July 9, 2008

Two new eyeballs for take away please (part 2)

By next week it'll be three months since my laser surgery and I'm very happy to tell the world how FREE I FEEL WITHOUT GLASSES!!! Since the procedure I had received my first REAL pair of sunglasses (Thanks Pau!), enjoyed Boracay sunsets without worrying about my lenses getting wet and sweated out in the gym without having to push anything sliding off my face. I realize that I still haven't posted the continuation of new eyeballs blog (part 1) so here it goes.

I got to St. Luke's around 30 mins before my scheduled procedure. The nurse had said after my check-up that I had to undergo some "prepping" before entering the OR. I didn't know exactly what that meant but I showed up early anyway. When I entered the Vision Laser Center there was an ongoing operation and I was surprised to know how "open" the procedure was. The was a window where the patient's companion could watch (and in my case, document and film) the whole thing. I don't remember feeling bothered by it, amused maybe. Good thing this wasn't a lipo procedure haha.

I was led to a room adjacent to the OR (the same room had my eyeballs dilated on my last visit), asked to leave my shoes outside, put on a surgery cap and wear the UUUUGLIEST HOSPITAL GOWN! EVER! Well, not that I've worn any of hospital gown before but this was just...ugh. Anyway, so the nurse had me seated on a lazyboy beside a tv which showed the actual operation happening inside. the operating room. The patient inside was having the same procedure as I was (PRK) so I was able to prepare myself mentally on what was about to happen...so the doctor was going to clamp my eyelids open, then pour solution, then slice em, then fire laser at them... I can handle that =p I was given several eye drops for sanitazion and anesthesia then the doc examined them one last time, wrote on them (yep, he wrote on my eyes) and led me to the operating room.

So the video below was how my procedure went. No blood here so don't worry if you have weak stomach.

(That's me under the machine and those are my eyelids on the monitor being clamped open.)

(Pau's talking to the nurse on the background.
You can see the laser beams hitting my eyes on the last 4 secs.)

The procedure lasted for about 10-15 mins but the actual laser was only 30 sec. The first thing the doc asked me when I stood up from the operating table was to look at the clock and say what time it was. He pointed to a wall clock about 3m away and voila! I can tell the time! (There's an actual video of me getting up from the operating table but it showed me wearing that ugly operating gown so no way was I gonna share that =p).

I was given a recovery kit which included shades (yey not goggles!), eye drops and lubricant.

(Audio's bad but I show the recovery kit 20 secs into the vid.
Oh and check out the St. Luke's branded shades hehe)

Recovery was such a nightmare because my eyes were burning for weeks and I had to go back to my normal life (which included two previously scheduled out-of-town trips to research on laundry soap). You don't feel the pain after the operation because of the anesthesia but after a couple of hours, the sensation sinks in. The only prescription I was given was to sleep sleep sleep. Waking up was the hardest because the moment you open your eyes you'd feel the sting. Sunlight was bad also because the glare would be too bright. The whole recovery experience was worse for me because I was a "slow healer" so what normally took 7 days took me twice the time. But obviously I'm all over it now. I'm still not 100% used to it, like I catch myself adjusting my "ghost eyeglasses" once in a while and I'm noticing freckles on my eye area which I didn't know I had, but it's definitely something I'm enjoying. It's literally like making the blind see again - almost a miracle =)

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