So when they say it doesn't hurt, they aren't exactly lying. They also say it might be uncomfortable, too. That's a little closer to the truth.
Let me step back a bit.
I've wanted to get Lasik for a couple of years now. I dug around looking at the safety issues and dangers and all that jazz for quite a long time. I'd pretty much decided to do it, but maybe some day in the indefinite future.
A little over a month ago, I ran out of contact lenses. I called the 1800contacts folks to get a couple of new boxes, but they said my prescription was too old and I had to go and get checked again. Ah, well, I figured, that's probably a good idea anyway.
I called the Kampus Kwack Klinic, and they said that they couldn't even give me an appointment because they were booked well beyond their ability to make appointments. That seems odd to me. Did their appointment book run out of pages? Are they dealing with a strange version of the Y2K issue (the Y3.2008 problem?). Anyway, they said my best bet was to call at the beginning of summer and pray to the minor gods of appointment-books, or I could call every morning at 8 until doomsday and see if anyone canceled (I'm exaggerating, but I'm also being more polite than the person on the phone was).
The final option was to go out and see an outside optometrist. Well, that sounded better in a lot of ways. After talking to some folks and checking reviews on Yelp!, I found a well-respected and quality guy fairly near where I live who even took my pathetic little grad-insurance. I called up and got an an appointment that day (through a cancellation - thanks minor gods of appointment-books!).
I showed up and brought up to the Doctor that at some time I might be interested in Lasik and asked his opinion about the whole thing. Turns out he works regularly with a really good lasarium (laser-drome? laserapolosa?) which is also very local, and he'd be happy to look at my eyes with lasers in mind. Cool.
Everything went fine, and the Doctor turned out to be really great. We talked a lot about the zapping, and by the end of the visit, I had decided to go for a full checkup at the laser-B-Q. Because you aren't supposed to wear contacts for awhile before getting zapped, I didn't even get a new set of contacts, out the door with my old beat up glasses.
To make an already long story slightly less tedious, after the second checkup, I decided to get zapped at the earliest convenience. We're on spring break here, and if I needed a couple of extra days to recoop, I had 'em. So, I asked when they had an opening to zap me. They said tomorrow. I said ok.
The next day, everything went hunky-dory. Like I said, it was uncomfortable though. They pull open your eyes, Clockwork Orange-style and the laser machinery sits directly on your eyeball (I'm guessing here - they numbed up my eyes pretty good, but the evidence is in what they say is eyeball bruising. Seriously. ick.). Zip-zop, they slice your eye open and Zap-Zip it's all done. For me it took about maybe 10 minutes, tops.
I sat around for a few minutes in a dark room with a glass of juice (they also offered me a power bar, which seemed... odd.), and the doctor came by and took a look at my eyes. All looked good, so they sent me home (wearing some very snazzy goggles).
No lie, the next day I woke up and I could see. Wizz-bang-poof. I mean, I could see a whole lot better already immediately after, but it was still very hazy. The next day, it seriously felt like I had brand new contact lenses in. This is going from -6.5 in both eyes to, well, I went in for the follow-up exam and tested 20/20 the day after the operation. It's been a little over a week now, and everything is healing the way it should. I went in for another follow-up a couple of days ago and it looks like I wont need any glasses until I need reading glasses. Hooray!
Random pieces of info:
- Yes, I do have slight haloing around lights at night, but that was expected and is getting better as my eyes heal. It should go back to the same as pre-operation.
- One of the people at the laser clinic had some of the worst facial plastic surgery I've seen ever.
- It really is very freaky waking up in the middle of the night and being able to read the clock. It seems that a lot of the places use that as a selling point, but seriously, I don't ever remember being able to do that.
- I'm still a bit freaked out that they sliced open my eyeball with a laser. Ew.