April 18, 2008

Two new eyeballs for take away please (part 1)

Its been a week since my eyeball makeover and I can finally look at my computer monitor without tearing up or worrying about the glare. I still cant read clearly except for big enough fonts so I'm kinda writing this part-blind (interpret as: if you've sent me an email this week please don't think its been ignored =p). Its getting better though. I notice slight improvements everyday. I guess that's why I'm very optimistic about achieving 20/20 (or somewhat) soon. Can't wait!

So a lot of people have been asking me about the experience because, apparently, almost every optically challenged person I know has thought about going through the procedure at some point in their lives. I don't know if everyone had the same PRK experience but this was how it happened for me.

I only know of two places who perform laser eye surgery:American Eye Center and St. Luke's Vision Laser Center (VLC), I didn't really do much canvassing because my preferred doctor was part of VLC (Thanks Nic!) but nevertheless I wanted to check out American Eye Center. One phonecall insquiry answered by a robotic and cold receptionist from the American Eye Center was enough to tell me it was the wrong place. Especially since the VLC lady I spoke to earlier sounded very credible and caring (gosh I just realized I'm a sucker for customer service. Well, I think we all should be).

So anyway, I booked my weekend appointment and was told to bring a friend who could drive me home becase after the consultation and tests I wouldn't be capable of driving myself home.

I show up at VLC for my scheduled appointment and after filling up the data sheet, was led to a room with high tech appatuses to undergo a series of tests. The test results were supposed to give the doctor an idea if I was a suitable candidate for the procedure and whether I should go undergo Lasik or PRK.

I was told I had a thin cornea and that if I wanted to proceed, PRK would be the route for me. Obviously I said yes (like I had a choice). It was also explained to me that there was no guarantee of achieving a perfect 20/20. The optometrist demonstrated this through the eye chart and fitting on me different lenses ranging from best case scenario to better case scenario (I think it was unsaid but kinda understood that the worst case scenario was going to be blindness). The coolest part of the consultation was when they dilated my pupil to check eye lubrication and other stuff. Pau captured the moment for posterity so this was how my eye looked. See? see?

After qualifying for the procedure (consultation and test cost Php 3k+) they booked me for a friday slot and was given a contract which the reception lady said was the "scariest part in the procedure" (I liked that she had a sense of humor. Made me feel like I was just ordering coffee at starbucks =p). She wasn't kidding though. The contract contained everything that could go wrong after the procedure. of course I only read the document the night before my scehduled appointment so you can imagine the thought baloons in my head when I wrote down my goodbye blog. I figured that if I was going to chicken out of this opportunity, then I would never find time to do this again. For me this was something I just had to do.

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