My LASIK Eye Surgery Experience

My LASIK Eye Surgery Experience

LASIK Eye Surgery

I had been wearing contacts and glasses for 18 years. For the past several years I wanted to have LASIK eye surgery and on November 16, 2017 I took the plunge and finally did it!

Before I decided to have the surgery I did quite a bit of online research and spoke with a few people who had experienced LASIK. I have to admit that the online research led me to a few really scary stories but when I connected with actual people who had the surgery done, it was much more of a realistic response and they provided a postive explanation of their experiences.

I also spoke with my optometrist and he had me come in to make sure that from a preliminary standpoint I was a candidate for the surgery. After a quick examination he determined I was a prime candidate as my nearsighted prescription was relatively low, I was in the best age range for it, my vision had stabilized over the past two/three years and I am healthy.

Once I decided to have the surgery, came a tough part for me. I had to stop wearing my contacts three weeks prior to the surgery. Now if you already wear glasses all the time then this isn’t a problem, but I wore contacts all day every day so it was a bit of a challenge to wear glasses instead. I knew that it would be worth it to reach my end goal of the surgery so I resolved to wearing my glasses only. Not wearing contacts is a requirement as my optometrist wanted to make sure that my vision wouldn’t drastically change as my eyes adjusted to not wearing contacts. Apparently the FDA only requires in the USA that you stop wearing contacts three days before your surgery but I’d rather be safe then sorry. Especially when this surgery was going to dictate my vision for the rest of my life.

One week prior to the surgery I had an appointment with my optometrist and he heavily dilated my eyes, ran my eyes through a series of tests and reconfirmed that I was good to go for LASIK. My husband picked me up after the appointment due to the heavy dilation as it was pretty hard to see for several hours.

The day of my LASIK surgery I was very nervous. I didn’t wear any makeup as the pre-op instructions tell you to come in with a clean face. My optometrist had also recommended that I not drink alcohol the night before or coffee in the morning of as you want to be well hydrated for the surgery.

My husband and I arrived for my appointment (you must have a driver to take you home) and checked in at LASIKPlus. I finished up some paperwork and then they ran some additional tests on my eyes. Then I waited for a bit and they did one more separate eye exam. This took about an hour with some wait times in between. Then I was taken to a different room to meet with the surgeon. This was actually the first time I had met with him. He and I chatted briefly. He explained the details of the surgery to me and that based on my prescription, age and other variables that I was a prime candidate for the surgery and should be very pleased with the results.  He then handed me a Valium, which based on how nervous I was this worked out well. I had been informed that this would be an option earlier and thought that it would be a good idea. The medication helps you to relax before and during the surgery.

He then put several eye drops in my eyes and took one final look at them through one of their machines. Then I was led into an additional waiting room. From that room I could actually hear a LASIK surgery happening in the room next door which was somewhat helpful but nerve-racking all at the same time.

About fifteen or so minutes after I had been brought into the waiting room, another assistant came into the room and gave me some additional eye drops. I was starting to feel pretty relaxed at this point, I think the Valium had started to kick in. She asked if I was ready and she led me into the room where the surgery was going to be held.

I remember seeing several large machines and two additional assistants in the room aside from the surgeon. They had my lie down on a reclining chair, similar to what I’ve sat in at the dentist. The surgeon then put some numbing drops in my eyes. At this point he said they were ready to begin and they covered my left eye with what seemed to be an eye patch. Then he started to work on my right eye.

This was probably the most uncomfortable part of the surgery and my right eye felt worse than my left. But honestly, both weren’t that bad really. I felt quite a bit of pressure as he put this clear round object on my right eye, and it was uncomfortable. I’m pretty sure that this is what they used to hold my eye open. I had seen some weird pictures online that made me pretty nervous of large clamps, but it didn’t look anything like that. He then pulled a machine over my face and it turned on. He told me to hold really still and then my vision changed and went to a grey color with stars. He had cut open a flap into my eye and then they removed the suction device. It all happened really quickly.

They then covered my right eye and did the same procedure again to my left eye. For whatever reason I felt far less pressure on my left eye, but maybe it was just because I knew what to expect this time around. Once that flap had been created I was ready for the laser.

Another machine was brought over my head and my right eye was placed under the machine. I was told to look straight at this bright dot in the middle of blackness and not to move. I had been told that the laser moves if you move but I sure was focused on not moving at all. During all of this, I should mention that the surgeon was really nice and was talking me through all the steps. I could ask questions at any points if I needed to.

The laser started and it made a strange clicking noise for about 19 seconds. Yes I counted to keep myself focused, and then it was over. The surgeon then used a tool and it seemed like he was wiping my eye with a solution. I also heard a strange sound and asked the surgeon if my eye was sizzling. I’m sure he found that amusing… He was really professional though and informed me that it was just a suction tool that they use similar to that a dentist uses to suction out excess water from your mouth.

The same process with the laser occurred on my left eye but only lasted for about 13 seconds I believe, so it was really a quick process. He finished up with the left eye and then the slowly sat me up and walked me over to a chair. The surgeon looked a my eyes through a typical eye machine I’ve seen several times at optometrist offices and said everything looked great. I was given a pair of sunglasses and escorted to a separate dark waiting room.

LASIK Eye Surgery
These were the sunglasses I wore for the first few days following the surgery to prevent myself from accidentally touching my eyes and to help with the sun glare.

At this point I was still pain-free and feeling really great, probably due to the Valium and the long-awaited surgery being over. I think I probably was in that waiting room for about 10 minutes before they brought me out to my husband. I was able to open my eyes and could see but it was somewhat blurry which was normal and to be expected. It felt better to keep them closed though.

I was instructed to go home and take a nap for a few hours to let me eyes rest and heal. Unfortunately, we hit rush hour traffic on the way home and it took way longer to get home than expected and the numbing drops wore off when we still had about 20 more minutes until we were home. This was the beginning of a very painful next couple hours for me.

Very quickly my eyes felt like they were burning and tears began to stream down my face and this continued to for several hours. The pressure I was feeling in my eyes moved up into my forehead and it was pretty unpleasant. Once we got home I did lay down and I took an excedrin pm hoping that it would help me sleep. Well it didn’t really work and I ended up maybe dozing off for about 30 minutes after lying in bed for about two hours. Unfortunately, it was an extremely unpleasant couple of hours.

In hindsight, I wish I would’ve taken some pain medication earlier and I’m surprised that the LASIK office didn’t offer me something before I left. However, if I had been able to fall asleep it would’ve been basically a pain-free experience.

Once I got out of bed, about four hours after my surgery I went out into the kitchen and had some dinner. I kept the sunglasses on at this point as I was very sensitive to light. I do remember looking up to see what time it was from across the room and being completely shocked that I could see the clock perfectly! I was so excited and couldn’t believe how perfect my vision already was! Over the next couple of months I was told my vision should continue to get better before it settles.

The rest of the evening I just listened to a podcast on the couch as my eyes were too sensitive to light to watch the tv. I had already started putting the required eye drops in as well. I slept really well that night and my eyes felt way better in the morning. They were just dry when I woke up but felt better once I put the drops in.

Over the next couple of days my eyes continued to feel better and better. They really didn’t feel bad even 48 hours after, just a little scratchy. I was hyper aware of them though because I was making sure not to touch or rub my eyes at all to let them heal properly.

LASIK eye surgery
Goggles I slept in for the first week to prevent my hands rubbing my eyes during the night.

Now, about three weeks post surgery I’m back to wearing full makeup and absolutely love the results! I can see better than I did with glasses or contacts and it’s been so freeing to not have to bring glasses or contact solution with me when I travel. I am still putting in eye drops several times a day, but only when my preset alarms go off. My eyes don’t typically feel dry which is great, but I just have to put in the drops for the next 3 to 6 months and it’s totally worth it.

Overall, I’m beyond pleased with the results! It has truly improved my quality of life and it was pretty painless (aside from those first few hours). I highly recommend LASIK surgery and I think it was worth every penny. If you have any questions, please just leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

xo,

Hillary

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Train Themed Birthday Party

Train Themed Birthday Party

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Yes, you read that correctly, I have a one year old! It’s so crazy to think that he is already that old but he is and we had so much fun recently celebrating his first birthday with family and friends.

I decided after much deliberation on a train theme for his birthday. I know I’ve mentioned on my blog before how much I love event planning and this was no exception. Planning and prepping for his birthday was almost as fun as the party itself. Let me know if you would like for me to do a separate blog post that focused on event planning tips in the comments below!

We held his party at a park since his birthday is in August and in Seattle most days are sunny and warm if not hot around this time of year. Not hosting it at our home meant for some extra planning and car trips back and forth hauling tables, food and chairs, but it was worth the effort to have the space and be outdoors.

Leading up to the party I planned out our menu, cake, decorations and what I wanted the event space layout to be. Having this all set before really helped the day of since we didn’t have a ton of time to get set up. I also pre-ordered the balloons to match with the purchased train themed items (plates, napkins, tablecloth) and made the food, cake and cupcakes the day before. I will be doing a separate blog post of the train cake that I made so check back soon for that.

For decorations I purchased a few train themed items and then did a few DIY projects as well. I made the two Railroad Crossing signs and they were super easy and inexpensive! I bought poster board from Hobby Lobby and then just had my husband use an exacto knife and cut the board into equal smaller pieces. I layered two pieces in an “X” shape to figure out how the lettering would work and then used a sharpie and wrote out Railroad Crossing on the two separate pieces. Once that was finished I used a hot glue gun to seal the two pieces together and that’s all it consisted of!

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I also took pictures of Carter each month showing his growth progression over his first year. It’s amazing to see how much he has changed in such a short period of time. I hung the photos just from some black ribbon in the tent so it was on display for everyone to see.

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The menu included: make-your-own pretzel bun sandwiches from the meat and cheese tray, fruit tray, veggie tray, pesto pasta salad, potato chips and train cake. I wanted items that were picnic focused but also easy to transport and eat.

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We had such a lovely time with our friends and family celebrating Carter. Happy Birthday!

xo

Hillary

On My 30th Birthday

On My 30th Birthday

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Today is my 30th birthday! It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was just graduating from high school and then college, but I guess it has been a while. Part of me is excited about the milestone and the other half of me is mildly panicking. Life is going by way too fast! But either way I guess I’m turning thirty.

My twenties were full of major accomplishments, learning from mistakes, growth and lots of love. In honor of my 30th birthday, I thought that I would recap some of my past life events and share things that I have learned in the past couple of decades. There are a few random facts about myself thrown in as well. And to stick with the theme of the day, I’m including a total of 30 items!

  1. When I was seventeen I competed in a Junior Miss Pageant. I quickly learned that pageants weren’t for me but it taught me a lot about stage presence and I didn’t trip!
  2. I graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism in less than four years.
  3. I have been waterskiing for as long as I can remember in Puget Sound (which is on average 50*F in the summer).
  4. My husband and I knew each other years before we started dating and actually went on several mission trips together through our church when we were teenagers. 309752_10100546154868168_2295814_n
  5. We started dating after college in 2009 and I married him in 2012. Our wedding colors were pink and more pink!
  6. My professional career started at a radio station, moved to a race track, then to a marketing company where I was laid off after two years. Shortly after I was hired at a digital marketing company and I worked there for three and a half years.
  7. Dogs pretty much terrify me. I am a cat person through and through.
  8. Not properly cutting open an avocado will result in you slicing your hand open, even if you’re on vacation in Hawaii. ‘Avocado hand’ is a real thing and unfortunately I know from experience.
  9. I am right-handed but can only deal cards and cart-wheel left-handed.
  10. I eat chocolate every day without fail. Usually before Noon…
  11. Saving money from a very young age is key. I’m so glad my parents instilled this in me when I was a child and it’s been so helpful as an adult. IMG_1965
  12. I bought my first car when I was 20, a 2003 Mini Cooper. It was amazing and my dream car. Sadly I had to sell it this year as our family grew in size and it wouldn’t easily accommodate a car seat. It also was a manual and I bought it without knowing how to use a stick.
  13. As a child and a teenager I was a total bookworm. I read more than I watched TV. However, I think I got burnt out in college with having to read so many textbooks and now I”m a total reality TV show junkie! I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette series, some of the Real Housewives shows, and food/baking competition shows. I do still read, just not nearly as much as I did earlier on in my life.
  14. If I hear someone use incorrect grammar, I most likely edit and correct it in my head.
  15. Next to a mirror in my house, I have a framed print that reads “Enjoy Today!” I think it’s nice to keep that in mind every day as life is hard and can be challenging, so finding enjoyment in each day is very important.
  16. My first CD ever was The Beach Boys. Now that makes me feel old.17971976_1290982797651479_7098622674707265874_o (1)
  17. We had our first baby this past year in 2016 and he is just the sweetest little guy. I love being able to stay at home with him.
  18. I am not a happy camper while camping. Although, I think that has to do with the several camping trips I had been on as a child in the rain. But I guess that’s what camping is like most often in the Pacific Northwest. I’m definitely a condo camper.
  19. In elementary school I started playing the cello and actually played it all the way through school into my senior year of college. It really taught me not just perseverance but also really developed my appreciation for classical music.
  20. I have been a Christ follower ever since I was a young child and am so thankful for my faith.
  21. My dad taught me how to play tennis when I was in eighth grade and I’m so grateful for that. It’s such a fun sport that I have and will continue to play for the rest of my life.
  22. I don’t know how people survived without Google or some form of GPS or cell phones! I love technology and how much easier it makes life.
  23. Being organized is so important and I think it leads to a more successful life.400156_655116724100_1040132315_n
  24. My girlfriends keep me grounded and I love the unique relationships that I have with each of them.
  25. Traveling helps to expand your horizons and also put your own life into perspective. I am lucky enough to have been to several different countries, but feel like there is still so much out theret that I want to explore.
  26. Beaches are my happy place.
  27. My career ended up going in a direction that I had never anticipated. I enjoyed my career but found that I wasn’t getting to write enough so I started this blog. Five years later it has provided me with a creative outlet I have really enjoyed. It has also inspired me to become a better cook and photographer.
  28. Being married (five years in a few weeks!) has really helped me to become a more thoughtful and considerate. I love my husband and appreciate that he puts up with me. 🙂292494_722002768930_226491506_n
  29. Becoming a mom has helped me handle situations in a much more calm manner and has really instilled a level of patience in me that I never knew I had.
  30. And finally, Happy Birthday to my dad as well! We have the same birthday, which is pretty special and I’m lucky to share the day with him.

That was a lot! I feel like my thirties have a lot to live up to. I’m looking forward to taking all that I have learned in the past and applying it as I move forward into my thirties. May it be my best decade yet!

xo

Hillary