Thinking about laser eye surgery? Read about my experience.
Hmmm, you’ve reached an older feature - let’s get you up to date! Read our latest Health & Fitness features here.
I promised to let you know how my laser eye surgery went with Optical Express and 10 days on, I can categorically say it’s been a fantastic success. My eye sight is better than 20/20, I no longer have to play ‘Hunt the Glasses’ five times a day and I have stopped blanking perfectly pleasant people across the road because I can’t see them.
I’ve been amazed by the number of people who’ve been in touch wanting to know about the physical surgery itself – aside from money, I guess queasiness about having your eyes tampered with is the major stumbling block to booking the procedure.
My approach to surgery was really not to think too deeply about it. I enjoy paddling on the surface of life, pina colada in hand, joke at the ready and a positive outlook ready to save the day. I’m not sure, post-surgery, that it’s always a good thing. You may think it ridiculous, but I seriously hadn’t thought about the surgery at all, even though I’d been told what to expect several times at my Optical Express meetings prior to the big day.
I wafted in half an hour late, as if I was booked in for a descale and polish at the local dentist, and was still giggling away to the lovely technician (below), as he blew air at my eyes and did the pre-op tests to make sure all the readings were correct.
I met the consultant who seemed lovely, and told me how important it was to stay absolutely still during the operation, and focus my eyes on the orange spot. Did I have any questions? Er, not really. I just asked him to take good care of me, and trotted off into the operating theatre.
It is no way a reflection of the brilliant care I received at Optical Express in Harley St to say that by the time I was lying back, eyes swabbed, slight burning smell coming from my eyes as they were lasered, I was a bit freaked out. There was no pain, and I felt confident in the process, but unless you’ve prepared yourself mentally to let a stranger loose on your eyeballs for 15 minutes, you’re going to feel vulnerable.
After the op, I could barely talk to the nice girl who was offering me a cup of tea. All I wanted was to be left alone to lie down in a dark room in my sunglasses (you have to wear them for a week, so prepare to look like a diva). I asked for a tea with extra sugar – I just felt like my body needed some comfort – and then fell asleep for a little while before Mr Muddy came to pick me up.
If you’re having this op, don’t even try getting home on your own. I was tired, blurry eyed, and really needed the support. There was no way I could have found my own way back onto the train, not just because of my eyesight, but I just had no energy at all. I went straight to bed when I got home and had a few hours more kip. When I awoke again, my eyes were blurry, but better. I started soothing my eyes with the three lots of drops I’d been given and though I was still tired, dipping in and out of sleep all night, by evening I was feeling a bit perkier.
The next morning I woke up to…. detail. Lots of it. Birds in trees. Children’s faces down corridors. TVs from metres away. My eyes were sore still, and very dry – but sweet Jesus, what else could I expect after having my corneas cut and infra-attacked?
Ten days on and my eyes are still dry first thing on a morning but otherwise I’m loving life without contacts and glasses. If you’re thinking about having it done and want to ask me anything, go for it in the comment box below and I’ll do my best to answer it for you. But if you’re wondering if the gain really is worth the pain? The answer is a huge, definitive, what-are-you-waiting-for YES.