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PRK: Day 1

I arrived at Fairview Southdale yesterday at 11:30 am to check in and take a valium. After a double check of my refraction, the doctors were ready for me. At 12:30, they brought me in to the operating room, where they had me lay down on a table and hold a football. They then confirmed with me that they would be working on my right eye (thank you!), and taped the left shut. They gave me some numbing drops, and propped my eye open. No more blinking for the next five minutes!

The most uncomfortable part of the operation came next. Unlike Lasik, which creates a corneal flap before the laser surgery begins, in PRK they do a “surface ablation.” They took a device that looked like a dentist’s drill but with a brown bristly head, turned it on so the head started spinning, and pressed it against my eye. My eye was numb, but they were really pressing, and that kind of discomfort doesn’t get numbed away. It wasn’t painful or anything, just sort of traumatic. Then they did it twice more. Yikes!

After that they gave focused the laser on my eye. “Are you locked on?” “Yup, good to go.” What followed was 15 seconds of clicks and pops while I stared at a red dot surrounded by a bright white ring. With the clicks and pops I could detect tiny flashes, which I assume was the laser doing its magic. One of the doctors counted down, “You’re 5% done. 10% done… 50% done. 95% done.” Done. “OK, you can blink.” I could already tell my vision was improved.

Then they put the contact lens “bandage” on my eye. Yuck. A plastic eye shield (like a pirate’s patch) was taped over my eye, and they gave me a bunch of drops. I went home and slept for a few hours, and since then I’ve just been moping around the house and marathoning The Office. I saw the doctor again last morning, who said everything looked “better than good.” Since the surgery, I’ve been napping and moping around while taking advantage of excellent care. The eye has been very uncomfortable, but getting better consistently. I think the worst part is the damn contact lens, but it could be the healing of the surface ablation.

Everything has been about what I expected or better so far. I’m really looking forward to getting the contact out and seeing what the healing vision bring.

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