PRK Day 1

Yesterday afternoon I had the PRK Laser Vision Correction surgery. I was pretty stressed out beforehand, and took the Valium they offered me to calm my nerves. I’m glad I did. It was a little odd having several people all poking and prodding at your open eyeballs under the laser.

The procedure took maybe five or six minutes. The PRK surgery differs from LASIK in that rather than creating a flap on the outer cornea layer, they chemically (or mechanically) remove that outer layer. For me, they used some kind of chemical that ate away at the outer layer. You don’t feel any burning because your eyes are numb from some numbing drops.

After that, they poke and probe your eye with various instruments, then all of a sudden it’s laser time. You just keep your eye focussed on a flashing red light and hear this ticking sound and smell the faint odor of burning flesh (yum). I think they had the laser on me for about 30 seconds per eye. I’ve heard they sometimes count down the seconds, but htese guys just said when you are halfway done.

They shoot cold water on your eyeball a couple times in the surgery, and that one seemed to be the biggest shocker. Each time they did that it startled me because of how cold it was.

During the procedure it felt like I wasn’t looking straight ahead the whole time, it kinda felt like my eye moved or twitched a little. I asked the doc afterwards and he said that my eye was fine and hadn’t moved at all. I have heard the same from other people, and the machine has some tracking mechanism built in so that it will shut off the instant it detects eye movement.

And that was it. They placed bandage contacts on my eyes and sent me on my way with a load of eyedrops and instructions. I went to sleep for about four hours. Rather, I kept my eyes shut and slept intermitantly for four hours as instructed. There was only a minor amount of pain akin to a scratch in your eye or something that you just can’t get out. Nothing more than an annoyance.

In PRK, you are very light sensistive the first several days, and I’ve gotta keep most lights off in my apartment and wear the ultra cool shades they gave me.

Today is the day after, I just woke up from a nights sleep. Things seem a little clearer and it’s a little light less sensitive to light. I’m writing this blog but can only partially see what I’m typing, even after enlarging the font up really big. I know from other people’s experience that there will be a lot of fluctuation this first week: someitmes you’ll see better, then the next day it will be worse. I’m sure it will be frustrating, but at least I know that’s coming. I’ve also heard that the second and thrid days after PRK are going to be the worst as far as pain goes. They didn’t presribe any pain meds besides over the counter stuff (Tylenol PM and Advil PM).

PRK is supposed to put you out of work for a week because of the fluctuations, pain, and light-sensitivity. I got it done two days before thanksgiving, so I’ll only miss a few days of actual work. I’ll keep this blog updated in the next couple days and weeks in the hopes that other souls may stumble across it.When I was researching PRK, I read a lot of blogs from people who had undergone the procedure, and that helped make my decision.

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