Thought I’d chronicle the last few days of my PRK recovery journey here. I got it done at Icon in Lone Tree, CO, for $1,295 for both eyes. I chose PRK over Lasik because of the shaping of my eye making LASIK slightly riskier according to their pretty detailed analysis at the free consultation.
Day 1 Saturday
[This was written afterwards since I wanted to avoid the light of the screen and focusing my eyes too much on the day of the surgery, plus I was drugged out and wanted to sleep as much as possible because I had to get back to work writing code by Thursday].
The surgery itself was maybe 1/10 on the pain scale. I felt a stinging, burning sensation as they prepped my eye for the laser by dropping what looked like goop in my eye a couple times and rubbing it around with a mini brush. The laser itself took maybe 5 seconds on each eye. It’s not burning the eye, but it does have a similar smell when it’s actually lasering. I didn’t even notice when they put the contact on after it was all done. They were counting up the whole time for each stage, so I knew how long each little part would last.
I did take a Xanax a few minutes beforehand but I don’t think it worked very well on me. Maybe should have waited a little bit longer.
They gave me a bag with three sets of eye drops: one for the pain, which I was to only take for the first two days; one that was a three-in-one, antibiotic for the healing and to prevent infection to take every 4 hours for the first week; and one set of artificial tears to take after the 2nd day to help keep it lubricated.
I called the on-call doctor because I was having some pain in my left eye only. He told me to take the drops every day minutes for an hour instead of every 4 hours, and it subsided. My right eye was okay… just felt like having contacts on. I went to sleep off-and-on after that, only waking to put the drops in my eye, put the sleeping goggles they provided back on, and fiddle with my phone. They gave me percocet, which is Oxycodone and Acetaminophen, so I got pretty tired. Their “goggles” were really just tape and two clear sturdy plastic eye patches to literally tape over my eyes by wrapping the included tape around my head. I hated the residue of the tape on my skin and hair, so I made a makeshift adjustable strap with some velcro and an eyeglasses strap attached to their eye patches. The tape did help with making padding for my silly goggles.
Day 2 Sunday
[I spent most of the night sleeping off and on with podcasts in my ear. I was tearing a lot. I couldn’t see the screen on the computer enough to look at it, let alone type anything.]
I went to the clinic at 8AM with their cheap sunglasses on for the first check-up. The doctor saw some speck of something in my eye and removed it, but said that the first day was the worst. The first day didn’t seem that bad compared to the rest of today. A lot of discomfort, tearing, and applying eyedrops which felt like Jesus’s tears.
Day 3: Monday
[Verbatim what I tried to write into notepad because I couldn’t see well enough to get on here. Plus it hurt to even focus my eyes. I assume it’s just some sort of extreme pupil dilation during recovery.]
Here we go. Nwow I can see, kind of. It’s day… Monday, so Day 3 I suppose. Saturday AM was the surgery. Today has been the best day so far, pain wise and vision wise, although I still cannot seem to look at the computer screen for more than a couple of seconds, and this is even with the brightness and contrast allt ehw way down.
I’m not even looking at the screen now, isnce I’ve started typing. So I will be making a lot of corrections once I am done. I wasn’t even able to get to my blog properly, I’m typng in notepad with the darkest style enabled.
So far, and I will fill in the previous days’ info, since Day 2 I have been sleeping a lot. They gave 4 days worth of Percocet, which is hoxycodone nd tylonenol or Acetaminophen. which hhas made my pretty tired and able to sleep through ASMR videos and podcasts off-and-on. I had some pain this morning and was crying profusely when in bed from about 6AM until I got up out of bed at 8AM. I wasn’t sad of course. But I had been up off and on since probably 2-4AM. I slept most of yseterday during the day too. Probably most of the time between 2PM and 8PM when I finally went to “bed”. Then I woke up around 10PM, midnghit, 2AM, and so on, almost every hour and a half to go take meds. I was told yesterday the the followup that I could take them more often yesterday than otherwise planned because I had something in my eyes and they were a bit more aggravated. P:robably because I did not sleep directly after the surgery, because I did not read the paperwork really. I waited an hour or so. Not a good idea I think.
I went and bought sunglasses today, which made it a bit easier to look at the screen now, even though it still is like staring at the sun. I think I will do better tomorrow although the brightness sensitivity is still a bit surprising to me. I’m pretty okay around the house but it’s just looking at this monitor that is killing me.
Day 4 Tuesday
Not much pain at all today, mostly just dryness and a feeling that something is wedged between my eyeball and eyelid (presumably the contact lens and maybe some inflammation from the procedure[?]). I walked to Walgreens, about 1/4 mile round trip, to buy some new sunglasses since the ones they gave me were just a disposable film with cardstock paper for the sides. I slept in these new ones while on the couch, instead of the ones that Icon gave me. I knew I wasn’t going to be rolling around so I wouldn’t be touching my eyes.
Day 5 Wednesday
Today putting in the antibiotic eyedrops hurt like hell. It might be because I stopped taking the Percocet last night so I just am not numb to the pain. I drove today for the first time but I noticed my vision is definitely not 20/20, and I probably shouldn’t be driving yet. I had some trouble getting to sleep because of some pain in my left eye — probably from using it a lot more today. I took a percocet and a sleeping pill so I can go back to work tomorrow. I tried just a Tylenol but that didn’t have any affect on my ocular pain.
Day 6 Thursday
Today, aside from the painful eye drops, hasn’t been that bad. My vision is maybe half-way between where it was and where it was with glasses. I think it’s just these contacts that are the biggest issue. I accidentally took a nap without any special glasses on to protect my eyes but it seemed okay. I ran out of percocet but it’s okay, I have no more pain, just slight dryness and discomfort on occasion. I think I’m mostly healed and now it’s just time to get the contacts off tomorrow.
Day 7 Friday
Eyes are still dry. I went to my 7 day checkup today and he said I was doing well but need to use the Artificial Tears eyedrops more. There really isn’t any harm or possibility in overusing so I’m going to be drenching my eyes several times an hour if I can remember because my vision is still pretty blurry.
In summation, I should have probably spent more time in darkness in the first 7 days, and probably used the artificial tears more. I didn’t really get very good instructions from Icon, just one sheet of paper and small tidbits from the doctors or the assistants. Still, for the price it seems like it’s going well. The same surgery at the Lasik Center here was almost $1,000 more. I just wish the folks at Icon had told me more and maybe provided more materials, but I probably should have sought out more advice as well. So I’d rate the experience so far at 95/100, as long as my vision keeps getting better.