Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lasik-Rada Rada-Sit Still-Rada-Good Good-Rada

Ok so I started writing this....well I guess over a year ago.  When I had Lasik in South Korea it was one of the top experiences I had there.  I was going though all of my unfinished drafts and decided to wrap this one up and finally get it out there and share it with the world. 


So I have been putting this blog off yet knowing I need to write it ever sense my eyes could focus on a computer screen for more than 5 minutes at a time, yet it has been over a week and I am still trying to figure out what I want to say and how I want to do it.  However I guess things are better late than never, and the longer this goes on the harder it is going to get to write so here we go. 

So after years of saying how I would never be crazy enough to have a laser cutting into my eye I had a lapse of craziness and went and had Lasik done and I couldn't be happier with that mild lapse of craziness!  Life is so great without glasses and contacts to always have to worry about!  I am still in the recovery process so I cannot get to excited yet but so far I am over the moon and back with my thoughts and feelings about how it went. 

Last year in October Ryan had it done and was very happy with it and well with the price of it being only a fourth if not even less than what it is at home it is crazy not to go a head and get it done here.  The doctors here are very good, most of them have studied in America, they have the latest machines, they do multiple check ups and will even call to check on you, they are very professional and even offer to redo the operation again if you ever need it for free! And well if I ever needed it again for any reason the cost of a plain ticket is still cheaper than the cost of having it done in America.  The place we had it done is a very well known eye clinic in Korea called "Gang Nam St. Mary's Eye Center" and if you are one of those people who just like to check out web sights feel free to check theirs out even though it is all in Korea http://www.4vision.co.kr/ .  You can see our doctor in the photos and we have worked with most of the nurses there. 

We check out another clinic before Ryan made his choice and we were both very happy with his choice because they took the extra time to explain everything about the test he took and how his results were.  They also explained the difference between the two choices he had, Pain Free Lasik (and they were very nice to explain that Pain Free Lasik is very painful) and Lesik (the one that really is pain free and has almost no recovery time).  Even though they didn't speak perfect English they took the time to try to answer all of our questions (we took a co-teacher Jasmine who speakers very good English but they did an amazing job with slide shows, photos, and examples).  The first clinic we went to more or less just told Ryan that his test were good and when did he want to come back for the operation, and well we didn't like the lack of information. 

Ryan and a fellow co-teacher Grace had the surgery done on the same day, and I must say watching it only made my nerves even weaker at the thought of having it done.  Jasmine went in with Ryan to help translate and Grace and I stood in the hallway on the other side of the glass and watched.  They had Ryan lay down on a padded like table, covered his face with a cloth like material leaving one opening for each eye one at a time, went about the prep work to keep his eye open, used the "buffer" to buff the eye, only about a micrometer off of your eye, then they put a drop of alcohol on it (so your eye is nice and drunk),  and then go in with the laser.  They had T.V. monitors set up so that you can see what exactly is going on under the machine as it goes to work on the eye and that was pretty cool to watch.  Ryan was only in there maybe 8 minutes or so, it is a very quick process and then out he came with his new very clear vision (at least for a few hours).  He was so happy when he came out talking about how great he felt and how great he could see only to have the doctor break his heart by saying that both of those feeling would be going away shortly. 

Ryan had a pretty good recovery but due to his bright blue eyes he had a lot of sensitivity to the sun and his eyes would water nonstop (a problem I would of loved to have).  My recovery has been the total opposite due to my brown/green eyes the sun only bothered me maybe for a day or two and my eyes have been dryer than a desert! I have gone though most of my eye drops and am now moving in to Ryan's left over drops.   However more about my recovery later I am trying to do this in some sort of an order. 

Ryan went back the next day to get his eyes checked, then the fallowing Thursday to get the contact lens removed, and then the weekend after (well like 9 days after the Thursday).  We then went up every other weekend and then once a month for check ups and one day I noticed that they did test for glaucoma so I had Jasmine teacher make an appointment for me.  They charged 50,000 won (about 40 something dollars, and they knocked it off the price of the operation) for the test, the doctor told me my eyes were good to go, and explained to me that even if I did ever have Lasik they could still treat glaucoma later in life.  At this point I was feeling a lot better about things and having been with Ryan to watch the operation and with him afterwards to see the pain and recovery process I started to think that maybe Lasik wasn't so crazy, so we set up an appointment to get the rest of the test done I needed. 

We went back a few weeks later and got the rest of my test done and decided to set an appointment for the 15th of January.  I was both scared and excited at the same time, my fears ranged from being able to sit still enough during the operation, the pain that I would feel during the operating, the pain I would feel afterwards, the fear of going blind, and so on and so forth.  We ended up having to move it from the 15th to the 29th due to different things going on at school (meaning we had to cancel our Lunar New Year's trip to Jeju).

So I guess lets go ahead and get to the part where I put on my big girl panties and marched in there (with Ryan behind me gently guiding me, supporting me and holding my hand the whole time) and got it done!  Both of my parents backed and supported this decision and that made me feel so much better as I laid there and got ready for what I was thinking was going to be the most painful 5-10 minutes of my life.  Once in the small back room in our oh so cute little blue gowns I really started to get a little shaky and panicky as I thought about a laser going into my eyeball!  At this point all I could think about was laser... eyeball....laser in eyeball....ouch....laser in eyeball burning my eye.....major ouch.....laser in eyeball burning my eye as I look at it.....can they really not put me to sleep.....oh Dear Lord Baby Jesus have I lost my mind?  And then it was time to go in to the operation room and get on that nice blue table and give this thing a go.  I was freaking out, ready to cry and run away.

As I laid down on the table and the doctor started the prep work all I could think was "Dear God, Please keep me safe, keep me still, get me through this, and be with me", "Dear Grams, I know your up there and you have a busy job keeping up with all of the crazy things that go on in our family but could you please be with me, help keep me clam, hold my other hand, and tell me everything is going to be alright" and please don't let my hand get sweaty (you know because I was trying to play it cool so Ryan wouldn't know I was as freaked as I really way).

So now the part I have kind of been dreading, trying to figure out how to explain what I saw, what I felt, what it was like and what was going through my mind other than prayers to God and grams.

And that is as far as I got because I could never think of the perfect way to describe what I saw and felt during the Lasik and well I am not a writer, I am not an English major, I am just someone writing a little old blog so even if it is not perfect here comes the ending!

What did I see?

First I saw them taping my one eye shut and putting this thing to keep my other eye open on...well I guess my eye? Then they took this thing that "buffed' yes I said "buffed" off the top layer of my eye and well buffed off the top layer of my eye.  Then the put in a little alcohol (oddly I giggled at this point thinking to myself "humm eyeball maybe if you are drunk you wont feel any pain"). 

Ok now have you ever been to the store? Great

You know when you check out how they scan your stuff? Even better

Have you ever really looked down at that read light that reads the bar codes? Fabulous! However I don't think that is really good for your eyes.

That is what it looked like.  Those little red lights were all over my eye like crazy, they moved fast, and they hurt. "Pain free Lasik" is NOT and let me say that again NOT pain free in the least bit!

I felt like a can of green beans getting scanned. 

Also I could smell something burning, that something? Yep it was my eye.

The whole thing took less than a minute, and then the best thing ever happened.....

They did it to my other eye!

Really had I been able to say "no that is ok I only need perfect vision in one eye" I would of. 

The 2nd eye really was not that bad.  No really it wasn't.  I think what was so bad about the first eye was the fact that I didn't know what was coming.  I didn't know what all was going to happen.  I didn't know the pain.  I was scared I would some how mess up and be blind.  I was worried my eye would close or I would freak out.  I was worried for nothing.  Yes it hurt but it was nothing like I was thinking it would be.

I know I already talked about the recovery but it was kind of long, and my eyes were very dry.  I only had sensitivity to light for a few days, and the first 3 days afterwards focusing on anything at all was very hard. 

It has been a year now and I am still very VERY happy with my choice (even more so to go with Lasik and not Lasek because having a flap just sounds nasty).  Some days I even forget that I ever had glasses. 

And well that is that! Wow that wasn't so hard to finish up.....maybe it is because I am not in the middle of it any more, and well I have more free time here than I did in Korea...having an adventure every weekend in the states is much harder and more expensive than in Korea. 

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

1 comment:

The Preppy Student said...

Im so glad your happy with your decision to get Lasik. It seems like an investment actually! Have a happy Sunday and be sure to enter to win a gift card to a great jewelry store! (ending tonight). BTW I am your newest follower and cannot wait to read more of your posts and hope that maybe you can return the favor and follow The Preppy Student. I always comment for every comment left on my page and hope to start a friendly relationship with your wonderful blog!