27 Oct 2007 07:06 pm

My Experience with LASIK Eye Surgery

I’m stoked. Ecstatic. Overjoyed. Tickled pink. Walking on air. Why?

I’ll tell you why. I can actually see again!

Not just “see good through glasses or contacts” see… I mean I can see… really see!

May not seem like a big deal to you if you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to make it through life unburdened by glasses or contact lenses. But for me, after struggling through life with this all-to-common handicap, dreaming of how great it would be to be free of these God-awful crutches; finally being able to see without corrective lenses is beyond description.

I feel 30 years younger. I just want to go outside and look at things. Cars look better… Girls are prettier… The fall colors just seem to come alive… It’s like a whole new world out there and I no longer have to view it from behind a glass wall.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

*****

Here’s the story:

Friday morning I went in for LASIK eye surgery on my left eye. Went back this morning for a follow-up visit and the eye doctor said my vision is currently 20/15, which is better than 20/20. Still have a bit of haze but that’s normal. The surgical flap has to heal yet.

(They peal back the top of the cornea with one laser and then another laser reshapes the surface of the eye underneath. Then they lay the flap back down. Yes, it’s a little scary especially while they’re doing it. My biggest fear when they started was that I wouldn’t be able to hold my eye still and would mess up the procedure.)

My vision will probably fluctuate for a few days. Driving was great. Like a whole new world. Everything was sharp and clear. Couldn’t have asked for better results. Only problem is that “computer screen range” is probably not going to be clear. It may get better, but probably not much. I’m using drugstore reading glasses 1.25 to type this and they work perfectly… so it’s something I can live with.

I have perfect up close “reading a book” vision in my right eye. I have perfect distance vision from about 4 feet out to infinity in my left eye (the one surgically corrected). There is just the in-between midrange that is fuzzy.

I’m so exited. First thing I did when I got home from the doctor was wash the windows on my car inside and out. I need to wash the windows on the house next. Now that I can see, I can’t stand looking through dirty windows. Before, I couldn’t see anything anyway, so it didn’t matter.

The operation is scary and not without risk, but I am so happy with the results that I feel like I have a new lease on life. I definitely would encourage anyone considering Lasik to go for it. (My friend and fellow writer, Ami Chopine is writing a book on Lasik and may have some caveats to share, but I feel for me that this was well worth it.

*****

I am only having the left eye done. I had a cataract in that eye about 4 years ago (yes, I was one of the youngest people they had ever seen with a cataract) and had surgery then to install an artificial lens. (I call it my Bionic eye.) That gave me almost perfect vision in that eye except for some astigmatism. The laser surgery was to finally correct the astigmatism and make that eye perfect for distance.

My right eye is very nearsighted, but perfect up close for reading. If I have it corrected, I would lose the up close vision which is important to me for doing detail work like reading the tiny print on a transistor or the fine grain in a piece of wood.

Going with what they call “mono-vision” gives me the best of both worlds. It’s a little weird, but not bad. For the most part the two eyes still work in concert and I can’t really tell that one is doing most of the work for any given task. Depth perception is fine.

*****

I did not expect the surgery to have this level of impact on me. I can only compare it to someone with a horrible disfigurement finally having the bandages removed after plastic surgery and discovering that they have been made whole again.

I was pretty excited several years ago when I first began to realize that I could rebuild my back. That too, was a monumental turning point if my life. After going for a decade thinking I was permanently disabled… I was pretty excited to discover I didn’t have to be.

I was so excited about that development that I wrote a book about it and started this website, but even that did not hit me this hard. Probably because it came about over several months and this literally happened overnight.

One day I was blind. The next day I can see.

If I were younger, I would go back to school and become an eye surgeon. That’s how excited I am about this.

– Dean

***************

20 Responses to “My Experience with LASIK Eye Surgery”

  1. on 28 Oct 2007 at 7:39 pm 1.USS Ben said …

    That’s great news, Dean!
    I know the feeling you’re talking about: that new lease on life.
    The full extent is difficult to convey, but you do an excellent job of it!

  2. on 28 Oct 2007 at 11:58 pm 2.Dean said …

    Thanks, Ben. I’m sure eventually I’ll start taking my new vision for granted, but for now it’s great.

  3. on 30 Oct 2007 at 12:06 pm 3.Stacy said …

    Wasn’t it a creepy feeling; being awake and having someone poking around in your eye?

    That is the only thing stopping me from doing it. I guess I’m afraid that I will freak out part way through the surgery.

  4. on 31 Oct 2007 at 10:37 pm 4.Dean said …

    Hi Stacy,

    No, they put numbing drops in your eye so you can’t feel or see what they’re doing. They also give you a Valium to help you relax. I declined the Valium, and it was a little more frightening than I expected once they got started, but overall it wasn’t that bad.

    I wouldn’t go to one of the discount places you see advertising in the newspaper.

  5. on 01 Nov 2007 at 5:57 am 5.Chrysalis Angel said …

    I am so happy for you Dean! What a great thing. Isn’t it amazing how far all these things have come?
    I would have sent you a song Walking on Sunshine, if I knew how to do it. :)

  6. on 13 Nov 2007 at 9:25 pm 6.orie said …

    I’m happy to hear of the success of this procedure. Ever since I was in the third grade i’ve been as blind as a bat. if you know anything about prescriptions, mine is at -6. I’ve been waiting to be financially stable enough to have the procedure done. I can only imagine how much i would be saving a year in new contacts, solution, glasses repair, and just the pain in the neck of having this imperfection. I kind of sense your experience is a lot like the first time i went to the pool with contacts instead of glasses. I was allowed to see everything around me in a situation when i was normally blind. Imagine how exciting that was for a 13 year old being able to see girls around the pool clearly for the first time. Little situations like that were soooo great, like haircuts, watersports, playing football, basketball, and every other sport. I usually don’t like to talk expenses, but if you could, do you think you could divulge how much your procedure cost from start to finish? i hope everything turns out well for you.

  7. on 18 Nov 2007 at 1:34 am 7.Ami said …

    That is fantastic, Dean. I’m curious about the monovision too. How did you come to decide to do that?

    LASIK is great for a lot of people. Really, only a doctor could tell you the things, other than a high prescription and a history of very dry eyes (don’t do it because your contacts are getting uncomfortable because they are dry), that would make a patient unable to have LASIK.

    -12.75. That was my prescription. So I had implants.

    But your description is so true. It is still amazing to me after all these months. I can see! Better than I had been able to in years. I go to bed and don’t mess with my eyes. I don’t keep my glasses under my pillow anymore. I’m completely independent of those. Wow.

  8. on 21 Nov 2007 at 12:16 pm 8.Dean said …

    Hi Ami,

    I didn’t really choose the monovision. It was the result of having cataract surgery on only one eye. It works for my situation, but my eyes get tired quickly when reading or working at the computer.

    Orie: It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to discuss how much my procedure cost other than to say that it was a flat fee.

  9. on 10 Dec 2007 at 5:54 am 9.george said …

    Nicely written and interesting. TQ

  10. on 11 Dec 2007 at 5:08 pm 10.Dean said …

    Thanks George.

  11. on 22 Jan 2008 at 1:10 pm 11.andy said …

    hi dean..
    thinking of having it done…i have poor eyes since a kid and not worn my glasses for years now..would this procedure work for me, or can you ask someone if it would work for someone with strong precription lenses, if it does work i will take the risk and pay the money…your story says it all to me, you sold this item tome as soon as i read through your story

  12. on 23 Jan 2008 at 2:18 pm 12.Dean said …

    Hi andy,

    I highly recommend this procedure as you can tell from my post. It’s not without risks (just like any surgery) but the benefits are worth it IMHO.

    The only way to tell if you are a candidate is to find a good eye clinic and make an appointment. The LASIK screenings are usually free.

    I would stay away from the discount places, because your eyes are too important to take lightly. They may be perfectly safe, but why risk it?

  13. on 28 Jan 2008 at 11:32 am 13.andy said …

    thanks dean

    i will contact you as soon as i get a comfirmation date to se if i can get it done and keep in touch throu out my treatment ok dean thanks for the advice. andy bradford

  14. on 28 Jan 2008 at 6:41 pm 14.Dean said …

    Hey andy, Yeah, let me know how it works out.

  15. on 05 Feb 2008 at 3:33 pm 15.andy said …

    hi dean, got my date for consultation in leeds ULTRALASE on 15th fed hope i am ok for treatment, listen how bad wear your eyes before u got it done, and how thick were ur lens on ur glasses, also how fare down the eye chart could you read without glasses.

    just would like to know how bad you have to be to get ur eyes fixed. cheers dean,

  16. on 05 Feb 2008 at 11:09 pm 16.Dean said …

    Hey andy,

    Well, I’m not a good example to go by.

    I had an artificial lens implanted in my left eye about 4 years prior to the LASIK, so I could see well enough to drive without correction. The LASIK in my case was just to correct the remaining astigmatism in that eye so it would be perfect.

    They will evaluate your situation at the consultation and tell you which procedure would be right for you and what kind of results you can expect.

  17. on 07 Feb 2008 at 9:46 am 17.andy said …

    ok thanks for that dean, i will let you know what they say….and keep you up to date with what happens, also will keep record of conversations so i can do a video like before and after with your story if i can…so untill 15th jan i will leave it untill then and send you a message as soon as i have been to leeds ok…thanks again dean.andy in bradford

  18. on 17 Feb 2008 at 12:15 pm 18.andy said …

    hi dean bad news mate… they told me i was not suitable for the treatment.. gutted real gutted…. i have a prescription of left eye -7 and right eye -8.5 healthy eyes thou, just cant believe that they turned me down mate…must be somewhere live Acuvision that might do my eyes, anyone reading this please leave me the name and address of the place that can correct my vision better than it is now, it is getting me down.

    Thanks for reading this post i hope someone can help…thanks for the info dean nice of you to kep writing. cheers mate bye for now. andy

  19. on 18 Feb 2008 at 1:08 am 19.Dean said …

    Hey andy,

    That’s rough. I knew there had to be a limit to what they could do. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t fall within the parameters.

    On the bright side, they are always coming out with advances and improvements. In a few years, there may be something that will work for your situation.

  20. on 13 May 2008 at 3:07 pm 20.lulugal11 said …

    Hey Andy…did the place tell you it was just because of your prescription they denied you? My eyes were -7.5 and I got them done. There was a lady next to me that had -8 and -9 in the other and they got her too.

    Had mine done December 2007 and I am loving it!!!!

Trackback This Post | Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply