My Experience Getting Lasik Eye Surgery (As a Mom)
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I have been against Lasik for years. Every year at my eye appointment, my optometrist would ask and I would decline. I mean, my contacts were fine and the thought of a laser anywhere near my eye freaked me out a bit. But, something changed in December 2019. Suddenly, those lenses I had been wearing for 19 years were a nuisance and I decided to, at least, do a consultation. Adding onto my anxiety about doing the procedure was that I am a mother to 3 kids and I was nervous about juggling a recovery alongside our normal routine.
Doing My Research
I started by asking around to see who I knew who had gone through the procedure and I was shocked at how many people had done it. Everyone raved about how easy the procedure was and how nice it was to not have contacts or glasses anymore. Once I had a list of doctors, I called around and got scheduled for consultations where were 60-90 minutes long each!
My biggest question was recovery. As a mom of 3 young children, my concern was about ensuring everyone got picked up and was cared for. Luckily, I had my mom and my husband to help but I still was worried about not being able to drive and needing to rest in a noisy house.
I met with two doctors since the consult process was pretty in-depth. The first doctor had me come in to do some tests to see if I was even a candidate for Lasik. That doctor would have required a secondary pre-Op appointment to do eye measurements. The second doctor I went to, and ultimately selected, required you to be out of your contacts for 7 days prior to the consult so they could take measurements and determine if you were eligible. Either way, make sure you consider what is the on the schedule in case you prefer not to be in your glasses if you normally wear contacts. For me, we had a vacation planned so I scheduled the appointment so our flight home was Day 1 of no lenses.
The financial aspect is another huge consideration. It seems most doctors offer a financing option through a third-party vendor (in both cases, it was 0% financing for 24 months). Both also offered a cash option which had a small discount. For anyone who likes frequent flyer miles and has an airline credit card, this is a great opportunity to snag a bunch of miles!
Prep for the Big Day
I was honestly planning for the worst with my surgery which was scheduled for a Friday afternoon. The days prior, I did tons of laundry, tidied the house a bit, stocked up on groceries and got things ready for school and any weekend activities. I had heard recovery was easy but I wanted to have all my bases covered. I also made sure everyone was clear on who was doing kid pick-up.
You will need to get some prescriptions filled ahead of time so allow a few days in the event the pharmacy needs to order something. Artificial tears (like this preservative-free option by Systane) are another must-have. The doctor sends you home with the nighttime eye shields and daytime sunglasses but I also had a soft eye mask to help hold everything in place.
The Big Day
I took the kids to school and actually worked the morning of. After a quick lunch, I headed to the office for a 1:45pm appointment. I was walking out by 2:45pm. In short, the steps were:
- Checking in, turning in paperwork and settling your bill
- Heading into an office where you got an optional dose of Valium to calm your nerves
- Then went to a lounge where I got a sexy blue hair cover and also started my eye drop regime (numbing drops)
- Before I knew it, I was called back to the first operating room. It was very cold so wear something warm. Between the Valium kicking in and all the numbing drops, I really didn’t feel anything. Just had to look at a little green light. My vision was definitely a little blurry after this.
- I went to a second room under another machine for the the actual procedure to correct my vision. It was something like 10 seconds per eye! Yes, there is a smell and that was, honestly, the only thing that was a bit weird but it was over so quickly. Again, just had to look at a green light and felt no pain or pressure.
- I could instantly see a bit better but it was a bit foggy. I was given sunglasses and my husband drove me home.
As soon as I got home, the numbing drops had started to wear off and it felt a little grainy in my eyes. Of the entire day, this was probably the worst part. I used the Systane drop mentioned above (put them in the fridge so they were extra refreshing) and that helped a bit. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up and could pretty much see perfectly! I wore the sunglasses around the house that night for the light sensitivity but actually used my phone and watched a show!
The next day was pure magic. Waking up and looking across at the clock and being able to read it! All in all, I am very happy that I finally did it!
What am I looking forward to now?
I cannot wait for summer! Being able to swim and play in the water with my kids without constantly being worried about a lens falling out. And I cannot remember the last time I opened my eyes under water (probably back in high school). While I haven’t gone scuba diving since I had kids, I am more keen to try again now.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Dr. Craig Bindi at Laser Eye Center of Silicon Valley. He was fantastic! Use my name as a referral for $1,000 off your procedure!