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laser eye surgery

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by tgreathead, May 8, 2008.

  1. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    So after about 5 years of heavily debating it I'm going under the laser in 2 weeks. I have yet to read someone on this forum saying it wasn't a good idea, but I'm curious how the recovery process went.

    For those of you that have done it, how soon were you back on the bike. Was any part of it painful? If you could do anything about your recovery differently what would it be?

    My only worry is I'm a total eye-touch freak. I've had glasses protecting my eyes since 3rd grade so I'm not used to touching them or anything. I tried getting contacts 2 years ago and after a lot of fussing I finally got them in. However, after trying unsuccessfully for about 45 minutes to get them out, I enlisted the help of the 2 ladies that worked at the store. I sat in a chair while one of them (a biiiiiiiig lady) held me down while the other held my eye open and got it out. That still took 15 minutes and I was pretty much freaking out the whole time.
    So the only thing I'm worried about is the part where they have to stick the spreader over your eye to keep it open, a contact lens looks puny compared to that thing :shocked:
    However I did just find out that they give you a Valium before the procedure so hopefully I won't really notice :twitch:
     
    #1 -   May 8, 2008

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  2. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Make sure they know about your eye contact issue to make sure they give you enough drugs. I do hope it's Valium cuz the Halcion I got wigged out my brain.

    I'd say, full-ish recovery took about three months. I had halos and blurry vision for that time. It was minimal, but still there. Ask you doctor about resuming activity. It was freezing cold here, so I took a couple weeks off of riding in January, but maybe not a big deal for you.

    Did they do a thorough screening to make sure you qualify?
     
    #2 -   May 8, 2008
  3. stinkyboy

    stinkyboy Plastic Santa

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    A buddy had it done and he was riding after a couple weeks.
     
    #3 -   May 8, 2008
  4. Serial Midget

    Serial Midget Al Bundy

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    You'll be fine in this life but watch out in the next one - Jesus will smite you in the eyes for effing with his intelligent design.

    May God have mercy on your soul. :monkey:
     
    #4 -   May 8, 2008
  5. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    I had a screening about 2 years ago and was an excellent candidate but couldn't afford it at the time. I go Monday for the new screening which they said was a formality since its been over 3 months since the last one.
    I talked for a while with the consultant at the doctors office today, she specifically told me they'll give me Valium so hopefully that'll keep me calm.
    They're telling me I'll be able to ride again after 1 week, we'll see about that. I'm going to a really prestigious doctor here in LA so hopefully that somehow helps with the recovery process.

    How did you guys deal with vision between the surgery & when it was fully better? Could you drive or work?
     
    #5 -   May 8, 2008
  6. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Is this LASIK? If so, you can work and drive immediately; however, you can't cuz of the valium. Have someone drive you home and take a nap. Wake up, put more eye drops in, go back to sleep, repeat, and you should be fully functional in the morning.
     
    #6 -   May 8, 2008
  7. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Sorry, ya, LASIK. My wife will be driving me home and they give me an Ambien to take right after so you can just crash out and sleep for 4 hours. They're saying I'll be driving to the follow-up in the morning :)

    I think I read your posts, you had PRK right?
     
    #7 -   May 8, 2008
  8. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    I got PRKed one month ago...I was riding 5 days after. This was after sleeping for 20 hours a day each day. I got Percocets, didnt need any. Use the drops they give you, and throw them in the refrigerator. Helps alot...
    PRK is more better for active types...no incisions.
    I have had no problems whatsoever. Use plenty of drops and dont rub.
     
    #8 -   May 9, 2008
  9. geargrrl

    geargrrl Turbo Monkey

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    #9 -   May 9, 2008
  10. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    absolutely waste of time political non-sense and bullsh1t.

    All they're going to do is officially shift the responsibility from doctor to the patient... ya know, the person who isn't qualified to make the decision.

    The only decision a patient should make is whether or not to walk through the front door. At that point, the Fed should have guidelines in place as to who is an acceptable candidate and who isn't.

    I felt a lot more comfortable with my doctor, when I saw first hand, them reject a patient.

    such political, legal garbage :rant:
     
  11. Ciaran

    Ciaran Fear my banana

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    My wife had her eyes done. Best money we ever spent. Except that she used to wear cute glasses which I thought was sexy. No more glasses, and now I can't make faces at her cause she can see all the time.
     
  12. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Its funny, my wife has only known me with glasses and said the same thing, that its part of who I am. I'll put the clear lenses back in my glasses and wear them anytime I need to look sophisticated :brows:
     
  13. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    21 hours to go and counting. Turns out I'm going to have PRK, my cornea is right on the border for LASIK and the doctor recommended I do PRK since it will allow me to get touchups later in life if I need them. A few more days of downtime is fine by me, I'd rather do it right.

    Now I need to go pickup some new sunglasses. Only problem is they dilated my pupils, feels like I'm in an Oliver Stone movie cause everything's so bright! ;)
     
  14. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Make sure they give you enough sedative tomorrow!
     
  15. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    They're giving me a Valium so hopefully I'll be on cloud 9.
     
  16. manimal

    manimal Ociffer Tackleberry

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    my brother did my lasik for me during his residency (it was free but i was his first one :eek: :D )
    best thing i ever did. i went from 20/400-ish to 20/20,20/15. i drove home to NC from atlanta the next morning with no problems and i rode the day after that. you just have to be careful not to rub your eyes for a while and make sure to take the prescribed eye drops.
     
  17. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Ya, PRK has is pros and cons. The recovery is longer, like 4 days, but there's no worry afterward about rubbing eyes or anything since the correction was done to the eye itself, not under a flap. I would have preferred Lasik since it recovers faster but oh well, a few extra days mean nothing in the long run.
     
  18. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    Throw your eye drops in the fridge...the cool feels much better on your eyes...
     
  19. sperkins

    sperkins Monkey

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    yeah it should go fine! they have done a ton of those by now! no worries.
     
  20. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Thanks, I read that in another one of your threads and it sounds like it will definitely help :thumb:
     
  21. ridiculous

    ridiculous Turbo Monkey

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    Had lasik done last summer about this time. Recovery was swift and painless. I still get some glare from headlights when driving at night but i also have abnormally large pupils. Make sure you get preservative free drops to eliminate stinging and put them in the fridge. If you want to save a couple bucks, costco sells the prescription drops that you have to pick up.
     
  22. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Apparently all the drops I need are included in my package so hopefully they're good ones. I wish I could get Lasik since the recovery is so much faster but I'd rather do it right the first time.
    However I did go today and buy my first real pair of sunglasses in preparation :)

    Things I can't wait to do that I've never 'seen':
    -swim in the ocean and see waves coming ;)
    -seeing underwater in a pool
    -rollercoasters!
    -wearing any sunglasses I like, not just the one pair I got with Rx lenses
    -snokeling
    -waterslides

    I got to Mexico in 3 weeks so I'll knock a few off the list :monkeydance:
     
  23. ridiculous

    ridiculous Turbo Monkey

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    not to mention how much it will help your riding.
     
  24. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Ya, I couldn't find any Rx sunglasses that had good wrap and venting for my prescription, let alone a tacky nosepiece and temples, so every ride was a constant slip-a-thon. I can get interchangeable lenses now :)

    One of the worst was wearing my Rx sunglasses into a store and having to keep them on so I can see. A while back I had to go to the hospital in a small town in Northern California for a car accident. They hadn't gotten my regular glasses out of the car before they towed it so I was stuck with my sunglasses. I was in the hospital well into the evening. At one point I overheard a conversation between two nurses:
    "Why doesn't he take his sunglasses off?"
    "Because he's from LA."
    "Ohhhhhhhh"
     
  25. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Just got back. Procedure was totally painless although I was pretty nervous throughout. I knew exactly step by step how Lasik was done but not PRK so they were telling me things as they started doing them, not before, so that was my only gripe. Suddenly someone's opening my eye and washing it out, then they'd say "okay now I'm cleaning your eye." I just wish they'd have told me, THEN started doing it. The procedure itself was totally painless, just weird to be poked around, etc. It was done in about 7 minutes and I could see relatively good right away, good enough to read the clock, but with PRK I won't see well enough to drive for a few days, and not perfectly well for some time after that.
    Oh well, let the healing begin :)
     
  26. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    TGREAT: What's that in my butt?!

    TECH: Okay, I'm going to PIIYB.
     
  27. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    I knew you were a tech, just didn't realize you mixed business with pleasure ;)

    Everything went well, full report later when I can see better and typing isn't such a chore.
     
  28. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    well played, sir :D
     
  29. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    So it hasn't been too bad so far. I'm allergic to dogs and it feels similar to when I've pet one and rubbed my eye.
    A question to those who've had it done, did the fast acting pain drops (the ones I put in the fridge) sting when you put them in? Its funny, of all the drops they're the only ones that give any pain sensation and its pretty decent for a few seconds, then the goodness kicks in. Kind of odd considering how good they feel afterward.
     
  30. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    I never had any kind of pain eyedrops.

    I had three: anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial, and preservative-free lubricating.

    Are you sure you have anti-pain drops?
     
  31. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Ya, I've got 5 drops:

    Vigamox - antibiotic (1 drop 4x/day for 6 days)
    Flarex - anti-inflammatory (1 drop 4x/day for 6 days)
    Nevanac - long lasting pain control (1 drop 4x/day for 2 days)
    Tetracaine - fast acting pain control (the ones I've been putting in the fridge) (as often as I like, their words exactly)
    Systane - preservative-free lubricant (every 1-2 hours if needed)

    I also have ointment to use after the contact lens is taken out, kinda like vaseline I put in at night to keep everything lubricated, sounds kinda gross.

    I went to a very prestigious (and very expensive) doctor, maybe that's why they loaded me up with so many drops?

    I'll take the fast acting ones out of the fridge for now. I did mention to the nurse about putting them in the fridge and she said she hadn't heard of people doing it but it wouldn't effect the drops so I might as well try it if it felt better. I'll see how the next round feel at room temperature.
     
  32. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    I had Vigamox, stung a little bit. Doc took me off after only a month
    Still doing Flarex, 3x per day, and Systane as needed. Usually about 1-2x per hour. I havent really needed it in awhile, I am just being cautious.
    Got Tetracane, but never needed it. Also got Vicodin...dont know if I needed that or not.
    No ointment, but I have friends who had PRK that had it. I think my doc has moved away from it. His count is over 15k patients, and he admits to less than 5 with end results less than 20/20.
    After the lens comes out your eyes will feel great...I rode that afternoon I think.
    I am still refrigerating the Flarex, it just feels better to me that way. I havent tried it otherwise.
     
  33. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    Ya, its not bad really. I've never worn contact lenses so my eyes are probably a little more sensitive to having that in there. That's mostly what I feel; right eye has almost no problems, left eye feels like there's a big ol' contact lens. I've been forgetting to take the Systane regularly, need to get better at that cause I find that when I'm taking it regularly it feels better overall.

    How was the second day? I think I read that the second day is actually the worst. Either way I'll be sitting on the couch all day tomorrow so hopefully its not too bad.

    Good to hear that my eyes will feel good after the lens comes out, I had assumed that would be the case.

    My doc has done over 50k patients and does all the celebrities, etc, so I hope I'm in good hands. I'm waiting to see if I need the ointment. I read a story by one guy that said he didn't use it the first night without the lens and woke up with his eye stuck to his eyelid. He said he was able to blindly grab the Systane and flood his eye with it until it unstuck. He said he did the ointment from then on and, although weird, helped.
     
  34. funkendrenchman

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    I had my eyes done exactly one month ago. I was skiing 4 days after the surgery. I would be more nervous about biking because it is easier to take blunt trauma to the eye. I have used lubricating drops every 1.5-2 hours since the surgery and it is has become a habit. I used two rx drops the first week and have used Pred Forte 4x a day since ( I will be done with that in a day) I used Refresh Plus drops, but they were coting me about $11 a week. I have since switched to Tears Naturale Free which are $11 for more vials and each vial gets about twice the use of the Refresh Plus. So far, no regrets... just a little more sensitive to light and some minor haloing at night. My eyes also get pretty tired by the end of the day. I did try gel for overnight, but oddly enough it irritated my eyes more than helping. I actually get my best vision during the morning.
     
  35. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    DAY 2:

    Slept not so good. Not cause I was uncomfortable, but the 2 hour nap yesterday afternoon totally messed me up. They gave me Ambien to sleep, which I didn't think I'd need, so I took half of one thinking it would take the edge off but I woke up at 1:30am wide awake. Was able to go back to sleep but woke up pretty much every half hour.

    Felt good this morning, my right eye felt a little slimy but a few lubricating drops fixed it up. Went in for my follow up just now, I'm seeing 20/50 which they said is right on track. Had a cool experience though; I was waiting for the 2nd doctor to come in and check my healing. I was zoning out and happened to glance to my right at an eye machine. It was in PERFECT focus, better than with my old glasses! I accidentally blinked and it was gone, back to foggy, but was crazy to see a glimpse of what's to come. The 2nd doctor came in and as he checked out my eyes under a microscope he said, "WHOA!" I kinda freaked out and asked what was wrong. He said that I was healing amazingly fast, that after 24 hours I was where most people were in 48 hours. Pretty crazy.

    Foggyness is still so-so. Luckily we have a relatively big TV so I can still watch movies, however looking at the computer isn't going so well (forgive any typos). The starbursts are a little worse today but not too bad. Overall my eyes feel good, not quite as irritated as yesterday. One note; I mentioned to the nurse about the fast-acting pain relief drops stinging. She said that was normal cause they're strong, but to try and use them as little as possible cause they slow the healing process. I've been using them with the other drops about 4 times a day. She said that's fine, they'd had people who go through the whole bottle in one day. That's almost 40 times a day!! Worst part for those people is they won't refill them cause it will delay the healing so much, they end up having to suffer through it.

    I'm still pretty light sensitive. Luckily its really overcast today but I'm still inside with all the blinds closed. It took me about 30 minutes this morning to get used to the daylight, I was walking around squinting that whole time. She said normally day 3 is the foggiest so to expect that, but by day 4 or 5 it will go away for the most part and maybe linger towards the end for a while.

    More updates tomorrow :)

    EDIT:
    Its 2 days later but I'm amending this post. Was pretty good until about 2pm on Day 2 then my eyes were so sensitive to light that I couldn't keep them open for more than a split second. I tried just listening to TV but it took about 10 minutes just to skim a few channels in the guide, couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to read show titles. That lasted till about 8pm when it got a little better but not much until I went to bed around 11.
     
    #35 -   May 23, 2008
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  36. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    DAY 3 (written on day 4 cause I couldn't see sh!t yesterday):

    Woke up and vision was worse than ever, but I was warned this was normal around day 3. I had some double-vision in my left eye and double-vision combined with blurriness in my right. I could see well enough to walk around but reading was impossible. Went with my wife to the mall and she had to key in my pin number after I swiped my debit card, I couldn't even read the keypad from inches away. Was still pretty light sensitive so I wore sunglasses all day (outside and inside) but the day was completely pain free. Went out to a beach party for a few hours and did pretty good, luckily I could just keep my eyes closed as I was talking to people since they couldn't see my eyes ;)

    I did get some dryness occasionally so I'd pop the lubricating drops but other than that nothing, didn't use the numbing drops all day. By the end of the day I still couldn't read but the light sensitivity was fading so I was able to watch a movie at home. Couldn't see detail but got the gist of it.

    One weird thing; I think being driven around was making my nauseous. If I kept my eyes open it was too much to try and focus which made me feel sick. If I kept them closed I would bounce around in the car (4Runner) not knowing what was going on which also seemed to make me sick. Felt fine after chewing through a pack of Rolaids.

    Off to bed.
     
    #36 -   May 25, 2008
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  37. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    DAY 4:

    No trouble sleeping again. Slept with the goggles on again since they don't really bug me. Once they pull the protective contact lens out I'll stop sleeping with them, there won't be anything to disrupt after that. Can see a little better overall this morning, still not very good but just well enough to type this ;)

    Both eyes are a little less blurry but still have some mild double vision. Seeing pretty much everything isn't a problem but reading is still hard since the small letters blend together. I'm a little less light sensitive, especially for first thing after waking up. Its overcast outside, as its been every morning since the surgery, and other mornings have taken about an hour to get used to the sunlight. Today I was looking out the window as soon as I woke up, no problems there. I bet I'm almost good enough to drive but I won't, having my wife chauffeur me around is pretty nice ;)

    I'll update later since it always seems to change over the course of the day. All I'm really hoping is that I can read well by Tuesday when I'm supposed to go back to work, if I can't read I'll be pretty screwed. However at the rate everything is changing I'm pretty sure it won't be a problem. Tuesday will probably be my first ride too, will bring the bike to work so I can ride the path across the street afterward. Pretty stoked about that, need to test out my new riding glasses, Smith 'Trace', to see if I like them.

    UPDATE 9pm:
    Vision did get a little worse throughout the day as I'm getting tired. My left eye seems to be doing consistently better than my right eye but they have been fluctuating. It was pretty cool at dinner though, I was able to close my right eye and read signs out the window and across the street that I might have even had trouble reading with my glasses. Its been doing that on and off today, things will drift into focus suddenly then drift out. Pretty stoked on what the coming days hold.
     
    #37 -   May 25, 2008
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  38. Ciaran

    Ciaran Fear my banana

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    Who was your doc? Sounds like the same guy my wife went to.
     
  39. tgreathead

    tgreathead Monkey

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    I went to Dr. Robert Maloney. He's the dude that does all the "Extreme Makeover" people.
    (awesome headshot by the way)
     
  40. Ciaran

    Ciaran Fear my banana

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    Ahhh... no different doc. My wife went to the Assil Eye Center, and was worked on by Dr. Kerry Assil.

    http://www.assileye.com/html/dr__assil__md.html