LASIK - Successful but Suffering from Post-LASIK Anxiety - Florida, FL

Unlike many of you, I only started wearing glasses...

Unlike many of you, I only started wearing glasses and contacts around 6 years ago. I likely needed distance glasses earlier but didn't really take action until I started to notice that I couldn't read the chalkboard in grad school. Even on my surgery date, I was only a -2.25 D in both eyes but it was still a prescription that required full time glasses or contacts to function outside of my home.

I wanted LASIK from the first uncomfortable moment a contact touched my eye. I literally couldn't wait until the moment I could take them out once I put them in. It wasn't that my eyes were dry but I had a constant "awareness" of the contact in my right eye that I could never shake that would result in protein build-up on the lens as my eye started to reject it. I could last around 3 hours....or 6 if I really needed to but it was, nevertheless, uncomfortable and they constantly bothered me. I tried monthlies, bi-weeklies, dailies...nothing worked. It was frustrating.

I thought I had done my research. I knew the risks or at least I thought I did prior to having the surgery. I think the laser surgery center that I choose was top-notch. They provided excellent service and held my hand every step of the way. What they didn't do was tell me what questions I should have been asking but didn't know to ask in my consult. I purposely avoided googling "LASIK horror stories" because let's face it. When people have great outcomes - they tell one or two people. When they have a horrible outcome - they tell anyone and everyone that will listen. What I feel like my consultant should have gone through with me - What happens if I develop cataracts? Will a doctor still be able to determine if I have glaucoma? Is it true that my optical pressure will forever be unreadable leading to my undiscovered glaucoma and to my eventual blindness? Why is corneal ectasia listed as a remote risk on my consent form yet my "google search" states that it affects 1/2000 people that have LASIK? Is that really "remote"? If this procedure doesn't work will soft contacts or glasses still remain an option? Yes, I realize that I likely should have done my "google search" before...or maybe I did and then just decided that these were risks I could live with and I've blocked this from my mind. I based a lot of my research on people I knew who had the procedure. And in the process also discovered many people had it that I never knew had. Only one told me she wished that she hadn't had it. She had the procedure in the early 90's and likely wouldn't have been considered a candidate today. Shee suffered severe headaches when reading post-op and needed to take breaks every 15 mins. She wasn't blinded or disabled by her surgery. But everyone else that I spoke with said it was "life-changing, the best money they had ever spent, zero regrets".

I was cool as a cucumber prior to my surgery and everything went smoothly. I had the typical post-op symptoms. My eyes watered uncontrollably for an hour and then I opened my eyes and I could see. My right eye felt like nothing happened but my left was sore for a few days. My vision the next day was 20/25 at my first post-op appointment. My vision at my second post-op appointment was 20/15. The only complication that I seemed to suffer from the surgery was a subconjunctival hemorrhage in my left eye after which wasn't pretty and 12 days after my surgery, it is still visible but a lot better.

What I wasn't prepared for was my post-LASIK anxiety and regret. Did I make an informed decision? Was this really the right decision? Am I so vain that I couldn't have just existed in the world with my glasses and suffered with contacts when needed? Was this really worth the "remote" risk of corneal ectasia? Am I prepared to have an enhancement if needed? All questions that I thought I knew the answer to prior to surgery except for the corneal ectasia. Let's face it. No one who suffers from that post-LASIK would likely say "the few years I had were great until corneal ectasia...go for it".

I know that I should consider my surgery a "success". By all means, it was. I think the first moment of regret floated into my mind was when I looked outside at night and was truly terrified. I now understand the terms "halos, starbursts, glare". When I asked my friends who have had the surgery some told me that diminished completely within a few months and some say "yeah they are still there but I don't notice them that much anymore or only on certain types of lights." And then I googled. And then I got this vicious post-LASIK what did I do anxiety that I haven't been able to shake. Which was made worse when friends and co-workers gave me the "its so weird to see you without glasses.....why would you ever have LASIK....its so risky....those are your only get one set...I would NEVER do something like looked so cute with glasses". And in my head I'm telling myself - "It's NASA flap won't dislodge in space or G force according to the US Military....if they think its relatively safe than it must be"....or other illogical reasoning like "if its safe enough for tiger wood, lebron james and cindy crawford than me too" and "yes I looked super cute...but I didn't want them ALL THE at my wedding.. or when I go travelling....or scuba diving".

When I try to talk to others about it they laugh it off like I am being ridiculous. Why am I upset when it worked? It was a success. One of my girlfriends told me that in a month when I stop using drops all the time and constantly thinking about it - I'll be so happy I made this decision and never look back. But for some reason I can't stop second guessing myself. I love my new eyesight but at what cost? Or maybe my real issue is looking in the mirror and seeing the girl I once knew in her glasses everyday without them and I feel like I don't recognize her. Who is this girl without the glasses staring back at me? Is she happier without them or was she always hiding behind them? Anyways, I just wanted to share and see if anyone else experienced this post-op anxiety that I am feeling.
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