PRK: Week 2

On December 6th, I voluntarily let someone stick a laser in my eye with hope of being able to get 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts for the first time since 1982.

Following the “one week” report, this is how the second week has gone so far…

To readers looking for the usual snark or Geeky babble, I’m sure it will return shortly, but I’ve run into so many people that have had questions about the procedure (and more importantly how the recovery is for me) that I thought I’d share the whole thing with the Internet at large… I don’t expect there to be much excitement past the second week, aside from the “Hey, it’s 20/15!” post that I’m still hoping for between the second and eighth week… time will tell.

Day 8

Back to the Dr’s today to get the “baid-aid” contacts removed, and a very welcomed removal it is. Not that the contacts were painful, but man are they’re annoying… Doc took a look and made a pleasing “Hm!” when he checked the eyes out; I took that to mean that the recovery layer had grown back enough so that taking the contacts out were a good thing… later in the conversation, I also found out that the contacts were a bit “tight”… guess the growing went well – maybe it woulda been better to pop them off a day or two earlier, but that wasn’t an option, due to weekend hours. Anyway, once they were out, there was no trumpet blaring event – my vision was OK. If anything, it was slightly blurrier at that moment, trying to figure out what the hell happened, but at least the annoyance from the contact was gone. For the rest of the day, I made sure I kept the eyes well lubed and my vision stayed the same for the rest of the night.

Day 9

At 4:15 in the morning, I found myself writhing on the bed with a white hot pain in one of my eyes and a completely tear-soaked right cheek; back to the Dr later that morning.

No idea what happened on this one, to be honest. I was finally outside the “first week” recovery steps, so I was sleeping without the eye guard [that is required during sleep for the first week] so it is possible that I rolled onto it. Or I had an itch and I rubbed my eye which caused the pain and woke me up. Hell, I may have popped myself in the eye while asleep. After looking at the eye, and finding that it had a rougher surface but no scratches, Doc thinks that the layer could have naturally broken up on its own during the night, since the contact was gone. Or the eye simply dried itself out during the overnight… either way, I was handed a tube of eye lubrication ointment for nighttime use. Remarkable stuff, to be honest, especially since I don’t have to have to put a dab on my finger and rub my eyeball with it; you shoot it from the tube into your lower eyelid and the blinking that will invariably follow moves it all over the eye.

The only disturbing thing about this whole thing is that my left eye was at about 20/25 at this point; my right eye was annoyed with me so it dropped back to 20/60. That said, I still was able to watch a movie in a theatre – sans glasses – with pretty solid vision for the first time since TRON was released… given the TRON sequel starts this week, I find that amusing.

Day 10

The eye lubricant worked pretty well; at least I didn’t wake up with a dry feeling eye. Vision was still off in the right eye, but at least it wasn’t hurting anymore. Worked a regular day but I think the LCD’s at work aren’t helping my recovery very much… at least I think that by the end of the day, my vision was blurry enough that it was noticeable. After work, I went out for a bit and met up with some friends for a couple of drinks in Bellevue. Well, one beer and a ton of water for me. Not sure if that had anything to do with it – the hydration, not the beer – but I thought I was seeing things better by the end of the night… Generally speaking, reading up close is still a challenge… so is reading work monitors…

Day 11

Work up this morning and noticed a marked improvement in my right eye! Still hasn’t caught up to the left but it’s definitely not as blurry as it has been the last two nights – definitely on the mend. I also notice that I get occasional sharp and clear glimpses of the world when both eyes just seem to *pop* at the right angle but then other times it’s still fuzzy. Eye drops galore continue; reading is still fuzzy; monitors are a bit clearer today but at least one person walked by and said “Hey – you OK?” because I had my eyes opened wide and nose close to the screen.

Day 12

Went to see my first movie for the first time with *only* the 3D glasses and it all worked pretty well! Followed this up with my “2 week” follow up with the Doctor. Pressure in my eyes is just about normal – going to have to get that rechecked in another week – and things are looking pretty good over all. The burnt away layer continues to regenerate but it still has some healing to do. Additionally, it still needs to smooth itself down. For example, right now, I get brief moments of solid vision out of each eye… I can read text but it’s still not, for lack of a better word, crisp. Same thing is true of computer screens and books… I’ve taken the text on the Kindle down a notch to a smaller one and all is well there… I’ve been told that the lack of crispness will clear itself up over time. Additionally, I’ve got some ghosting in my left eye, but only with certain things… like if I’m watching a movie on Encore, they have their white text in the lower right – if I use only my left eye, I’ve a little bit of a second image of that, just below it… seems that I’m showing a slight astigmatism right now, but again, this is before my outer most layer has been smoothed back down… at this point in the process, I’m offering this to the Doc as feedback, rather than complaints; can’t start to complain until at least four weeks in. At this point, one eye was about 20/25; the other about 20/40, but this was due to the pain from a couple of days ago…

Day 13

Woke up this morning and my left eye hurt, similarly to how my right eye was on the morning of Day 9. Not as bad as the right eye, but there was still a bunch of tearing and sharp pain. With it being Saturday, well, there’s nothing much I could do with it so I drowned it in lubricating tears until the pain went down. After a few minutes it was livable, but as with the right eye, vision had regressed a little bit… the right eye, on the other hand, has popped into near 20/20 vision. Close test is clear and sharp; far text isn’t that sharp but it is very clear. By the late afternoon, the right eye is still pretty good and the left eye doesn’t hurt anymore… they both just feel dry, which means they likely are – time for more drops. My guess is I rubbed my left eye, similar to the last time… going to motor through it.

Day 14

Relatively uneventful day, vision-wise. Carbon copy of Day 13, in fact.

Week 3 kicks off tomorrow!

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