I have worn glasses since I was a very little girl. I have dents on my head, just above my ears from where the stems have consistently worn into my skull. I haven’t worn contacts much since being in India, because the dirt and grime proved too painful of a combination. I’ve wanted LASIK eye surgery for MANY years, but always put it off. The one time I was really serious about getting it done, I had just had a baby, and it was suggested that I let my eyes “go back to normal” first. Then I didn’t think another thing of it.
It seems that a very natural thing on the to-do list of an expat leaving India, is to get LASIK … as it is MUCH cheaper than in the United States. Now, don’t worry that it was a shoddy procedure. I went to a doctor who is highly recommended and is very safe, using a state-of-the-art machine, laser equipment and amazingly trained staff.
LASIK stands for laser in situ keratomileusis, which means using a laser underneath a corneal flap (in situ) to reshape the cornea (keratomileusis). This procedure utilizes a highly specialized laser (excimer laser) designed to treat refractive errors, improve vision, and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. If you want to read more about how it all started, read the Wikipedia article on the subject.I called the doctor’s office and asked for an appointment. Two days later, I found myself with my chin resting uncomfortably in the metal base and trying not to blink while the doctor “mapped” my eyes. 2 minutes later, after reviewing a brightly colored paper that looked like a meteorological forecast during tornado season, I was declared a “candidate.”
After we discussed the two different options for lasering, Dr. Buckshey said “Would you like to come in this afternoon at 2:00?” Yikes!
I felt like I needed some time. Some research maybe? A chance to lay down? I passed on the opportunity for same-day service, came home, filled in the Husb, and then promptly fell asleep on the couch. Turns out, the nerves that I thought I’d kept under wraps were indeed present and I needed some rest.
A bit about the surgery. If you are considering LASIK and are squeamish, or would rather go into the procedure unaware (which is EXACTLY what I did) SKIP STRAIGHT TO THE COLORED TEXT.
I am writing about MY experience, and I’m sure that everyone’s situation can offer slightly different results and moment-by-moment happenings.
2:00 — First thing on the docket was to get drops. I had already fulfilled the required two days of pre-surgery antibiotics. They added more drops (a combination of cleansing drops, more antibiotics, and a bit of numbing drops. Another check of my eyes, a quick chat with the doctor about the rules after the procedure and we were off.
2:10 — I was brought into a room where I removed my shoes, and got a really fashionable head cover. Think cafeteria lady! More drops (all numbing drops this time). I waited approximately 5 minutes for the numbing drops to take effect.
2:15 — Time to get on the table! Indian doctors do not tend to do much talking during procedures, and I am much more used to explanation along the way! Two large machines were in the room with me. I have NO idea what they were each for! They cleaned the area around my eyes and placed a shield over my face. Next was the MOST uncomfortable part of the whole shabang. A circular disk was placed in my eye to keep me from blinking and to stabilize the area. It was pretty strong pressure, but no more than if you were to put the heel of your palm into your eye socket and lean onto a table.
Ok for the rest of it, you’re going to have to google it and read at your own risk.
2:25 — After the surgery was done, I sat up and could see! Now, mind you, it was blurry, but I could see far better already than I have ever remembered seeing!I sat down in the waiting room, received yet more drops, swallowed a pain reliever and was instructed to close my eyes for 30 minutes. I started to feel irritating and itching, as if I was wearing contacts and they were scratched or had a hair in my eye. As much as I wanted to rub my eyes, I was VERY forcefully instructed not to, as it can dislocate or shift the corneal flap.
2:55 — After 30 minutes, it was now time for an exam. 20/20 vision !!!
3:15 — In the car and on the way home!
Post-surgery, I have had mixed reactions. It is ridiculously amazing to be able to see this clearly (during my follow up appointment, I was told that I am seeing BETTER than 20/20. Amazing). It is difficult to have a stringent prescription of drops to dole out 4 times a day for the next week. It’s not a big deal, but with a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to forget. The day before the procedure, I received this email :
When you wake up tomorrow morning, sweet friend, beside your bed will be all of the different pairs of glasses that you get to choose to put on to see your world through for the day. It is amazing how this very important decision changes everything, and deciding to put on glasses of truth, optimism, goodness and gratitude will make everything more beautiful, more bearable and ever more fun.The flip side is that we can all choose to put on glasses of fear, pessimism, anger, resentment and dread too — and our whole day and everything we see and do will be seen through that kind of filter. Once again, it is amazing how this one important decision at the beginning of the day can change the way we see and experience EVERYTHING. Soooo beautiful girl, which glasses will you choose to put on? Remember that you can also choose to put down the yucky glasses and put on the good ones at any point in the day, and remember remember remember that when the day is over, put it all away and just BE. Reflect on the beauty of the day and just BE.
How fun, true and appropriate is that? I was encouraged by the Husb and many friends to rest, rest, rest. I inwardly thought “Rest? Why? I feel great!” After sleeping 2 hours right after the procedure and a solid 9 hours that night, and two 2 hour naps the last two days, I am ready to admit that rest IS important. Your body needs rest to heal. What came in my inbox the day after the procedure?
Dear Beautiful Brave Girl,Sometimes we forget that one of the most important parts of our daily work, our weekly work, our life’s work — is the chill time. We need white space, we need eye rest, we need peace and quiet. We need to stop thinking so hard, stop moving so fast, stop worrying so much. We would never expect a car to run without fuel. We would never expect an appliance to work without being plugged in. We would never expect a flashlight to work without batteries. Why do expect ourselves to operate at full capacity without refueling, recharging, recalibrating? Wonderful soul, please think about this. Please take it to heart. We all need rest. We all need time to chill and be. We all need to be nourished. We are living, breathing, feeling beings. We need refueling to be the life-force that we were designed to be. Take some time. Schedule it in. It is part of your important life work. No one is going to take care of this part of things, so you must. You are too important to wear out. You are so very very very loved. – A message from your friends at the Brave Girls Club
It is so important to rest, in all areas of life. Taking a rest from your normal behavior (and stepping back to observe) can be so telling. Taking a virtual rest from all things online and social media related is exhilarating. Taking a physical rest is required.
Anyway, for those of you in the Delhi area, I highly recommend my experience with Dr. Buckshey! He operates the Visual Aids Centre in Lajpat Nagar. You can reach him on email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 011-4610-8181 or 9810016505 (they are located at8 Ring Road Lajpat Nagar).Tell him I sent you!!