PRK: Week 3 …and a half

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 “first week” and “second week” report, this is how the third and part of the fourth 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 fourth 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 15

Took a six hour plane ride to Connecticut via JFK. Not sure if it’s the pressurization or just the general dead air of an air plane, but I drowned the crap outta my eyes and they still felt somewhat dry… and of course I used them while in flight: read at least 33% of The Confession [by Grisham] on the Kindle and watched about 12 episodes of Bleach on the iPad. By the time I got off the plane, distance was blurry and both eyes were matched at the now expected 20/40. Met up with Jolene and drove up 678 to 95… it was interesting. The big highway signs were pretty blurry far out but I could still make them out in enough time to take action… still a quantum leap from what my pre-surgery sight was and that’s still awesomeness.

Day 16

First full say in CT: the room has a classic motel-styled heater… lots of air coming out of it, and pretty warm at that – the place we stayed at appears to be less than a year old. And so in a word, things were dry, dry, dry. Sight started at 20/40-ish and ended slightly worse; I think in part due to dryness and in part due to use. Since I don’t live in CT, I’m not as familiar with things there as I am with WA; makes it harder to see things in the distance if you don’t know what to expect to be coming.

Day 17

||: Day 16 :|| with a +15 Dryness factor. So much so that I noticed that the skin on my elbows cracked and pealed off.

Day 18

Took Metro-North down into Manhattan proper for a trip to MoMA. Sight was about the same as it was each day this week with the added bonus of cold wind popping me in the face. Welcomed but not good for dry eyes. Navigated the city pretty well, with Jolene having to stretch her eyes every now and again for street signs… first day, though that I started to feel a bit let down because there was stuff that I wanted to see clearer and I know I used to see it clearer, with glasses, but I’m still trying to be rational about it… until I hear: “they are fully healed” I’m OK waiting. Of course, even after hearing that, the follow up comment could be “we can do another round of PRK” or “what you have is what you have”. Until the 8th week, I don’t expect to hear any of this.

Day 19

Christmas Eve! Status quo, although to support the “holy crap it’s SO dry” point, the elbows have both scabbed over. Not eye related, but consider how dry the eyes would be without drops?

Day 20


Long story short there was so much talk of Snow Storm Watch Warning Blizzard Warning, that I attempted to pull my lower lip over my forehead, which impared my vision for a good part of the day. I’m also waiting for the eyelashes that stuck to my lip to regrow. Bottom line? After living in CT for 30+ years, the forecasters are wrong far more than they are right, in terms of weather prediction, and unless I wanted to scramble and change my hotel, car rental, and flight and get me to leave on Christmas Day… basically, there’s nothing to do, so why panic?

In spite of this, this was my first Christmas without glasses in a very, very long time!

Day 21

Those sons of bitches actually called it right.

Day 22

Caught a full face of snow more than once, while tooling around the neighborhood, dodging 12-24″ snow drifts. Wasn’t too bad in CT, but both Jolene and our flights were cancelled. The eyes don’t much care for the cold, but the snow felt neat. Vision: same as it was the rest of this week, including having to increase the Font size of things on my laptop, if it’s later in the day… even this post is being done at 16 points instead of my usual 10… not too thrilled with that, but see the thought from a few days ago: still the third week. Realization: I need to stop trying to take off glasses to put in drops or get in the shower are some point; likely around the same time I figure out how to keep my sideburns the same length without glasses.

Day 23

And because of the blizzard – and the reaction of JFK, Delta, and AA – we are stuck here until Thursday! Sight status: the same. Realization: I can wear ski hats much better than I used to! They now hug my face and no air gets in. Very happy moment… that and I’m told that I look like a propper thug now, whereas before it was a wannabe Geek thing.

Day 24

Opted to relocation from our CT hotel to one near LGA, since Jolene was leaving on a very early flight the next morning… that resulted to a nice leisurely daytime drive down from CT to Queens. So leisurely that we made near record time and had to kill some time before checking in… in a test of eyesight and memory, we went out to Nassau County on Long Island Lon-gheye-land. In spite of not having been there in at least seven years I was driving through Queens and Belmont and Floral Park without issue. If anything, the hardest part was the lack of plowing that some of the side streets had. That and I forgot where to park for a pizza place in the center of town… that and some of the places that have simply disappeared (or are still around!) Ultimately, I was going to take us to Roosevelt Field Mall but the memory failed… and now that it was getting close to check-in time, I fired up the GPS app and turned towards LGA… same thing at the drive to CT: Jolene had to read me a couple of signs at some point because they come up fast and there were still lanes closed due to snow. Sight status: the same. Realization: I can dig out the ear clip for my Bluetooth headset! This is HUGE. I’ve purposely kept with certain brands that support the “all-in-the-ear” because wearing glasses with the hook was a pain in the ass… non-issue now, unless sunglasses are involved. HUGE realization.

Day 25 Headed to LGA at 4 this morning… read one sign too well. LGA has one terminal for Delta and another for Delta Shuttle; overshot the airport by one exit on the GCP, which resulted in a side street adventure, even though the roads were pretty icy that time of the morning. Got to the Arrivals drop off the same way we got everywhere else this week… later that day, I checked out from the hotel and tooled around Queens look for a Dunkin’ Donuts with parking – easier said than done. There were tons of trucks double parked all over the place and it involved looking around corners and watching for pedestrians. NY pedestrians. The people that are smart enough to know that just because you’re in the crosswalk, it doesn’t mean you have magic right of way [like people do in WA,] but are still silly enough to stand off the curb, waiting for the lights to change. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pull any sneakers out from the grill when I returned the rental. Additionally, I did miss one sign for the return so I had to circle back around once I got into the airport proper, but I seem to recall that being confusing with 20/20 vision. Got a long wait and flight for the rest of today and I expect the eyes to be the same across the board. Week 4 finishes up with New Years Eve and Day; as I missed my follow up visit that I was supposed to have this week, I’m meeting with the Dr on Monday, which is Day 29, so I should have an update by the end of Week 5!

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