Today is a personal post.
I am going to share with you my experience with eye laser surgery.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of me throughout the process so I have used a few images from google.
This is my story…
Before I wore glasses, my parents didn’t realise how bad my eyes were as I was still very young. I would sit SO close to the TV, my dad would tell me to sit back or I would get square eyes, not realising it was because I couldn’t see. My surgeon showed my mum and dad after surgery what I used to see and gave them sample lenses of my old prescription to look through. My dad felt so bad for all the times he shouted at me to get back from the tv. Bless him.
I remember the first day I had to wear my glasses to school back in year 1 screaming and shouting outside the classroom door begging my teacher not to make me go inside because I was embarrassed.
My glasses were white with bright purple dots which were titled pink panther in the opticians.
From the age of 5 to 9 I went through numerous pairs of glasses usually because I would sit on them or break them somehow accidentally but also because my eyes continued to develop (badly) so my prescription kept changing.
At the age of 9 I started wearing contact lenses – by this time my prescription was -6.5 so I was pretty much blind and could not see a thing without my glasses.
You won’t see many 9 year olds wearing contacts nowadays but my optician thought I was extremely mature for my age so agreed to let me have them.
I remember going back and forth to the opticians to practice putting them in. It took me four days to finally grasp it and take them home. I remember getting myself in to such a state as I got frustrated that I couldn’t put them in but once I finally got the hang of it it became 2nd nature.
As the years went on I began to get fed up of wearing glasses and contacts; I would cry because I just wanted to be ‘normal’
My eyes were so shortsighted I couldn’t see facial features or words unless I was up really close. Even with swimming, never knew what it was like to see underwater and what I was ‘supposed’ to see as everything was just blurry and distorted.
My mum and dad had always said that when I turned 21 (your eyes stop growing at about 20 years old) I could have my eyes lasered. It was a promise I held on to for years and I couldn’t wait to have it done.
My 21st birthday came and we immediately booked a consultation. I was soooo excited – I finally had my chance to be able to see ‘normally’.
I had my eyes lasered in Moorfields eye hospital by Mr David Gartry. He was so friendly and from the minute walking in to my consultation to the very end of the surgery itself I knew I was in safe hands and trusted him completely.
I remember walking in to the main reception area and it was so quiet.
We were greeted by the receptionist and told to wait in the seating area. I think my mum and dad were more nervous than I was as although the procedure isn’t life threatening, it is life changing.
I think they were worried that I would go blind if anything went wrong, seeing as I only get one pair of eyes. It’s weird because this is probably the biggest thing I have ever done and I am the biggest wuss you will ever meet, but this didn’t phase me at all.
I think what kept me going and excited was that I was being given the chance to see without glasses; without contacts. To me it was like I was going to be born again.
The nurse called my name and I went in to the room with her. she gave me a complete eye examination and full details on the procedure and aftercare and I had to fill in a form to give my consent to surgery. Mr Gartry explained that because my eyesight was so bad there may be a chance my prescription wouldn’t meet 20/20 vision but that he could get it to -1 or -2 which would mean I would only need glasses for driving or reading. I was fine with that but hoped and prayed for 20/20!
There are two main types of laser eye surgery – LASIK and LASEK. The procedure I had done was LASIK.
With this procedure a flap is created which means a thin layer of the cornea is cut and lifted to one side.
The surgeon then applies the laser which eliminates your prescription and the flap is replaced in the same place it was before and left to heal.
On surgery day, my parents and I sat patiently in the waiting area ready to be called. There were 2 other people waiting to have it done too, both much older than me.
A gentleman went in first and I was eager to see how he was when he came out.
The procedure was so quick. Overall it took about 25 minutes. The gentleman came out and he could see. It made me so happy to know that I was next and that I would be able to see properly by the end of the day.
FINALLY it was my turn. The nurse called me in to the next room to put on a gown over my clothes and we all had to put plastic bags on our feet.
I was so overwhelmed I cried before I went in to surgery. I was scared as I knew there was no going back now but the nurse told me I would be fine and we headed in to the room. My mum and dad sat outside theatre anxiously waiting for me to come out. My mum was crying as I went in as she was overwhelmed with emotion and they both knew how badly I wanted this and how much it meant to me after all the years of wearing glasses and contacts.
I laid on the operating table and Mr Gartry told me to look at him as he clamped my eye lids open. He put a few drops of anaesthetic in and my eyes became numb straight away. I couldn’t feel a thing. He told me to keep very still and look straight up at the light above my head in which there were two little green and red lasers moving around. He told me to focus on the red one. I literally kept so still for 25 minutes. I didn’t want to move and ruin my chances at having perfect sight.
I could see him scratching away at my eyes and all I could smell was burning. It smelt like burnt rubber. I remember seeing the flap of the cornea being lifted up. Before I knew it the procedure was done. Those 25 minutes had flown by. Mr Gartry told me to sit and look at the clock. I COULD SEE INSTANTLY. I felt like a new woman. I cried instantly and jumped on Mr Gartry and hugged him and said thank you! I was so happy.
The journey home was outstanding. I could read everything. Signposts, billboards, Shop signs the lot.
I was overjoyed. At this point I didn’t know what my new prescription was but i didn’t care because I could see. I had to wear my sunglasses home though to avoid infection.
When we got home my eyes became a bit sore and by the evening I couldn’t open them at all. They were stinging so much, they were so painful and bloodshot and I thought I was going blind. I was so scared. I had been given 12 drops which I had to alternate every week over the course of 4-6 weeks. After a week off work my eyes felt fine but I continued with the course of antibiotics as the nurses advised me that if I didn’t keep up with the drops it could lead to all sorts of complications such as dry eyes and continuous itchyness etc. The stinging and redness had gone and the only thing that was left was that my eyes were a bit itchy but by the end of the course of antibiotics my eyes were as good as new.
At bedtime I had to wear goggles that had foam around the edges to stop me from rubbing my eyes or putting my hands near my eyes when sleeping. My fiancé didn’t get much sleep for the first week as he was afraid I would put my hands by my face so he kept checking up on me and moving them away from my face.
I had to book an appointment two weeks after for a check up so that Mr Gartry could see what prescription my eyes were now.
The two weeks went by and we were soon back in the consultation room. Mr Gartry advised me previously that because my eyes were so bad that it’s possible my prescription would only be -1 or -2 but to everyones surprise my vision was beyond 20/20. He told me my new eyesight was beyond perfect and that I was a brilliant patient and one of the best patients he has had. I was so delighted.
This was seriously the BEST thing I have ever done in my life and would recommend it to anyone!
The cost of surgery was £4500 plus £150 for the consultation and was definitely money well spent.
I get at least 20 odd years of perfect vision. I couldn’t be happier and I will be forever grateful to my mum and dad for giving me something so valuable and precious.
To anyone considering laser eye surgery – DO IT!
My surgeon, Mr Gartry was AMAZING and I would recommend him to anyone and everyone! He has done over 14,000 operations so I knew I was in safe hands when he performed surgery on me.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box and ill reply 🙂
Kelly x 💋 x