A Man Of Vision Refractive Surgeon Rediscovers The Gift Of Sight Post 4
Some pictures were taken with my wife, Terry, and me, and after receiving an encouraging and loving hug from her, I entered the laser room. In my own operating room after hours, I had practiced lying on the Dexta operating table and looking at the lights under the Visx Star, so I was prepared. Betadine (povidone iodine, Purdue Frederick) always smells weird to me, but felt cool and calming.
They talked to me continuously, which made me feel confident and comfortable. I knew our techniques were very similar – first the anesthetic drops, then the lid speculum. The moment of truth was at hand; the microkeratome was poised and ready. I have learned to take nothing for granted and to treat every case with respect. Each patient has strong and weak points. I knew I had great exposure, but also had very dry eyes and a micropannus left greater than right.
The ring was positioned and the suction started. I felt the mildest pressure and saw the micrikeratome traverse back and forth. When the flap was lifted, the circle of light and the blinking diode became fuzzier, but were still visible. He started the laser, I was able to maintain my gaze, which is a major concern. I could actually see the diode become clearer. I knew I would be under the laser for more than 90 seconds and mentally geared for it. The smell was familiar to me. I am a firm believer in bilateral LASIK.
The adjustment and the follow-up suit our active patients. Psychologically, the first eye goes very quickly when you know your other eye is to follow. When the flap was repositioned, the red diode became instantly clearer. He irrigated copiously because of a small amount of heme from the pannus. All went great so we repeated the process for my left eye. As a surgeon, I know there is always a certain amount of extra pressure when operating on a friend, colleague, or family member. My left eye also went very well.
When they swiveled me, I could see an eye chart on the ceiling that I hadn’t noticed before. I read the 20/50 line with each eye immediately upon sitting up. I finished the interview and watched my case on video. After thanking everyone, we returned to the hotel for pizza and wine.
I followed my own postoperative regimen of wearing shields and resting for 4 to 6 hours to reduce the edema. I took no further pain medication. I woke up to have dinner at 7 p.m. We had a window table, but everything was frustratingly fuzzy, except for the poinsettia 2 feet in front of me.
Terry was extremely patient, but firm in reminding me how I always tell patients how blurry they will be the first day. I still felt anxiety, but said a prayer when I returned to our room. We watched a Seinfeld rerun, which eased my tension. Then I realized: I was actually seeing the TV – from about 8 feet away! I replaced the shields and went to bed with a feeling of relief.