My vision is still pretty fucked up, but I’ve reached a point where I can spend a few minutes typing this on a computer (at 640x480) so I think that’s a milestone. I’m wearing bandage contact lenses which I get taken out tomorrow morning, then the true healing begins. PRK is a slow process vs LASIK, so it’s going to take some weeks and months before my corneas have fully settled into their new foundations and my vision stabilizes completely.
I understand why most people opt for LASIK now. The first two days were really miserable, nonstop tearing and burning and the infamous “foreign body sensation”. I felt like I had an eyelash the size of New Jersey under my left eyelid for about 48 hours. Then it was suddenly over. What I get for my pain & patience is a more conservative procedure, my cornea structure intact (no flap!) and a potentially better final result. Hard to argue with that.
The surgery itself was definitely the freakiest part, but not as freaky as I expected. On a scale of zero to Clockwork Orange it was about 50%. They gave me a valium when I got there, which reduced my anxiety level from a billion to somewhere around baseline, and I basically went right onto the table. The first step was anesthetic drops, which was the last thing I felt on my eyes through the whole thing, then a long soak with an anesthetic sponge.
From then on it was like I was looking through vaseline, so I couldn’t really see anything after that besides a red target light through the haze. I was less aware of what was happening than I expected, which calmed me considerably. After a couple minutes the prep was over and they told me to follow the light, the light is your guide. The laser made a clicking sound for about 30 seconds and I smelled burning, presumably having inhaled some microscopic amount of my own eye. The red dot was surrounded by a green swirl that looked exactly like Rock With You, so that was my internal soundtrack while they switched to the other side and repeated the process.
Before I knew it I was sitting in the next room with a pair of bad sunglasses looking at a perfectly unobstructed view of the Empire State Building, and it was amazing. It had a bright white halo about 10 feet wide around it, but it was tack sharp and my own eyes were seeing it. I was already glad I’d done it. About an hour later at home the anesthetic wore off and my foreign body sensations began, but I’d already tasted the future.
So now I wait for my eyes to heal a little more each day, slowly bump up my monitor resolution, personally fund the eyedrop industry, and cross my fingers that I wind up at 20/20 when all’s said and done.