LASIK Eye Surgery – My Experiences – Day 1

Posted on Jan 1, 2008 in Daily life | 18 comments

Hey everyone! I am always talking about ways to save money so WHY would I go out and spend money on LASIK?

glasses1Well, I really wanted to see better and be less dependent on glasses and contacts. I had already had my fill of trying to get cheap glasses online because my prescription was just costing me a LOT of money.

My interest in LASIK started about three years ago when a friend of mine told me he got it and was very pleased with the results.

I have always been a little bit afraid of getting the procedure done but I wanted soooooo badly to be able to wake up and just be able to see.

Introduction

This is a little bit about the very first day of my experiences with LASIK. I was not sure I would be a good candidate, but there was an exam and a set of procedures that would let you know beforehand whether or not you would be eligible for the surgery.

On Wednesday I had the appointment to see if I was a good candidate for the surgery. It all went well and in the end they decided that I was a good candidate.

Now before you think I just jumped into this I did all my research and asked LOTS of questions. I decided to have the surgery now because I had the time off so I could let my eyes heal as needed. Also, they gave me a $2,000 discount along with 24 months of interest free payments if I had the surgery within a week of the evaluation.

I went to Dr. William Boothe who is the leading expert in LASIK right now. He has pioneered new techniques and has people coming from all over the country to get their eyes done by him.

Here is how it went on the first day.

Step One: The Vision Test

EyeChartI got to the place wearing my glasses because I did not want the hassle of taking off my contacts for each eye test. I got a vision test so they could determine exactly where I could see because this would be a major deciding factor.

They found my vision to be slightly lower than what the previous eye doctor said just one month ago.

They also said that I had slight astigmatism but it was not pronounced enough to affect my prescription. Well at least that was a relief.

Step Two: The Refraction Test

After the vision test I went back to waiting room until they called me for the refraction test. This was a test where I had to look through some machine and that measured how much my eyes refracted the light, whatever that means.

I then went back to the waiting room to get ready for the tear test.

Step Three: The Tear Test

This one was a little bit freaky to me. The tear test involved the nurse putting little bits of string in my eyes, between my lower lid and the eyelid to test my tears. It was not painful, per se, but the little yellow string felt like there was an eyelash in my eyes.

I had to sit with the string in my eyes for a few seconds, although it felt like hours, until they got the required amount of tears. I then went back to the waiting room (yes there is a LOT of waiting room time here) and then I was told that I scored a 30 in each eye.

This is good because it means that I make enough tears to be considered healthy in the eye department. It also indicates that I will be a fast healer so I am happy for my runny eyes.

Step Four: The Mapping Test

I did well on the first three tests and then came the mapping test. In this test I was supposed to look slightly above the curved red light, but to look like I was staring off into the distance. This test was difficult for me because all the previous tests required me to focus my eyes.

For this test I had to be unfocused and I just could not seem to do it. I failed the test, so to speak and was banished to the waiting room to see what could be done.Eye

I ended up having to get my eyes dilated in order to take the test again. They put some eyedrops into my eyes that made my pupils enlarge to just barely under the rims of my irises.

*Iris is the colored part of the eye and Pupil is the black hole in the middle for those who did not know.*

I took the test again and this time I passed because I was not able to focus on any one point. Yippee!!!

Step Four: Final Tests and Doctor Walkthrough

I went through a few more tests that took scans of my eyes and basically built up a 3D image of my eyes so that the doctors could have a model of my eyes that would ‘show’ how I saw.

I thought that was really amazing because I got to see some of the images. I had a few more eye scans and then got SEVEN sets of eyedrops for various reasons. I had a few minutes to sit and speak to the doctor who was going to be performing the surgery.

He explained the risks of the exam and we discussed my questions and my fears. He explained the procedure and told me about what to expect during and after the surgery.

He told me that based on the results of all my tests I was a good candidate for the surgery and he predicted that they should be able to give me 20/20 vision.!!!

This was super exciting news for me since I have not had good vision since I was about nine years old.

I got my appointment for the laser surgery scheduled for the next day and then I went to someone to discuss the financial aspects of the surgery. I set up my appointment and went to bed to get ready for my LASIK surgery for the next day.

Come back to find out what happened on the day of the surgery!!!!! This will be highlighted in LASIK Eye Surgery: My Experiences: Day 2.

18 Comments

  1. Congratulations! I believe there’s a line between when to save and when to splurge, and eye surgery is definitely one of those splurging-when-needed moments.

    Lucky me I was blessed with better than 20/20 eye vision (that’s why I look retarded with any kind of glasses, haha!), and never got the ‘excitement’ of wearing contacts or glasses.

  2. Well lucky you Meg. :-)
    For those of us who have poor vision, something like this is a miracle.

  3. Hey, kudos for your decision to do LASIK.

    I did as well in 2003 and never ‘looked’ back. 😉
    Was wearing glasses since my teenage days. Always a hassle.

    Within 1 week after the surgery I already forgot about it. Perfect vision is a complete new and natural feeling.

    People with goggles – get checked up and do it now! No regrets. :)

    My experiences about LASIK (and other healthcare savings in Asia) I wrote down here.

    Cheers from Bali,
    Chris
    (nomad4ever)

  4. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience with Carnival of Healing, posted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul.

    Blessings,
    Hueina

  5. Thanks for including me in the carnival.

  6. I did the lasik thing as well a few years ago. I love it! I would recommend it to anyone who is sick of glasses and contacts.

    I want to know how you got a $2000 discount??! That’s amazing. That’s like 66% off! (Well, 66% off of what mine was originally supposed to be – how much was yours originally, if you don’t mind my asking?).

  7. Well lulugal, I find you very brave!

    I could never bring myself to go for it as I am a nervous wreck for this sort of thing.

    And what a discount!

  8. The massive discount is for 1. having the surgery withing 7 days of your exam and 2. signing up for the finance plan.

    I was happy to get that amount taken off but I will be paying for the procedure using my private credit card, not the finance plan they try to get you to use.

  9. Hi lulu. I hear a lot about lasik. Is it save? I hear some one say that they can make you blind. Is there a possibility that the surgery did not work out.?

    option strategy’s last blog post..My Way of Technical Analysis

  10. I am so glad I found this. I was thinking of getting a LASIK eye surgery and it’s good to read an experience from someone who got it done!

  11. Thanks a lot for this. I think I would be reading more of your lasik and post lasik procedures as I have been contemplating for a lasik procedure too.

  12. By the way, I also want to ask what’s your eye grades before you had the lasik procedure done? Thanks a lot for these series of articles. :)

    • My eyes were at -7.50 before my surgery.

  13. Great info thanks for sharing, I really enjoy it because is very hard to find real lasik experiences on the web lately.

  14. I almost did Lasik – I went to the Dr and he wanted to do only one eye (my husband said, this way if he messes up you always have another eye!!) He said I will have monovision. I’ll read with the undone eye. I said No Thank-You
    Amy

    • Well he might have had a reason for only wanting to do one eye. When I was getting mine done I spoke to someone who only got one eye done also. The doctor explained that the other eye was not suitable because the prescription was too high and the cornea on that eye was too thin for him to feel comfortable with the surgery.

      • Being that Lasik surgery does have risks, there’s really no point in doing it if you’ll still have to wear glasses for the other eye
        Joan

  15. For all the questions the most important thing is to make sure you’re using a doctor that you trust. All the research you can do on the web will just confuse you and will never amount to 8 years of medical school that the Doctors have. Just make sure to get a well recommended doctor (don’t let price be the main factor)
    Good luck
    Pat

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