They offered me a Valium which I took, not sure whether it really helped, I didn't seem to feel any different.
They started off by putting in eyedrops including the anaesthetic drops which stung a bit and then I was sent back to the waiting room for them to start working.
The first part of the procedure is where they create the flap with the laser. It had been explained to me that this was the worst part but that it wouldn't hurt, there would be just be a feeling of pressure.
There was definitely a feeling of pressure but it was very intense and I found it very painful. It didn't last for long but I was very glad when it was over. I was then walked through to another waiting area to wait for the gas bubbles to disperse.
Then it was into the second part of the procedure where the vision correction takes place. My eye was taped and clipped open which was fine and then a fine metal hook was use to lift the flap up. I couldn't feel this at all on my right eye but on the left I could feel everything and it was awful. My eye was watering so much that tears were running down my face. Once the laser was in place I was told to keep looking at the green flashing light. This was actually quite difficult as my eyes were watering so much, there are also bursts of bright lights and times when your vision goes dark as well. I was trying to keep looking straight but I mustn't have succeeded as the doctor kept telling me to stop moving my eyes around. He was very calm and patient while telling me this but he kept saying it was very important not to move and to keep looking at the green lights. I was getting very stressed by this stage and told him I couldn't see the lights but he was very reassuring and we got through it. Despite this being the supposedly easier part of the procedure I still found it very uncomfortable and was very relieved when it was all over. The doctor could see I was concerned and told me not to worry and that everything had gone fine.
I was then handed over to a nurse who gave me instructions about aftercare which included:
- Eyedrops for the next 3 weeks
- An eye shield which I had to wear until this morning and then tonight and tomorrow night or whenever sleeping
- Not getting your face wet for 2 weeks !!
- No eye make up for a week
- No rubbing the eyes for 1 week
- No body contact sports for 1 month
I was also given some pain relief to take home. The nurse ran through some of the effects that can be experienced as the anaesthetic eyedrops wear off, such as watering, grittiness and heavy eyelids.
I got the last one! My eyelids were so heavy I could not keep my eye open at all. While I had been waiting to go in at the beginning I had seen others who had finished their procedures and were waiting to be picked up and they were walking around no problem - so obviously not everyone gets this.
My mum picked me up and took me home. My eyes were very uncomfortable and I felt pretty miserable. I took a dose of the pain medication (a combo of codeine and paracetamol) and after about an hour they felt much better and I had become quite drowsy so I snoozed on the couch for the rest of the evening. I took another dose before bed. By the time I went to bed the heavy lids had gone and I could see fairly well but still blurry.
I woke up this morning feeling much better, and had a great sleep. Mild discomfort only. Was able to take off the goggles. A bit blood shot but not too bad. My husband drove me to the post op appointment first thing and I got the all clear from the doctor. Will have another check up in 2 weeks.
Over the course of the day my vision has improved. It's not perfect but its getting there. The doctor said I would have a good idea of how it's worked over the next 4 days so I am looking forward to seeing how it goes!
Overall it was much more painful and uncomfortable than I was expecting and I was very glad that my two young children stayed with their grandparents overnight so I could just take it easy. I wasn't able to drive today but will be able to tomorrow. Even though it wasn't great I'm still very glad I have had it done and I look forward to the full results!