A Little Lasik

I had Lasik done this morning at Spivack Lasik. The doctor and clinic were recommended to me by many including my assistant at work. Of course, once my assistant saw the appointment on my calendar, she asked only "what time and where am I picking you up?" Thank you BP.

I had two complete complementary pre-op visits to ensure that I'd be an OK candidate. Even this morning they retested my ability to make sufficient tears as dry eyes are not compatible with great Lasik outcomes. My eyes are still dry even though I take Flax Oil daily - I never had this issue before I started using contact lenses – and the doctor inserted collagen plugs into my tear ducts earlier this week. I'm not sure why doctors (especially my gynecologist) always want to give the play by play…"I am about to touch you now…" but really, stop already, and just do whatever, especially if a foreign object is going where it was not meant to go. Just do it; I really don't want the second by second description.

So for about 15 minutes at the clinic today I'd worried that I'd paid for the surgery and stressed over it  but would not in fact be getting the Lasik done today or ever. Ultimately I was led back to the surgery waiting area – imagine dimmed lights and a ring of lazy boy chairs with people with hair nets, sterile booties and closed eyes. Oh, and hot blankets. There is nothing like a hot blanket while waiting for an unpleasant experience. About 20 minutes prior you have the option to take an Ativan (say yes) before surgery. I had valium in a IV push when my wisdom teeth were taken out.  Ativan was not as potent as valium in dissociating the experience or memory but did help to diminish my anxiety in the moment and had the advantage that I fundamentally still felt like myself.

So Lasik takes maybe 10 minutes, tops.  I was laid flat and still had my warm blanket. I was then offered a stuffed animal. My side of the conversation conveyed that um, I didn't even like dolls as a kid. The nurse conveyed that some folks find it helps, "here" she said as she shoved a stuffed puppy under the blanket with me.  While there is an eyes held open aspect that reminded me too much of A Clockwork Orange (warning image is disturbing), it was over quickly. And the doctor used his hands to hold my head/chin as much as possible. There are two laser zapping sessions per eye: flap creation & correction. And two sessions of the doctor moving the flap – away & back. Zap zap zap OK; forceps near eye…..yiiiieeee! And yes, the dumb stuffed dog under the covers with me was held very tightly. Feel free to send stuffed animals for Christmas, apparently I have a fondness…

Slept for 4 hours post surgery as recommended. Lots of eye drops required over the next 2 weeks, steroids, antibiotics, artificial tears, and even cyclosporin (and why cyclosporin helps tear formation I have NO idea…for organ transplantation I get it, daily on my eyes because they are dry, huh? but OK I will do, for months apparently). And I can now see leaves on trees again. Less than 12 hours post-op and my vision is better, much better. I am hopeful!

And while the surgeon won't be at my 24 hour post-op appointment in the AM, he called me earlier this evening to see if I was OK, or had questions or concerns. Nice touch Dr. Spivack. And apparently, so long as I get a complete annual eye exam, my surgery has a lifetime warranty. Cool.

2 comments on “A Little Lasik
  1. Irene says:

    I’m glad your experience went well! I didn’t have a stuffed puppy when I had my procedure. I had a room full of observing doctors from Boston, plus the doctor I worked for at the time. I held his hand.
    It’s nice that those little pills help to calm the nerves, isn’t it?
    Enjoy your new vision!

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks Irene!
    Hand holding would have been nice but the stuffed puppy helped a lot.
    So far so good on the new vision. I was 20/20 after 24 hours. I hope it holds up!