Friday, November 8, 2013

PRK Laser Eye Surgery Today (My entire PRK recovrery experience)

I'm getting PRK eye surgery to correct my vision today so I won't be writing any craft posts for the next week.  This is my second PRK surgery to correct my nearsightedness.  In my first surgery about three years ago I was undercorrected in one eye so this "touch up" surgery will correct just my right eye.  They say "touch up" to make it sound better, but its basically the same surgery with the same risks and pain. People ask what the difference is between PRK and Lasik.  Lasik they cut a flap where with PRK they remove the top most layer of skin from your eye and then laser.  PRK is far more painful than Lasik because its like having an open scab in your eye that needs to heal.  I got PRK because my corneas are too thin to get Lasik.

My first surgery was very painful, I say it was worse than childbirth (but I had an epidural).  It took me a long time to heal from PRK (about a week and a half).  This surgery hopefully I will heal faster, the first time the doctor prescribed me an eyedrop that I was allergic to so it slowed down my healing process. While I was healing I was constantly googling PRK experiences to see if mine was normal.  The most helpful were blog posts where people detailed their experiences.  So for the next few days I will detail my PRK experience. Hopefully it will help someone who has gotten the surgery or is thinking about getting the surgery. I'm not sure how well I could type or see the computer monitor this second time, since I am only getting one eye done.  The first time I got it with both eyes it would have been impossible for me to type.

Surgery is in an hour!  Gotta get ready.  Will post again when I can.

Three years ago my prescription was about -5.25 and -5.75 and I had some astigmatism.  I don't really remember what the exact numbers are but my vision was pretty bad.  After my first surgery my vision was 20/40 on one eye and 20/80 in the other.  I decided not to recorrect the 20/40 eye because the surgery is so painful and because my doctor said that as I go older the 20/40 eye will be good for reading.

Update Friday 11/8/2013 10AM
Back from surgery.  Doing one eye is definitely better than doing two.  I can type and see.  Pain level from 1-10 is 2.  Procedure was worse second time around.  I had major anxiety, especially when he was scraping off the skin on my eyeball.  It did not help when he said the skin was thicker this time around and needed a special tool.  Took some tylenol PM and going to rest now.  Next appointment is tomorrow morning.  I can see pretty well because of my left eye.  My right eye (surgery eye) is completely blurry.

Update Friday 11/8/2013 3 PM
Woke up from my nap and really feel no pain.  Eyes feel really dry.  Before I fell asleep at 10AM my eyes were really in pain.  A sharp stinging sensation like chili peppers were poured onto my eyes.  It lasted for a few minutes before I fell asleep.  I can see far but it is blurry.  Since I did only one eye I walk around and do daily activities ok.  If I did both eyes I would not be able to do anything.

Update Friday  11/8/2013 6 PM
No real change from a few hours ago.  I slept again probably because of the Tylenol PM.  I'm droping Refresh preservative free drops and an antibiotic every 4 hours.  Before my surgery I was on Lotemax  and Restasis (for dry eye).  Eyes don't feel dry and there is only very slight pain.  This PRK experience is definitely better than the first.  If I cover my non surgery eye I cannot see the computer monitor to type, but I can see the tv.

Update Saturday 11/9/2013 8 AM
Seeing the doctor again today.  I've been taking tylenol for the pain.  Last night the pain came back and my eye is more red than before.  I can see the alarm clock, but its blurry.  I think my vision for my surgery eye is now about 20/60.  I need to print out an eye chart that I used last time to check my vision.  I can't seem to find it again.

Update Saturday 11/9/2013 11 AM
Just got back from the doctor.  He said my eye is healing fast, a lot faster than my previous surgery.  The first surgery my eyedrop allergy really slowed down my healing time.  8 mm of skin was taken off for my surgery and I'm at 5mm left to heal.  He said hopefully I can take off my band aid contact lens by Monday or Tuesday.  My vision is about 20/60 right now.  I'm still on the antibiotic drops and Tylenol.  The Tylenol really helps with the pain.  Computer monitor is still very blurry (if I cover my left eye), I would not be able to go back to work at this point.

Here is the free eye chart that I use:  I print it out (no resize) and mark off 20 feet away.  If I can see the 20ft line that means my vision is 20/20, 40 ft line means vision is 20/40.

Update Sunday 11/10/2013 9 AM (2 days post surgery)
My eye is super sensitive to light.  I feel like my vision is worse and it feels like there is sand in my eyes.  Last night I used lots of numbing drops which slow down healing.  I have to sit in a dark room in order to be comfortable.  This is very similar to my first surgery experience.  I sat in a dark room for three days straight.

Update Monday 11/11/2013 9 AM (3 days post surgery)
My eye feels blurrier than yesterday but the sensitivity to light is gone.  I'm 20/60 to 20/80 right now.  I remember the doctor saying that this is normal because as the skin heals towards the middle my vision will start getting worse because the skin is coming together towards the center.  I would not be able to drive or type if I had both eyes done.  I can can see the text on my iphone with my right (surgery) eye now, but I do feel like I am straining it when I look.  Computer monitor is still very blurry. I have another appointment later today, hopefully the contact lens can come off.

Update Monday 11/11/2013 9 PM (3 days post surgery)
Went to the doctor earlier and they took off my contact lens.  They used these really pointy tweezers that were so scary looking.  My vision is about 20/50 and I can barely make out the computer screen.  No pain, but I'm hoping my vision improves tomorrow.

Update Tuesday 11/12/2013 3 PM (4 days post surgery)
My eye felt like there was a grain of sand in it for most of the day (probably because the contact lens was removed).  Not much new, far vision is still blurry, computer monitor is still not readable.

Update Wednesday 11/13/2013 4 PM (5 days post surgery)
My recovery is coming along.  I can barely see the computer monitor with my right eye.  But because I only got surgery in one eye I am able to function and work.  I work in front of the computer all day so today was my first day back at work.  I worked from home, as I do not know how well I can drive yet.  I still do not see 20/20 with my right eye and it has me rather nervous.  The first time I got PRK I was not able to see 20/20 and never ended up ever reaching 20/20.  I am still hopeful that I will see 20/20 and that I have a bit more healing to do.

Update Thursday 11/14/2013 9 PM (6 days post surgery)
I can see pretty well for things at a distance, still not 20/20, but better than before surgery. Relative to my left eye, I think my right eye is now equal if not better.  I'm guessing my vision is now 20/40 but not very crisp.   My upclose vision for my right eye is still pretty blurry.  I can see the computer monitor but not very well.  If I had done both eyes I do not think I would be able to work in front of a computer (unless I changed the resolution so the fonts are huge).  No more pain, hopefully I'll reach 20/20 soon.

Update Friday 11/15/2013 9 PM (One week after surgery)
Vision fluctuates.  My eyes don't feel dry but doctor advised that I should use artificial tears every few hours. Not much new, my vision was tested today and its 20/30 for my right surgery eye.  My upclose vision is still blurry but I guess my eye is still healing (this is a good sign because I figure if I was completely healed and my vision is 20/30 it would be disappointing.  Things around me do not seem sharp or crisp, but I am able to see and drive.  Doctor says that it takes about 6 weeks to get to 20/20.  With my previous surgery my vision was basically the same after the 10th day.  So if you are reading this and your vision is 20/80 and you are already two weeks into healing, I would say that for me there was only slight improvements in vision after the 10 day mark.

Update Sunday 11/17/2013 9 PM (8 days post surgery)
My vision has been improving slightly.  I am now able to drive, but street signs are not sharp and sometimes not completely clear.  I haven't driven at night but have been in the car and I see small halos, but nothing that major.  I'm not really sure if the halos are because the lights are just a bit blurry.  Eyes do not feel that dry and overall I am back to normal.  I will continue to update this post weekly/monthly depending on if I have any major changes.

Update Saturday 11/30/2013 (3 weeks post surgery)
I don't know if my vision is 20/20.  Things are much clearer.  I can drive without glasses at night.  A few nights ago I woke up with a sharp pain in my eye.  It felt as though the skin had ripped off my eye (like right after the PRK surgery).  My eyes were dry so I put rewetting drops in and tried to go back to bed.  The pain lasted for about 15 min and I fell asleep.  In the morning my eye was fine.  Now I put drops in right before bed to prevent that.

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