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Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday: Lasik


I've been a glasses/contacts wearer for majority of my life. I remember when I first realized I needed glasses. I was watching an episode of Full House where Stephanie realized she needed glasses. I realized I had a lot of the same stuff going on with my vision as she did (thanks Full House haha!). I remember I would see colored spots sometimes in my vision. As I got older, and needed a stronger prescription, I'd get the "dots" again. I was in third grade when Mom first took me to the eye dr and I got my first pair of glasses.

Mom did a great job introducing me to the world of glasses wearing because I never felt embarrassed or ugly because of them. Looking back I'm pretty embarrassed of how I look in these pics...but at the time I didn't know that my big plastic frames were pretty hilarious ;)

Can you find me???
Hint: Front row...rocking the purple socks...
 This is Zach's FAVORITE picture of me. He, legit, carries it around in his wallet. Thanks honey.
 Sexy ;)
 I got a new pair of glasses every year and each year they got a little better looking
5th grade
By 6th grade I was SUPER ready for the world of contacts. It was totally a smooth transition for me. I was starting to lose that baby fat weight and started caring more about my appearance and the boys so touching my eye all the time to put in my contacts and take them out didn't bug me a BIT. TOTALLY worth it!!!

I still wore glasses at night and would typically take my contacts out right when I got home. My eyes were SO BAD. My glasses were always very thick and my prescription was -7.50. I was always very near-sighted which means I had to bring things close to me to see them. I remember I was always afraid that something would happen to me in the night where I wouldn't be able to see. Like I'd get kidnapped or something and not be able to grab my glasses off the night stand. I FOR REAL wouldn't have been able to escape without them!!!

As I got older I never gave much thought to my contacts. In fact, they came out with the colored lenses and I had some in each color. I have naturally blue eyes but the aqua ones would enhance the blue, the green gave some variety and I even enjoyed having brown eyes on occasion!
In college I started hearing about lasik but didn't think it was something I would want to risk doing. Messing with your eyes kinda scared me. However, Zach and I got engaged and I just had this REALLY strong desire to be able to wake up in the mornings and SEE my husband. Be able to go snorkeling and swimming on our honeymoon and not worry about losing a contact lens. Not deal with the hassle and cost of contacts and glasses forever. 

My dad was so generous to give me the blessing of Lasik! Leading up to the surgery I had to wear my glasses every day to get my eyes ready. I HATED having to wear them to class, to football games, and in front of all of my friends but I knew the end result would be worth it :)

With Ryan at Texas Roadhouse
 Blazer Game with Michael and Laura Pool
 Madeline, who I babysat for each day, and I were glasses twins ;)
A couple days prior to surgery they had to dilate me and I had to wear THESE on campus and everywhere I went...SO ATTRACTIVE haha. Good thing I was already engaged, right? :)
 Lasik Day!
I went into the procedure in a very un-Emily like way. I did ZERO research into it. I remember signing my life away (literally) in some pre-procedure documents and getting a little worried. I assumed it was safe. Never questioned any side effects. Even scheduled the procedure the day before I was set to fly with the football team to Arkansas for a game. During the BEGINNING of the school semester (late Sept of 2006). I mean why didn't I do it over the summer? Or over Christmas break? Totally dumb planning. But I assumed it would all be a breeze and I'd be seeing perfectly so I guess I didn't worry too much with the timing.

When I went in for the procedure they offered me two Valiums. I only took one because meds REALLY had an effect on me. Back then they had to cut my eye and open my "flap" they call it (SUPER painful). They actually cut into my eye ball, peeled back a layer, lazered it, then reattached it. Laying in the chair I remember this contraption thing they put on my eye to FORCE my eye-lids open (gross analogy but it looked a lot like what they use at the gyno...). I had to lay really still and watch this red, loud, blinking light come at my eyes. It reminded me of an abduction scene straight out of X-Files. It wasn't too painful. It felt like cleaning out your ears, except it was inside my eye. 

I was pretty drugged up afterwards but I vaguely remember company coming over and us playing Mario Kart or some other games (I'm positive Katie was one of the people...maybe there were more??? My memory is foggy...). I looked like this during whatever fun stuff we did haha.
I was eager to wake up the next morning and for the first time in my LIFE be able to see without needing my glasses. Well. I woke up. And everything was foggy. It was like I was under water with my eyes open. My depth perception was totally off and it made me feel very sick. I called their office and they said sometimes it could take awhile to adjust. We flew out that day and I was MISERABLE. It was horrible to not be able to focus and to be traveling and not fully enjoy the day due to my vision being messed up :( On top of that I was SCARED. What if it stayed that way forever??? What if I'd ruined my eyes???
It ended up being that something had gone wrong during my procedure. I am still not 100% sure if the dr messed up or if my eyes just didn't take to it properly, but I'm pretty sure it was the dr error since he offered to pay for my second round of lasik...

I had to deal with vision issues from Sept until Dec. So the entire school semester. They can't do Lasik two times close together because your eyes need time to heal so I had no choice but to wait. I met with each of my professors that semester (which I was in my SENIOR year so it was all the 3000 level courses...) and explained the situation. They were all SO nice about it. Several of the text books I actually went and scanned to make them larger print so I could read them (yes, my eyes were THAT bad...I couldn't read anything very well and when I did read I'd get a bad headache from trying to focus). I even had one professor tell me he'd just give me an A based on the few exams I'd already taken that semester haha (I'm such a school nerd though..I totally still studied and earned the A!).

It was very, very miserable and disappointing. Dad and I talked about it and ended up upgrading my second round of Lasik to the "custom" level as it was supposed to help me achieve better results. During that time frame I even did a school report on Lasik. It gave me a chance to do the research I should have done to begin with. I was shocked at what I learned and the risks that I didn't realize I was taking when I did the procedure!!! My experience with Lasik is actually a lot of the reason why I went drug-free for child birth. I have BEEN in that "small percent chance" and I didn't want to risk being that way again with the epidural!!! 

The second round of Lasik I took BOTH Valiums offered to me. I wanted to be OUT OF IT. I was scared to death to go through it again because I knew the pain I'd feel and I was so nervous about my results (Much, again, like child birth as I was more nervous for my labor and delivery with Britt than I was with Kye. Knowledge, sometimes, can be a scary thing!). When they re-opened that flap it was SO PAINFUL. Even the Valiums didn't knock off the edge of that feeling...

However, round two was a MUCH bigger success. I was able to see! 20/20 vision!!! Yay!!! Sadly, though, I still, to this day, suffer side effects. I have EXTREMELY dry eyes. I went from spending money on contacts and glasses to spending it on expensive eye drops. For a long time I had to put tears in my eyes constantly. And goopy stuff in them at night to provide them with added moisture. About a year ago I had plugs put in my tear ducts to help me product more tears and keep my eyes from getting so dry. It's helped a LOT!!! I also suffer from terrible night vision issues. Lights at night have a bad halo effect and it's not really safe for me to drive in the dark. I can't see well AT ALL. Even if I have to go into one of the kids rooms or something at night...it's better for Zach to do it b/c my eyes can't adjust to the darkness anymore and I just stumble around unable to see my hand in front of my face!

While my Lasik experience hasn't been ideal, I WAS still able to achieve my original goal. I got to wake up on my honeymoon and SEE my husband :) I got to swim in the ocean and not worry about a big wave carrying off my contact. I got to open my eyes under water. I got to feel pretty all the time b/c I never had to wear my thick-thick-thick glasses.

Our Honeymoon
Maldives ~ 2007
 Snorkeling worry free!
I DO enjoy a life free of contacts! I had my first Lasik procedure over 6 years ago now. I still have close to 20/20 vision. My dry eye issues do, of course, hinder my vision from being perfect. My eye dr said it's like looking through a piece of glass that is covered in scratches. I see fine, but it's affected b/c my eye is so dry all the time. Thankfully, the plugs have helped and I now just use drops at night and in the morning. I do carry them with me for times when I feel dryness but with two kids who has time to notice if their eyes are dry?!?! 

About a year ago I also got my first pair of post-Lasik glasses :( It was sad for me to have to have them. They are ONLY for me to wear when driving at night or in times when I just can't see well. I keep them in my car and literally only pull them out for night driving. They do make a HUGE difference and help a lot.
While I know my eyes will slowly regress and I will eventually need contacts or glasses again full time...I'm enjoying my life without them for now. I also know that Lasik has come SO FAR since I had it done and am hopeful that by the time I need it again it will be a MUCH smoother and reliable procedure. 

I also know that since my vision was always so bad, that my children have a high chance of needing glasses at some point. Zach, thankfully, has flawless vision so maybe they will all luck out and get their vision from their daddy ;) I'm SUPER thankful that glasses have come SO FAR now. I mean people even wear frames without a prescription just to have the look of glasses. There are so many stylish looks and much less of a stigma attached to glasses wearers. Hopefully my kids won't have as embarrassing of pictures as I do from my glasses days ;)

Can't wait to see what other stories people link-up with today!!!

5 comments:

  1. I had Lasik in November 2006. I had really bad astigmatism but not a super bad prescription -3.00. I also did no research before I had mine done, which is very unlike me too. I think I just didn't want to freak myself out. I had the custom Lasik, and I have side effects. Horrible night vision, glare, halos, floaters, and dry eye. I could never wear contacts and hated glasses, they gave me headaches. So even though I have the side effects I still have 20/20 vision. I recently got computer glasses though. My Son is 10 and just got his first pair of glasses but doesn't have to wear them all the time. My Husband has perfect vision, of course.

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  2. You and Lance both had HORRIBLE experiences so I am to scared to do it. Awesome glasses by the way, I had the same pair ;) No mine were actually blue and purple. I mean... really?!

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  3. Ronnie had it done in 2011, and has had the best experience! It's a brand new procedure, like he got a discount because he was a trial patient. Guess he's lucky it worked. It was done with all lasers, no cutting. His vision is now better than 20/20!

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  4. I haven't been to the eye dr in YEARS and really need to go. I may be back in the glasses club soon. ;)

    I LOVE all ur old glasses and think u looked super cool ;)

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  5. Had lasik done yesterday at dr woolfsons eye instituted amd today at post up I have 20/20 ou. Presidure was painless and my eyes feel just fine!!! But I still plan to get plano lenses with ar forcomputer use.. hoping that will make me glasses bfree for longer :)

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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