A Little History
I was twelve when I realized that I could not see clearly the things written in the blackboard. I immediately told my dad and he brought me to an eye doctor that afternoon after school. Turns out, I was already nearsighted and had a 50 grade on one eye, and 75 on the other. I got my first eyeglasses that day and I thought that it looked cool on me. It made me a legit nerd. lol
It was okay at first because I did not have to wear my glasses all the time. I just wore them when I needed to. But my grade just went up and up every year that it was not fun anymore. My eyeglasses limited my actions. I could not wear sunglasses whenever I wanted. I have a lot of photos where my eyeglasses were on my hands because I just took them off for the photo, like this photo below. lol
I wanted to take my glasses off in this photo too but it was too cold to take my hands off my pockets. lol
With college (#accountingpamore) and the CPA board exams, my grade just rocketed to 300+. I finally opened myself to the idea of getting Lasik surgery done because my sucky eyesight was getting too annoying.
Before I decided to finally go through with Lasik, I had my fears. I was afraid that it wouldn’t work on me and all the money that I would pay for it will just go to waste. I was scared that the machine will malfunction and it would leave me blind. I finally gathered my courage and went on a check-up to see if I was a candidate for Lasik.
It’s perfectly normal to have fears, because it’s an unnecessary procedure. I mean I could go on with my life wearing glasses or contacts and I’d be okay. But the comfort of wearing sunglasses whenever I wanted to (without wearing contacts), and swimming without contacts and actually see stuff, and being able to play ultimate without wearing contacts made me decide that I want to go through with the surgery.
I had my eye checked on November 15, 2016 at Dr. Yong Larrazabal’s Clinic at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. His associate, Dr. Hazel gave me a few tests and we both went to Dr. Yong’s clinic after with the results. He examined my eyes and told me that my cornea was thick enough and so I was a candidate for Lasik. He told me to ask him anything about what I wanted to know about Lasik. Here were some of my questions and his answers:
1. What would I do if Lasik did not work on me?
He told me that it’s very rare for that to happen and he would do Lasik to me again after a few months if it didn’t work.
2. I rub my eyes a lot. Will I be able to do that again after Lasik? (LOL)
He told me that rubbing our eyes is a very bad habit. But yes, I can still do it after Lasik.
3. Should I expect 20/20 vision after?
He told me that he will be giving me 20/18 vision, better than 20/20 since I told him that I’m in the computer most of the time because of work.
4. Can I undergo Lasik surgery again in the future?
I think he said yes. But he told me that to ensure that I can still be a candidate for Lasik next time, we can do corneal cross-linking. It’s an additional procedure that will strengthen the cornea after Lasik.
I was a little shy to ask him a lot of questions because I was reading them from the notes of my phone. I just asked Dr. Hazel my other questions in my follow up check-up. The receptionist told me to follow these instructions before my Lasik surgery:
I needed to have my surgery done within a month after my check-up because the results were only valid for a month. I had the surgery the day after my birthday, on December 14, 2016 since Dr. Larrazabal’s schedule for Lasik surgery is only every Wednesday. I followed all the instructions but I forgot to wash my eyelashes with Johnson’s baby shampoo. lol
I arrived on time, and I took the Valium that the nurse gave me. She also gave me a consent form where all the possible risks and side effects of Lasik were written. I couldn’t back down at that point so I signed it and the nurse brought me inside their surgery room after. I put on a blue medical gown and a shower cap and wore their big slippers in my thick socks. Dr. Hazel checked my eyes again and gave me anesthesia drops at the waiting area. I managed to take a quick selfie at the waiting area. lol
I was first our of three patients to get the surgery done. One of the patients who I think was in his 20’s had a grade of 1100 but he told me it was genetic. He was close to being blind!
I was finally called to the surgery room. It all went by so fast, around 20 minutes max. I just felt a little discomfort at times but I didn’t feel any pain at all. They first taped my eyes open and I didn’t even feel the flap being made. They opened the flap to do the Lasik and I can just remember smelling something burning but it wasn’t painful. They just told me to look into the green light the whole time. My boyfriend took this photo from outside the surgery room.
I got the cornea cross-linking done as well. The procedure involved pouring a yellow solution into my eyes and then exposing it to UV rays after. Again it was to strengthen my cornea after Lasik. The most uncomfortable part for me was when they were washing residue away from my eyes. They did this by pouring I think water to my eyes to get rid of any residue. I was even brought back to the surgery room after the other two patients were done to have my eyes washed again. It was freakin uncomfortable.
I went out of the surgery room after that and it immediately became impossible for me to open my eyes. I tried to open my eyes but it was like my eyelids were glued close. The nurse just poured another drop of anesthesia into my eyes and told me that it was because of my eyes’ exposure to UV rays so it was normal.
I finally was able to open my eyes after a few minutes! I was given a kit with a bottle of Vigadexa (antibiotics) and Dextran (for my dry eyes) and another set of do’s and dont’s after Lasik. I still had a hazy vision that time and so I just dropped Vigadexa into my eyes and slept the whole afternoon with my safety goggles on. When I woke up from my nap, my vision was already clear but still a little hazy. I could now read stuff from far away that I could not read before!
I went for a follow up check-up the day after with Dr. Yong. I remember him checking my eyes and asking me if my vision was okay. I don’t remember asking him a lot of questions but I did ask if I could take a photo with him. lol
I was given these instructions for my eye drops.
I went for another follow-up check-up a week later with Dr. Hazel. She run some more tests on my eyes. I remember my eyes being very dry that day. I used the computer a lot in the morning that day in an airconditioned room. She told me that using the computer for long periods of time actually makes our eyes dry. Lasik itself will make our eyes dry because the nerves in the cornea were cut when making a flap. The eye will not sense the need for lubrication that much anymore therefore causing dry eyes.
The Aftermath 😉
I had to wear the safety goggles for a month after the surgery. There were some limitations after the surgery like no swimming and exercising to prevent my eyes from getting an infection. But I went on a long haul flight to Los Angeles after two weeks of getting Lasik wearing my goggles and it turned out fine. Immigration just asked me why I was wearing safety goggles. They were worried I had sore eyes or something. So here’s me after I arrived in LA with my safety goggles! 😉
It’s now six months after the surgery and my life has just been so much better. I have gone to beach trips and swam with turtles and played a lot of ultimate without contacts on. Traveling is so much easier now without my glasses and contacts! I can move freely and I can now wear sunglasses everyday whenever I want to without having to wear contacts!
I stopped dropping Hiabak (which was for my dry eyes) around 3 months after getting Lasik. I still get dry eyes sometimes, especially after that time that I went on a beach trip so I still put eye drops every now and then. I can still see starburst and a little glare whenever I see lights at night but even with the slight side effects, getting Lasik was still worth it. It’s worth the time, effort and money.
Some of my friends told me that my eyesight will go back after a few years but I asked Dr. Hazel how to maintain my 20/18 vision and she told me to just follow the 20/20/20 rule. She told me that for every 20 minutes that I’m in my computer, I should read something 20 feet away for 20 seconds before I go back working on my computer screen.
I guess that’s it for my Lasik exprience! You may ask me your questions in the comments section. I’d love to answer them! 🙂 If you want to contact my doctor, here are the deets:
Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III M.D. (husband of Donna Cruz. lol)
Contact Number for Lasik – (032) 256-2020
Cebu Doctor’s Hospital, Cebu City