam starts with machine hopping. You go from eye machine to eye machine, and stare at tiny red light after tiny red light. Stare at the red dot. Blink. Stare at red dot. Blink.

When I was asked if I tend to pass out during medical procedures, I got a bit nervous. The one and only time I did was the first time my eyes were dilated for an eye exam as a teen. Things got a bit blurry, I panicked, and BAM! I was out.

I laughed nervously and said nahhhhh nooooo. Not after all I've been through medically! But inside I was a bit worried. I could just picture myself passing out, hitting the exam table, needing stitches, and the eye institute saying SORRY you are too wimpy to be a candidate for Lasik.

The eye exam lady said at least one person passes out from the next test we were about to do. At least one, maybe two to three. A week. Good lord what were they about to to do me?

My eyes were numbed with drops and then two thin strips of paper were inserted into the lower lids of each eye. It's to test tear production to make sure you make enough tears to be a Lasik candidate. Some people get a bad case of dry eye post Lasik so they want to be sure you are a natural tear-er.

She stuck the paper into my lids and told me to close my eyes and then asked a dozen questions about myself. I guess that was a distraction tactic. Get me talking about my favorite subject, me, and I wouldn't think to pass out. It worked. I didn't pass out and described the sensation of the paper in the lids to feel a bit like the the application of false eyelashes.

I make great tears. So it was then time to fill out a ton of paperwork saying I won't sue if suddenly the power goes out mid-procedure and the laser fails to cut my eyeballs properly, and on and on and on. They really cover their asses at this place.

Once they get your signature and initials a dozen times, then it's time to dilate the pupils. Drops were put in, I was escorted to a waiting room, and given a magazine to read. I felt a bit panicky. No control freak likes to lose control over anything, much less vision. After about 20 mins I realized I was still reading the magazine just fine. It wasn't until I looked up at the clock on the wall that I realized I couldn't see the clock on the wall. Ack! Everything was blurry and I couldn't focus my eyes.

That's when I was called in to see the doctor and was informed I have a lazy eye. The right one. It has a name. Not the eye, the condition. I don't remember what it's called. I was told that as a child, I should have worn a patch over my left eye to train the right one to be stronger. I didn't, because I never got eye exams as a young child. So my left eye learned to see in place of the right eye. I was so sure he was going to tell me I was no longer a candidate for Lasik. But no! I am. I will just only have 20/20 in the right eye, whereas the left eye will be even sharper. But that's ok, because the left eye does all the work anyway.

Then I was sent on my merry way. Let's just say I should have had a driver. I had zero business driving myself home, my vision was THAT blurry. I ended up pulling off at a nearby exit and having a bite to eat, just hoping those drops would wear off. They did enough for me to take less crowded side streets home.

Here I am, now EIGHT HOURS post eye drops and my eyes are still dilated. I am typing this in the dark and squinting at the screen. What the hell is in those drops?

I want to make a point to you moms of youngins reading this post. Get their eyes examined yearly. Problems are easier to solve when caught at a young age, before the problem gets much worse.

And that is what the three hour pre-op lasik appointment is like. I'll be sure to come back and post all the gory details once I am post op. Next week! That is, unless I get the puke virus going around Boo's school. Cuz knowing me, it will hit the night before. That will make Lasik Day Cancellation #3.

Do your eyes feel twitchy yet?


Jenn ;o) said...

I'm way to chicken to ever even try eye surgery. YGG! I hope it is wonderful for you!

FYI there's a program called infantsee that provides a free eye exam before age 1.

Which it now it dawns on me does you absolutely no good. Darn it.

Good Luck on your surgery!

kimbalaya said...

Amblyopia. That's what the word for lazy eye is. I have it too, and even the same eye. I actually did have to wear a patch over my eye, around 1st or 2nd grade. Not full-time, but every afternoon for a while, and I had to sit filling in all the o, b, d, g, etc., letters with circles in them in a newspaper, as a strengthening exercise. Wanna know something? Even with all that, my eye is still lazy. It tested at 20/20 last year (surprise, surprise!) but it doesn't do any of the work - my left eye does it all. When I took the driver's test when we moved to a new state a few years ago, they had this nifty machine for the eye exam that resembles those antique penny movie viewers. First they tested my left eye - no problem! Then they said they'd be testing my right eye. The screen went completely white and I almost panicked. I closed my left eye and suddenly I could see all the letters with my right eye. It kinda freaked me out at first.

Shannon River said...

I've always worried/wondered about myself having a lazy eye. And here's why... You do wear glasses, so you have had eye exams in your adult life. Why did they not catch this before? Maybe it's something they can't easily catch, but how funny that this exam did.

Well, good luck!! I hope I can have this procedure done to me someday in the distant future. In the meantime, the technology can just go ahead and get more advanced, safer and cheaper for me. ;-)

Tricia said...

I had lasik two years ago. I also had a strong eye and a weak eye, but the surgery reversed them so my weak eye became the strong eye, etc. For about 2 weeks I felt like my head was on backward, but it all feels normal now. :) Happy to tell you more about it if you'd like - just email me!

Mutha Mae said...

Someone asked what I am going to do with all my Chanel frames, as I am a bit of a Chanel eyeglasses nut. The eye center can make them into sunglasses. I thought I'd have to sell them on Ebay and wasn't looking forward to the hassle. Now I don't have to. But that might take some time- maybe one pair of eyeglasses at a time, depending on how it costs/how much voice work I get in the coming months! I have to pay for the actual Lasik first!

Mutha Mae said...

Aaaand I already have several super cool non prescription designer sunglasses I bought in China. Bad knockoff Chanel was easy to find in China. So I went with other designers that I wouldn't have thought of trying.

sleeplesswonder said...

I am crossing my fingers for you. Wow that is a long appointment, probably longer the the surgery it's self.
And you must come back and tell me all about it. I am so curious, I think I may one day have enough nerve to get it done but not yet that is for sure.
Hope all goes well.