*I am not a doctor. Please consult your eye doctor to see if LASIK is right for you.*
“If you’re going to get it done, you may as well do it before the most photographed day of your life,” I told my husband, Eugene, a few months before our wedding. My husband followed-through and got LASIK done in the summer of 2019.
I, however, did not, and paid for it on our special day. I ended up wearing contacts for most of the day. My wedding day was absolutely perfect, minus the contact situation. My eyes are naturally dry; therefore any contact lens wearing must be done for a short period of time (4 hours max). My eyes were essentially blood-shot, dry, itchy and all the awful things by the time the night was over. A few months after our wedding, I mustered the courage to schedule consultation in March 2020, right before the pandemic hit. Then the world shut down, leaving me uncomfortable to move forward with anything LASIK-related.
Cue summer 2021, where we traveled to Madison for my BFF Bekka’s wedding. I put in my contacts RIGHT BEFORE the ceremony at about 4pm. After hours of fun & a few beverages, I don’t recall taking the contacts out. The following morning entailed me poking at my eyeballs, eventually leading me to urgent care. Alas, the contacts weren’t even in my eyes after all. Mark that as one of my most embarrassing moments ever, second to wetting my pretty pink overalls in kindergarten gym class. The post-wedding contact madness is what made me snap. My latest LASIK consultation was scheduled shortly after.
The Ultimate LASIK Q&A
What lead me to get LASIK?
Not loving wearing glasses all the time. I hated when my nose would sweat, and I’d have to do the geeky push up of the glasses bridge area to keep them from falling down. Not to mention working out was literally the worst with them. I always had to take my glasses off for anything requiring me to look down, like push-ups. Or my glasses would slide right off.
Wanting to wear sunglasses without needing to wear contacts. Or wanting to be at a beach and actually see everything without having to wear contacts. For those who wear contacts, you know it’s a struggle to wear contacts at the beach. Sand and sea water getting into those contacts easily ruin beach days.
This one is so silly, but I really wanted to be able to watch TV or be on my phone laying down on my side and not smoosh my glasses on the pillow.
Also silly but emergency preparedness. If an emergency happens, and I cannot get my glasses in time, that could be an issue. This probably stems from my dad being active in Boy Scouts… can never be too prepared!
Did you feel them doing it?
Yes! But barely. You get numbing drops beforehand. LIke a crazy amount. Barely felt a thing. What I did feel was “pressure” from one of the machines. I would describe it as someone taking the top of a water glass and pushing it against your eye socket (meaning, the rim of the glass would push in around the area where your eye is). Do not try that in real life, please, as it’s for explanatory purposes only. The pre-procedure mind game of “what if I feel it?” was scarier than the actual thing. It helped that in the consultation they numbed the eyes and touched them. It was a good prep for how the procedure would feel. I had no idea they were actually touching my eye in the consultation, so it prepped me well. Truly, I think the anxiety is what did me in the day of the procedure. Like I said, I couldn’t feel anything, but I was anxious the entire time. Probably should have worked out and meditated beforehand to chill out a bit.
Where did you get it done?
LasikPlus in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
I wanted someone who did this similar to how McDonalds makes burgers. McDonalds cranks out SO many burgers each day, and it’s their specialty. Whereas somewhere like the Cheesecake Factory, sure, they can make a burger, but they don’t pump out as many, and it’s not their bread and butter. They aren’t experts in it. To that analogy, I saw someone in my hometown. They mentioned Lasik appointments were performed once a month, meaning they didn’t specialize in this. That was a red flag. I personally wanted someone who knew this surgery like the back of their hand. It was super encouraging to see dozens of people in the LasikPlus office each time I visited.
How much did it cost?
Quoted for almost $5K. Officially only paid less than $4K. Their sales techniques reminded me of those of car salespeople. If I got LASIK the day after the consult, they were willing to give me a lower price. See if your insurance covers anything, too.
Was it scary?
The anxiety before the procedure far outweighed the actual procedure. The actual procedure didn’t last long. I tried not to watch any videos online of what would happen so I didn’t get scared. The doctors were really nice and talked me through literally everything before each step of the way.
Did you take any meds pre-surgery?
No. My place used to prescribe Valium but learned that people became too relaxed, making it harder for the doctor to be as precise as possible. I did take pain meds afterwards.
How are you feeling?
The first four hours after surgery- these were the hardest. Pro tip: get the last appointment of the day on a Friday. You’ll get the weekend to recover. You’ll also enjoy having the last appointment of the day, because you’re supposed to take a nap afterwards. My father drove me home from my appointment (THANK YOU, DAD). It was an hour drive home. We stopped to get pain killers and also Kopps for dinner. Since your eyes are supposed to stay closed for 3+ hours after LASIK, it was funny trying to eat dinner in the car ride home. The first few hours it feels like sand paper rubbing against your eyes. The worst part is you can’t rub your eyes. Not to mention there’s lots of tears (not actual crying, just your eyes trying to flush out what’s going on). The first night was the worst. It is immediately better the next morning.
Did you have the same experience as Eugene?
It’s totally the same experience as Eugene. I had my follow up appointment this morning in Dallas, which is super cool that they have over 50 locations and I could have my follow up here. They said I am seeing 20 out of 20 and have no concerns. They said I’m healing really well. It’s now 6+ months post LASIK, and I couldn’t be happier.
A friend said her mom had the procedure done 20 years ago, and it took 20 minutes. She wanted to know if it was about the same for me. Was it?
Oh gosh, I can’t believe that your mom went through that for 20 minutes. Any kind of procedure lasting more than five minutes sounds nerve-racking. I think mine took about 10 minutes once I was in the chair and ready to go.
Someone read online that it’s kind of like a pap smear in that it’s a bit uncomfortable and you want it done as soon as possible but it’s not actually painful. Would you agree with that?
My eyes were so numb I was oblivious to anything they were doing. It felt like in the movies when someone is in surgery, and they show the bright lights… that’s it. I just saw different colored lights with no feeling.
Did you have GPC (Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis) before Lasik?
No! I didn’t even know this was a thing.
What were your eyes like pre-LASIK?
Each of my eye’s prescriptions were less than 2.00, but the nearsightedness is what killed me. Couldn’t attend any event, work day or drive without glasses to see far away. Plus, I needed to wear them for computer work a little bit as well.
If you could do it all over again, would you still get the surgery?
For those wanting to get LASIK or have a friend getting it done, check out my “checklist” to prep for your procedure.
LASIK Prep Checklist
So, you booked the procedure. Here are things I did, plus some additions of things I wish I did.
- Driver secured for after surgery (you aren’t allowed to drive!)
- Get a pal for helping around the house day of surgery (my dad helped me around the house)
- Comfy bed all made up already (the last thing you want is to be fumbling around uncomfortable)
- Arranged 2-3 meals post-surgery (whether it’s a friend cooking the meal or pre-arranging delivery, do it)
- Make sure to schedule your LASIK well before anything you need to wear make-up for. You technically can wear make-up about a week post-procedure. I went a full three weeks without mascara for safety.
- Buy swim goggles for showering (you’re not supposed to get soap/shampoo/etc. into your eyes. This helped me be extra cautious.)
- Extra eye drops for when they run out (your LASIK place will tell you what kind to order)
- Cold/warm compress (this was nice a few days after surgery, but not needed)
- Sweats (get comfy!)
- Lots of water & hydrating things
- Eye patches. My place did not supply these. You need to wear them to bed for a while post surgery. This is similar to what I got.
- Post-op appointment scheduled. I LOVED getting mine done at LasikPlus, because they have locations all over the United States. I actually went on a trip within a week of my Lasik procedure, and I had my post-op appointment in Texas (while I had my procedure done in Wisconsin).
Want to get LASIK?
Grab a consult at LasikPlus and let them know I sent you!
PS- Hope you enjoyed the photos from a recent trip to Vegas. It was my first vacation after LASIK!
LasikPlus did not know I would be writing this post. All views are my own.