Sunday, October 17, 2010

One year later

I suppose that I should follow up with long term results. It's now well over 1 year since the original surgery. Earlier this year (2010), I went in for a touch-up procedure on my right eye. Ever since then, my vision has been crystal clear. When my doctor finally cleared me (it was a long, frustrating recovery), my left eye was 20/20 and my right eye was 20/10. Funny enough that my left eye has relaxed a bit, now that it doesn't have to be the dominant one. I notice it the most at night, when my eyes are tired.

Despite the recovery time, I would do the surgery over again. My eyes have never felt healthier. No more red eye, no more irritation. Going from 20/400 and 20/600 to 20/20 in both is definitely worth it. I don't even need the eye drops anymore.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 37 - 5 Weeks

Friday, 21 August 2009
I turn 34 today. Anti-climactic.

It's five weeks post-surgery. My right eye still continues to heal. It's been dry and irritable all week long. There is improvement from last week: Last week, reading street signs was blurred with my right eye. There was still enough ghosting where the lettering was not coming in clearly. This week, the lettering on signs and license plates has come into focus. I'm still seeing some ghosting, but things are slowly but surely sharpening up. It's also becoming easier to sit at my computer at work throughout the day. Not completely headache free, but easier. My vision fluctuates throughout the day. It goes in and out of focus when my eyes are tired. Mornings are the worst. Right after I wake up I apply the cocktail of Lotomax and Restasis. The combination makes my vision blurry. It takes a good 45 minutes for that to absorb and for my vision to click back into place. The artificial tears continue to work wonders. I'm now applying them almost exclusively to my right eye. My left eye feels and looks completely normal now.

One very nice bonus to all of this is that I have not yet had to start taking allergy medicine again. Not only are my eyes clear and uninflamed, but I'm not sneezing or otherwise reacting to allergies. I'm hoping that this is a permanent development!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 29 - 4 Weeks

Thursday, 13 August 2009
I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor this past Monday (the 10th). My left eye is almost healed 100%. It's all smoothed over and producing tears normally again. My vision is terrific... out of my left eye. Left eye is 20/20.

The doctor still saw spots and rough patches on my right eye. The healing line that was there 2 weeks ago is all but gone, but the healing is still ongoing. These spots and rough spots happen to be right smack in the center of my eye, right over the pupil. So while my vision is markedly improved from 2 weeks ago, it's not yet clear. There's still some haze caused by the rough patches diffusing the light. It causes ever so slight ghosting. It means that I have 20/30 vision in my right eye, but with effort.

The first few seconds after I put artificial tears in my right eye, everything sharpens into crystal clarity. That's because the liquid fills in those rough patches and my cornea is all smoothed over for that brief instant in time. It's frustrating. It's been a month since the surgery, and this right eye is taking it's time healing up. It doesn't yet produce enough tears to be comfortable. It dries out very rapidly. And there's still some tenderness and sensitivity, especially after a long day.

I keep waiting for the morning that I wake up and see clearly with both eyes. It'll come, I'm sure, but it's certainly taking a long time getting there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 14 - 2 Weeks

Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Today marks 2 weeks post-op. I had a follow-up appointment this morning. My vision is 20/20 in both eyes. There's still some residual ghosting in both eyes. Much less so in my left than my right. The doctor said that my left eye healed really well. She still sees a very thin ridge line on my right eye where the epithelium is still smoothing out. This explains why there's still some ghosting going on. I am still applying Lotamax drops 4 times/day. The doctor says that Lotamax acts as an anti-inflammatory that slows down the healing process so that the cells regrow smoothly and evenly, without causing defects. I have another follow-up appointment next Wednesday, where the Lotamax will likely be dialed back to 2 times/day. The Restasis is starting to make a difference. My eyes don't dry out so much during the day; at night, especially, there is much less discomfort.

My vision with both eyes together is clearer and crisper than either of the two eyes individually. I am very pleased with the results so far. I expect my vision to continue to clear up over the next 2-4 weeks as the little imperfections get filled in. Despite the rough recovery, I would recommend PRK to anyone considering laser vision correction. It takes longer short-term, but now that the healing is well progressed, I feel secure knowing that there is no chance of flap complications.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 13 - A bit less wonky

Tuesday, 28 July 2009
My second day back at work was not punctuated by anything earth-shattering. My eyes did noticeably clear up throughout the day. Whereas in the morning sitting in front of a computer screen made my eyes feel fairly wonky, by the early evening my right eye had come into focus a lot more substantially. A lot of the ghosting is gone now. There's just that hint of out of focus blur that tells me that the epitelium is still smoothing over. My right eye is on the slow recovery plan.

I did a lot more computer work today. So much so that I enlarged the fonts from their default 9pt to 12pt. That made the world of difference with reducing eye strain. Writing this on my home computer this evening is the first time that I can sit back at a normal distance from the monitor and comfortably read the screen with both eyes.

On my drive home I noticed that the license plates of other cars looked almost crisp and clear out of my right eye. That was a nice first. The lettering of signs and the streetlights are also almost completely in focus. Another nice first.

Tomorrow just may mark the first day that I have crisp vision from both eyes. That will be exactly 2 weeks post-op. I have a 9am follow-up appointment with the optomotrist tomorrow morning. I'm really hoping that the vision test shows that my eyes are really corrected as well as I think that they are.

Day 12 - Back to work

Monday, 27 July 2009
Monday was my first day back at work since the surgery. I'm really glad that I took the whole of last week to recover my vision, because I felt a lot more safe driving on the highway today. My left eye was crystal clear with the far vision. My right eye was still pretty blurry. Things were recognizable, but they were fuzzed around the edges--losing definition. I was still seeing ghosting out of my right eye throughout the day.

Sitting down at a computer and working through the day was a head-throbbing experience. My left eye, good as it is with far vision, fluctuates ever so slightly focusing in on the near vision. It makes the fonts on the screen waver from side to side--it's not a pleasant experience. My right eye was practically useless with reading a computer screen. I pretty much ended up using my left eye dominantly to get any work done. I also took a lot of breaks and spent as much time as possible talking with people face to face rather than doing computer work.

My right eye doesn't feel rough, but there is still a very noticable burning sensation after using it so consistently over 10 hours. It is still evidently healing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 11 - Feels like... burning

Sunday, 26 July 2009
I woke up 3 times last night. This is totally unrelated to the surgery, but it connects in a weird way. I have very vivid dreams--usually 3 or 4 a night. It used to be that one dream would finish and my brain would melt back into deep sleep before the next one started. Not anymore. Nowadays, when I finish a dream, my brain decides to pop directly back into full consciousness. This means that I'll wake up suddenly, fully awake, 3 to 4 times a night. Now the connection:

Each time I woke up last night, my eyes had dried out sufficiently where the gunk that accumulates during sleep made it uncomfortable for me to open my eyes. So, instead of turning over and drifting back into slumber, I got up and applied Blink eye-drops to each eye to alleviate the discomfort. The first time that I woke up (around 1:30 am), I applied the drop in my right eye and it lit up like it was on fire. Evidently, that slow right eye is still healing and wanted to protest. For those of you who have never had this experience before, burning eyeballs is the absolute worst. It's like someone dropped jalapeno pepper juice in your eye.

This was a harbinger of the day to come. Today being Sunday, I went to church. Church consists of 3 action packed hours of being attentive in a very air conditioned chapel. The combination of attentiveness and air conditioning aggravated my right eye. It became irritated, slightly scratchy, and burned slightly. I did bring my eye-drops with me, so that helped a bit. After church, we came home and fed the kids. After putting the kids down to take naps (around 1:00 pm) I took an Alleve for the inflammation and took a nap, myself. I slept until 4:00 pm. My eye felt much better after I woke up. Coincidentally, the kids didn't wake up until a bit after 4, so all worked out well.

I started my Restasis this morning. 1 drop in the AM, 1 drop in the PM. They don't sting, like some people report. I seem to do well with the no side-effects department.

So, 11 days post-op, my left eye vision is fantastic. Crystal clear. My right eye vision is slowly sharpening. It's better today than it was yesterday; and since I can still feel it healing (the roughness is palpable) I know tomorrow will be better than today. I have a feeling that I won't be enjoying crystal clear vision in my right eye for a few more days. So, it's shaping up to be a full 2 week recovery period.