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The Blurry Artist - Las Vegas, NV

Once I decided to go for it, I read every LASIK...

Once I decided to go for it, I read every LASIK horror story I could find. Though 9 different acquaintances came back with nothing but rave reviews, I knew there would be risks. I knew the structural integrity of my eyes would never be the same. These risks could dramatically affect my quality of life. I'm a graphic designer and illustrator. My eyes are one of my greatest assets.

The day of the surgery, I initialed several pages explaining possible poor outcomes following LASIK. The last page even asked for hand-written consent. Ladies, I also had to confirm that, to my knowledge, I am not pregnant.

I sat in a dim room with 2 other patients while we received instructions for follow up care as well as a group session with the Doctor. At first I was annoyed that we were greeted as a group, but it was actually a great opportunity to share questions and concerns. My prescription was checked again for consistency, and I was given a small pill to help me relax. One by one, the other patients filtered out ahead of me with different verbalized thoughts.

"Oh man, that was so quick!"
"Wow, I'm wide awake now."
"That light was super bright!"

When I was finally escorted back to the surgery room, I was relaxed. In fact, I was too relaxed. My eyes were checked one more time, and I was to lie down. There was a cratered area to place my head, and I was instructed to tilt my chin up and look straight into the small green light. This is more difficult than it sounds. The light was extremely bright, and I was sooooo relaxed. Dr. Rothman kept asking me to stop moving and to tilt my chin back up...to stop rolling my eyes back. I was at risk of not even completing the surgery at this point.

Finally, someone held my head. I focused for all that I could muster and finally lined up right. They had attempted to place the initial flap-creating device on my eye a few times, so my eye was a lil irritated but not in pain. The Doctor apologized, stating that it had to perfect. Fine by me! The suction was applied and the green light disappeared. Everything went black. I smelled a slight scent of something burning. The flap was created, the machine pulled back, and the green light reappeared.

The green light blurred considerably as the flap was lifted back. What looked like the bright light of a scanner crossed over. I kept my eye on the prize and before I knew it, the flap was replaced and the green light came back into focus. The next eye went flawlessly swift. It was over. I had done it!

I slowly sat upright. the Doctor checked my eyes again, and an assistant moved me to a darker room. I could see across the room, but it was blurry. I subconsciously began to panic. I was instructed to have a boring weekend and to go home and sleep. There was to be no reading, no TV, no computer.

It was difficult to fall asleep with the safety goggles strapped to my head, but somehow I squeezed out 5 hours of rest. After that, I endured the rest of the day with my eyes closed. The few times I opened them were to apply eye drops. Many, many eye drops. My eyes were very light sensitive, and the only way I could manage the drops was to apply them in a blacked out bedroom.

The next morning, I was afraid to open my eyes. Was it going to be blurry? Was I an unlucky statistic? Thanks to the eye drops, my eyelashes were like Velcro. Somehow, I pried them open and applied my drops. My sight was much more clear, but still somewhat hazy. My boyfriend drove me back to the office for my follow up. I had gone from 20/400 to 20/20. The Doctor gave me tips and tricks for caring for my eyes, and I scheduled a week followup with the optometrist.

By the third day, I could clearly see things I could not even see with my glasses. The world still feels a little bright, but not nearly as bad as before. I'm still on strict eye drop regimen, but this is easily accommodated. I don't know what the future holds, but so far...so good!

Additional note: my price is including the prescription and lubricating eye drops that I had to purchase before the surgery. I also got some ZzzQuil.

5 Days Later

I've become much less sensitive to light, which is making mornings a lot easier. I can't wait to finish the medicated eye drops. One has a milky texture to it and if there is any left on your lashes, they tend to glue together. My eyes are also a little bloodshot from the initial flap-creating machine. I've added a picture to show this, but it's getting lighter and lighter every day. Most of the red is under my lid. I've noticed things that I could not see even with my contacts, so it's been pretty exciting.

1 Month Later

My 1 month LASIK exam went off without any noticeable issues. My sight is still 20/20. I haven't noticed any glaring or halos at night. In the mornings, my eyes feel a little dry, so I keep some drops right by the bed. Otherwise, I just try to use drops once an hour out of precaution. I've been almost religious about cleansing my makeup before sleep (which I was admittedly bad at before). I've also invested in a nice pair of RayBans to cope with the outdoors.

Eye Infection

I woke up this morning to find my right eye very red. I thought maybe I scratched it while sleeping, and applied a few eyedrops. Arriving at work, the red had faded to a light pink. I scheduled the soonest eye appointment, which was great, because my boss sent me away thinking I had pinkeye.

While I don't have pinkeye (in fact the red/pink completely disappeared), I do have a slight infection in my right eye. My vision is still 20/20. I was given a prescription for antibiotic drops to use in both eyes (just in case). I also tossed out all eye makeup.

I feel guilty, because only a night ago, I had slept in my makeup. I have no doubt that I brought this upon myself. It doesn't hurt, but boy did it scare the crap out of me!

Sensitivity

It's been almost 3 months now, and the "side effects" have been pretty mild. I noticed I'm a bit more sensitive to things that never bothered me before...like cutting an onion and smoke from the grill. During night driving, I can actually see much better that before, but if my eyes are dry, I will noticed some starbursting. Lastly, if I don't take enough breaks from focusing on my computer screen, I start to get some eye fatigue. To be fair though, I'm a graphic designer, and I spend ludicrous amounts of time at the computer. I've installed EyeLeo to remind me to break, and it's done wonders. All in all, it really hasn't been too bad.

4 Months

I can still see 20/20. I've had no problems with dryness; However, I had to pull some late-night work and my eyes were fatigued to the point where I couldn't focus. We're talking about 14 hours at the computer with little to no breaks. I ended up investing in some Gunnar optiks computer glasses. They didn't seem very special putting them on, but it made a noticeable difference in my end-of-day eye fatigue. Eye wear is no substitute for taking regular breaks, but I truly feel these were worth the price (given my career choice).

Relaxing

After a couple of months, I've lowered my use of drops substantially. I also no longer feel the habit/urge to remove my contacts before I go to bed (scary right?).

1 Year Later

I just finished my last follow-up LASIK exam, and I'm still doing well. From here out, I will see my own optometrist annually. I could have an annual eye exam at the LASIK office, but I want to take advantage of the vision plan my insurance provides—it's financially more agreeable.

On another note, my boyfriend and I will be taking scuba lessons in the next month or so. The friend that ultimately helped me choose Dr Rothman a year ago, has become passionate about diving and has had no problems with mask or dive pressure. She also started diving in as little as two weeks after her LASIK. I'm pretty excited, so hopefully I have the same great experience with my LASIK below water as above.
Richard C. Rothman, M.D.

Dr. Rothman was friendly, accommodating, and humorous. He is also a perfectionist, and I appreciate that.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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