My LASIK Eye Surgery Experience

Story time! For as long as I can remember I’ve had really bad eye sight, but somehow I’ve managed to not wear specs until I got engaged. That’s when my eye sight was really bad and it came to the point where I no longer could go about my day without specs. With my first pregnancy, my eye sight had deteriorated considerably, and with my second pregnancy, it was at its worst.

So last year around November, I received an email from the hubster, telling me about a colleague of his that had Lasik eye surgery done with Dr John Hill (his situated in Claremont) http://www.eyelaser.co.za . In the email he mentioned the process his colleague went through in order to “qualify” for the surgery, and the best part was that the medical aid that we are with covered the surgery after the Dr motivated forwarded the motivational letter to them.

In January sometime, I went for a consultation at the Dr John Hill eye and laser centre, after a few tests, they confirmed that my eyes were suitable for the surgery. A motivation letter was sent to my medical aid who then confirmed cover for the surgery. A week later, on my birthday I went to see Dr Hill and he did a final round of tests, physically checked my eyes out, explained the procedure and what I can expect and went through all the disclaimers and said I was good to go.

I made the appointment for the surgery for a week after my birthday, on the 3 March 2018. You might think that was super quick, which it was, but I was semi blind for so long, I no longer wanted to wait.

Day of the surgery:

I’m not going to lie, I was a ball of nerves, because even though the procedure wass explained to me, I still felt unsure about the whole thing. Anyway, when I got to the centre, there were about four couples already waiting and one guy just came out of surgery and chilling on the couch. You are required to have someone drive you home after surgery, so the respective partners were there waiting with the patients. My partner aka husband wasn’t with me however, he decided to collect water at the Constantia taps, and somehow thought he’d make it on time.

My surgery was at 15:40 but I waited until about 16:00. I was called into a room, with a bunch of lights and a big machine (which I discovered was the laser machine) and a bed situated under the machine. The Dr greeted me, his friendly and nice and told me to lay on the bed. The nice thing about the Dr is that he tells you what his about to do. He did one eye at a time and started with my right eye and closed my left eye with something, I can’t even remember what it was. He told me to look at this red light above me and focus on it the entire time. He placed a plastic tool in my eye to keep the eye open and then followed by another suction type thing (not going to lie, that wasn’t very pleasant, it felt like my eye ball was being pulled out of my eye socket). He added some solution into my eye, to clean it and then added anaesthetic drops to numb my eye ball. After that I didn’t feel a thing, I think the anaesthetic took effect, although I feel like he put the drops in a few time during the procedure.

The Dr used the laser machine to cut a flap from the first layer of my eye and he says to me ‘okay, I’m going to cut a flap open and its starting in 3, 2, 1, and it’s going to go dark now, keep looking straight, keeping looking straight anddddd …. done” (it went from a big circle inward to a dot then its dark for a few seconds and then comes back outward from the dot until you can see, I’m not sure if I’m explaining this correctly) your sight comes back and you can see the red light again. After the flap is cut the Dr marks the spot where the flap will be placed back on, another machine is placed in front of you and you can hear the laser charging, all while you still focused on the red light. Righto, then the laser part started. He said to keep looking at the light, which I did and started counting from 10, 9, 8 … all I was thinking was, “shit I’m getting a burning smell”, 5, 4 … “I’m scared” …. 1, all done) added more drops and closed the flap with a foam type thing to get all the air bubbles out, added some more drops, took out suction thingy and plastic thingy and told me to keep my eye closed. When the right eye was done, he did the exact same thing to the left eye. Each eye took 11 seconds of laser.

The entire surgery took about 15 minutes max. The receptionist came in to collect me and placed me on the couch. The same one the guy before me was chilling on. I had been sitting on the couch for a few minutes when Zahir made an appearance. Anyway, I had to keep my eyes closed for about 15 minutes but I was too eager to check whether I had clear eyesight. I opened them and the best way to describe it is that you in a fog, but you can see clearly. It was very hazy, but I literally could see. It took me 15 minutes to go from bad eye sight of -4.5 and -4.75 to having 20/20 vision (okay I still need to confirm it is 20/20 but it’s pretty bloody clear). My left eye has always been the weaker eye, so even with clear eye sight now the left eye is still weaker and less effective than the right eye.

First week after surgery:

The Dr sends you home with eye drops and antibiotic drops and the receptionist explained to me that the drops had to be dropped into my eyes every two hours. I also got protective eye goggles that you have to tape over your eyes to prevent you from accidently rubbing them during the night. I wore them for about three nights as instructed. It was awesome because that meant the Zahir was on night duty ha-ha, Yameen was only four months at the time. I had to have shades on to protect my eyes from the sunlight in the car, but I just kept my eyes closed the entire drive home and slept for about two hours when I got home. I have to say I had zero pain the entire recovery process, the most discomfort I would say was the dryness of the eyes.

The haze went away the very next day, however you are required to rest for at least three days after. I went for a check-up the day after the surgery, and the following day, and the day after that. Just to make sure that there were no infection and that nothing moved. Got the all clear on the third check-up.

My eyes felt dry for two weeks after the surgery especially when I woke up in the morning, sometimes my eyes were dry when I woke up in the middle of the night, so the eye drops really help. No heavy straining of the eyes like watching TV or reading, in fact I actually couldn’t do any of it for the week after. I could only drive about three days after the surgery.

A couple of weeks after surgery:

Driving at night is good however any bright headlights and traffic lights are starbursts or like a halo effect. It’s like a 2-3 inch thickness of fuzziness around the actual light. But in saying that I can see clearly at night. So it took me a while to drive at night. It doesn’t affect my ability to drive at night or in the dark though and it’s not as bad now, but I’m still more cautious when driving at night.

I’ve started wearing make up again, but I don’t touch my eyes, I’m still a bit weary that I might move the flap. Although I’m sure it’s healed by now, I’m just being cautious I guess.

I don’t use the eye drops as much and have stopped the antibiotic drops ages ago.

FEELS:

I love that when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I reach for is my baby’s bottle and not my specs. I still sometimes look at myself in the mirror and cannot believe that I have perfect eye sight. Anyone who has had to deal with crap eye sight their entire life, and then are able to see perfectly with their eyes and not through specs and contacts will tell you, it’s amazing and humbling. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience seeing without assistance. So grateful for my husband who works so hard for his family and it’s because of him that I’m able to see well. I don’t take for granted that I can see well now. It’s the best feeling ever!

If you are by the means, or consult you your medical aid regarding cover for the surgery, then please do go for the consultation with an eye specialist at least, to see if you are suitable for Lasik eye surgery. I’ve had amazing experience with Dr Hill, and highly recommend him for the surgery.

I have one more appointment that was booked for a month after surgery, so mine is coming up soon.

That’s it folks, if you have any questions please comment below and I’ll answer as best I can.

2 Comments
  1. I’m so happy for you abieda! I’d love to have laser surgery done, I don’t like wearing specs. A new lease on sight!

    • Thanks Salma, it really is awesome to be able to see unassisted. You should totally go for it but also check with your medical aid whether they cover the surgery.

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