Helloooooo! Time for part 2 of my laser eye surgery experience. If you’ve not read the first part yet, you can find it here. I’m not going to go and write a big intro, just know there may be some graphic details coming up.
You know how usually before a surgery you can’t eat/drink and have to do x, y and z? Well, preparing for this one was quite straightforward – wear comfortable clothing and don’t wear any makeup, perfume or any other spray products. Oh, and bring sunglasses. That’s it.
So that’s what I did. On the day of the surgery I wore leggings and a comfortable cotton t-shirt. Pretty much my everyday home loungewear. As far as outfits go it couldn’t have been much better than that. In fact, it was even more important for me to be as comfortable as I could possibly be because as you know (if you’re a regular visitor here) I have an occasionally severe general anxiety disorder. (I say occasionally severe because of how much better I am today than I was a year ago, but that’s a whole other post.)
I was actually getting a bit panicky and floopy so the surgeon had them take my blood pressure to see if I could go through with this or if I would completely lose it on the table while he’s got hold of my eyeball. Thanks to my husband who was there with me to keep me all nice and calm I managed to get it together and passed the BP/HR check. Phew!
The nurse then took me to a little room to get the pre-op prep done – I had to wear one of the funny shower hat things to keep my hair away from my face and she gave me some numbing eye drops and cleaned the area around my eyes. I was then given strict instructions not to touch my face. I was very careful to follow her instructions as I was pretty much afraid that if I don’t my eyes will fall out. (Yeah, that probably wouldn’t have happened but I figured a healthy dose of fear will keep me in line.)
There were two or three other girls having their eyes done the same day and they all went before me. We were in the waiting room just outside the OR and I watched them all go in and come out again 10-15 minutes later.
That’s where the gruesomeness started. I could smell it. As in, I could literally smell their eyes being burnt with the laser. I’ve always thought that I’ve got a heightened sense of smell to compensate for my poor eyesight. Whether that’s true or not, I could actually smell the burning and I think that’s what made me most nervous.
Before I knew it, it was my turn. I went in the OR and was told to lie on the table. My heart must’ve been going like crazy. They covered one of my eyes and got to work on the other one.
I was moved under the machine which clamped over my eye and created a vacuum around my eyeball so the machine could create the flap in the cornea. I think that was the most painful part of the whole procedure. I was flipping out in my head, it felt like my eyeball was being pulled out and I felt so sick, but I tried to lay as still as a statue as I had been instructed. I can’t remember if I succeeded or not. In my head I was thrashing all over the place begging for them to stop pulling my eye out. Spooky.
Then I was moved under the other machine which actually did the lasering. I was told to look at the red light, but I couldn’t actually see a red light. So I was looking straight ahead, praying to whoever could be listening that I was doing it right and hoping they’d tell me if I wasn’t. Now, I know the right thing to do would’ve been to tell them that I couldn’t see the red light, but I was kind of stuck in my head. And I could see lots of green lights, which I guess were the laser lights. So that’s what I focused on. And during the flashing of the green lights I did actually spot the red one every now and then in the direction I was looking.
Now it was my eye where the burning smell was coming from.
The same was repeated on my other eye. The vacuum part hurt a tiny bit less this time. And I could actually see the red light. I was still lying petrified. So scared to move a muscle, afraid I’d mess it all up.
The funny bit was when they were putting the cornea flaps back. I could actually see it. I saw him move the flap of my cornea across my eye again. I don’t think I’ve ever lain more still in my life.
Then it was all over. I know I missed some parts and details here, but that’s what stuck in my mind the most. I felt like the whole thing only lasted for 3 minutes, but my husband said that I’d been in there for around 15-20 minutes. I’m glad it didn’t feel that long.
But I’d done it. I had now had laser eye surgery done on both of my eyes.
Want to know what happened after the procedure? Part III covering the ‘After’ coming soon!