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My PRK Experience
Note - the cost was $5000 but my really good...
- 9 Aug 2011
Note - the cost was $5000 but my really good Federal Employee insurance paid $500 :)
I had PRK on Friday, July 29th and used a lot of people’s first-hand experiences in preparing for the surgery. So I wanted to share with anyone who may be thinking about it. Please feel free to ask me anything and everything else! I am more than happy to help!
The surgery itself is fine. They give you valium and the doctors at Eye Doctors of Washington are super nice. Your eyes are numb and you do not feel a thing other than some of the drops burning a bit and, at one point, they saturate your eye with cold water and tell you to expect a cold headache - that part is a little uneasy, but it is just a feeling of a rush of water on your eye. No pain at all. Beforehand I was a little freaked out about them holding my eyes open but you cannot tell one bit. It feels like you are blinking. It’s fine.
When you walk out of surgery you can see better for sure, but I was still blurry. The guy before me, however, could see perfectly. But we were both warned that it would not last - it would get worse before it got better. And it did.
David (husband) took me home and I was still very relaxed from the valium. I got home and even cleaned the house a bit. Eventually I laid down. This whole time I was taking the loads of drops they give you and also the vicodin as a "preemptive strike" to any pain that may come later. My vision was blurry and got more blurry. And it wasn't like a bad pair of glasses blurry. No pair of glasses could help. It was just blurry; I can’t explain it any other way! ?
That night I woke up a lot, about every 20 minutes in the beginning, then every hour, and then ultimately I slept 3 hours straight around 5am. My eyes felt dry and a bit scratchy. I think that I don't do well with the pain pills and that may have been why I woke up a lot. You also have to sleep in these goggles that they give you. But let me tell you, they are important. For some reason in the middle of the nights I would always take them off and put them on my nightstand while I was sleeping – so weird. And the one morning at 4am the goggles were off and I touched my eye. Man, it hurt like you would not believe. David was traumatized from my screaming waking him up. Sooo, they are ugly and uncomfortable, but you need them!
Saturday it started to get uncomfortable - feeling like you have a ripped contact or sand in your eye. They give you numbing drops to use when the pain gets bad and I used them every few hours. But I did not have to take many pain pills this day. Vision was still blurry and eyes felt dry.
Saturday night was the same waking up thing but nothing major.
Sunday, Sunday was bad. I dont want to scare you, everyone is different, but Sunday was very painful. My eyes were very irritated and felt very dry. I was also getting frustrated with how blurry my eyes were and I wondered when on earth it would get clearer. As the day went on my left eye in particular hurt tremendously and became red. Around 10:30pm it got really terrible and I could not stand it. David called the on-call doctor who had me go all the way out to Farifax to see her. She took out the protective contact lense (after surgery they put one on right away and you keep it on for a few days) and numbed my eye totally. She then put a new contact lense in and it felt better. As we went home the numbing drops wore off and it got painful again although not as bad as it was.
Monday I started seeing better and the pain was going away. I saw the doctor and he said my eye was healing a little slowly and he did not want to take the contacts off yet.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday things got way better. I went back to work but only for a few hours each day. Minimal pain and my vision was getting better although still blurry. My right eye was better than my left and reading gave me a headache at times and my eyes got tired, but I was able to do stuff.
Wednesday afternoon the doctor took the contact lenses off and tested my vision. It was a hard to read it, but I could make out 20/20 in my right eye and 20/15 in my left. I was amazed.
Since then things have been getting better although not perfect. Just going through everyday things it seems like I am wearing glasses. It’s not until I let me eyes stop focusing or I try to see something far away, specifically read far away, that I am reminded my vision is not perfect. My eyes still are dry and I use a lot of rewetting drops. Bright likes are still harsh and seeing in the dark is very hard - I see halos around lights. I doubt Ill drive at night for a while. But I did drive during the day on Sunday and was perfectly fine.
That all said it is important to remember that everyone is different and heals differently. My doctor said I had a harder time than most given my experience on that Sunday, but who knows how I will proceed from here. He indicated that having that trouble is not indicative of how I will heal later in terms of my vision getting better and better and being able to see better at night. Healing will take time, that’s just how it is and I am really excited to see it getting better and better ?
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