Monday, October 17, 2011

Adventures in LASIK - Day 15, The Big Eye Exam

Last Friday was a big day.  With the medicate drops a thing of the past, it was time to find out how well I could see with my zapped eyes.

I was a little tense.  Before LASIK, I was seeing 20/15, better than "normal" (20/20), with glasses.  They guaranteed they would give me at least 20/20, and they said I *should* be able to get to 20/15 if I was able to see that well with glasses.

But there were no guarantees for that.

That said, there was the implication that I could have an "enhancement"* if I was not happy with the result.

* - remember, that is their word for a repeat surgery, which most people would probably call a "correction".

Then there was the whole discussion about no reported cases of loss of vision to the FDA.

So, my hopes were high, but there was still that nagging concern...

Don't get me wrong, having 20/20 without glasses is great.  But "losing" 20/15 would take a bit of luster of the achievement.

I stood in the waiting room, amidst a cross-section of folks waiting to be evaluated.  Some for their first time, some, like me, for a follow-up.

I was briefly distracted when I saw a young couple with two kids, the mother with thick glasses.  As they were called in by one of the technicians/salesmen that handles the initial evaluation and price discussion, I quietly hoped that the salesman would cut them a good deal.

I did my best to use Google Reader and my never-ending RSS feeds to keep my mind from chasing its tail, worrying about what my vision would be.

Then I was called back for my exam.

I walked into the dimly-lit room.  It was the same technician that had measured my eyesight on my first visit and the day of my surgery.

"Cover your left eye".  Letters popped up.  I was able to read the bottom row.  The letters were crisp and easy to read.

"Cover your right eye".  Letters popped up.  Again, the bottom row was crisp and easy to read.

"Now, with both eyes".  Letters popped up.  Once again, the bottom row was crisp and easy to read.

"Aw, what the heck, try to read this."  Letters popped up.  The letters were not blurry, but they were just to small to make out.

Dammit, was that 20/15?  Did we not quite make it?  Was I going to have to decide between 20/20 and another round of LASIK?

"Yeah, I didn't think you could read it, but I figured why not try? That was 20/10.  You have 20/20 in each eye and 20/15 with both.

A confusing statement, but I was so relieved that I didn't press further.  20/15 was all I wanted to hear.

The rest of the exam was something of a blur (see what I did there?).

Bright painful lights in my eyes.  Something about being able to see the corneal flap and the hinge.  It was lined up and healing well, etc.  I need to keep using lubricating eye drops until three months after the surgery to be safe and promote proper healing.  Until the flap was completely healed, I would have reduced sensitivity on my cornea, so there was a greater risk of something abrasive getting on there and doing damage without me realizing it...hence the need to regular drops.

Whatever, 20/15 baby!

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