Lasik laser vision correction surgery – some of you may have heard of it, some of you may not have. I’m here to tell you why I chose to get the corrective surgery at North Shore Eye Care located on Long Island.
Do your research before Laser Eye Surgery
Back in April of 2004 I did the UNTHINKABLE. Friends, along with family couldn’t believe I wanted corrective surgery. Why? Well, I didn’t even like eye drops. If you’re a Friends fan, think Rachel when she had the eye infection. Have the image in your head, now magnify by 1000. That’s me.
What my family, and friends, didn’t realize: I suffered from severe headaches thanks to the way my glasses sat on my face, and around my ears. It didn’t matter what frames I wore, I suffered. When I took my glasses off, the headaches went away. In the beginning, I thought it was the prescription. No such luck. After many attempts to adjust my prescription, still, the headaches persisted. Plus, I didn’t have vision insurance. All the exams, glasses and hoopla cost a ton of money.
I researched alternatives to glasses and my options were contacts or Lasik Eye Surgery. In my mind, since I hated anyone near my eyes, as well as putting things in my eyes, such as eye drops and MY FINGER, contacts were out. PLUS, spending so much on contacts every single year, made me sick to my stomach. I reasoned with myself.
Go through the surgery and get it over with quickly. Once done, there’s no more people in my eyes. Just get the surgery, and be on my way! Plus, the money. It saved money in the long run. When a young woman doesn’t have vision coverage, things get out of hand with yearly eye exams, and paying for glasses, and contacts. After my eye surgery, insurance considers my eye doctor a specialist. Translation: regular insurance covers my eye exams. Co-pays are much cheaper than paying for expensive eye exams at an optometrist, instead of an eye surgeon.
In April of 2004, after receiving my tax return from the good old IRS, I started the process of getting corrective eye surgery. By far, the best f-ing decision I ever made. Granted, it was NOT all lollipops, and roses. The worst part? Testing. Doctors ran lots of tests to make sure I was a strong candidate for the Lasik eye surgery. Every test required eyes drops. Oh joy.
Not to get graphic, the density test on my cornea was an experience. Basically during the consultation drops went in my eyes to numb them. Once my eyes were numb, a big needle-type contraption was inserted into my eye. I didn’t feel a thing, but it was a bit….hell, it scared the shit out of me. To keep my mind off of the task at hand, the nurses, and doctor, asked a lot of questions. All questions needed for the consultation, of course. At the end of the testing, I was told I was a good candidate since I hadn’t been using contact lenses, and I didn’t have dry eyes.
Next step: scheduling the procedure. A pre-op is done to dilate my eyes. If you’ve never had your eyes dilated, they put drops in your eyes, then leave you in a dark room for a while so your pupils dilate as big as possible.
You’re not aware of this, because it’s hard to see in photos of me, but I have CRAZY DARK BROWN eyes. Almost black. It takes longer to dilate my eyes. Unfortunately, it took about 45 minutes to an hour for the dilation to work enough for them to take readings for the surgery scheduled for the following morning. It doesn’t hurt to have this done, however, it messes up your vision. It’s hard to see to drive!
One rule I had no issue with: no make up. Since I don’t wear makeup, the requirement of no eye makeup for 24 hours before the surgery didn’t bother me. I’m sure others struggle with this piece of the eye surgery puzzle.
Nerves set in
The morning of the surgery I was nervous. Luckily, they provided pills to relax me. I filled out some last minute paperwork while the pills did their work. By the time I was called into the operating room, I felt rather calm. Once I entered the room, they asked me to lay down on the operating table. The doctor worked behind me. He never stood over me. He worked on one eye, then the other.
On a side note: I had to sign something to approve having both eyes operated on at the same time.
The nurse held my hand throughout the surgery. She talked to me, and truly kept me calm. The noise of the machine drowned out a lot of my thoughts, too. But man, when I sat up, I was so happy, I didn’t even care that I’d have to put two different kinds of drops in my eyes four times a day.
Seeing is believing
When he finished both eyes, they taped little shields over my eyes and sat me up. The plastic was a bit cloudy, but I almost cried. It wasn’t from pain, or fear. It was shear happiness. I could read signs around the room. I saw all the staff’s faces. Nothing was blurry.
It hit me hard: I could SEE. I could see clearly immediately after my surgery.
This immediate result is NOT the same for all people. Most people need a few days for the surgery to take affect. No clue why I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m glad, though!
After corrective eye surgery care
They sent me home with sleeping pills to get me through the night without pain. Once the stuff they numb your eyes with wears off, it’s a little painful for a short amount of time. Luckily, I slept for almost the whole night without issues. When I woke up the next morning, and pulled off the eye shields, I was ready to rock the world!
Shockingly, I was able to give myself the required eye drops. I mean, it took a while, but I did it. After the drops, I threw the sunglasses they gave me on. The sunglasses had to worn for a week. Indoors, and outdoors. It helps keep dirt, and particles from entering your eyes. Plus, it helps with light sensitivity. Best part? I drove myself to the follow up appointment! After a week of my required drops, and another follow-up appointment, I had confirmation of 20/20 vision.
Let me make this clear – this is my own story of my experience with the North Shore Eye Care on Long Island. Some may not have had a great experience like I did, some may have had a great experience with someone else. All I can say is this is the best thing I ever did for myself! I go each year to the same place to get my eyes checked, to the same doctor and staff at North Shore and I love them. Sometimes the wait is long, but in the end, the nurses, staff and doctors are awesome. I used Dr. Zweibel. And their assistant, Jennifer is the best!
I DID NOT GET PAID to post this. I’m sharing my positive experience with a great staff of skilled surgeons, and nurses.
Oh my! I can not imagine the courage it must have taken. Thanks so much for sharing this story. I have always been so afraid of even the thought of it. I just always think – what if they mess up? But you know, you have a great point – all the money that I spend on my eyes is insane!
I have heard very few cases that they messed up. I'm not sure if they do both eyes at once anymore, but I would never have done it if I had to go back….just silly! Of course, if something goes wrong with the first eye, they won't move on to the second one. I recommend getting a screening to see if you can do it – then weigh out the pros and cons.
Honestly, I don’t know if I can be that brave. I’m really glad that you shared your story – I think it will help enlighten people!
You would be surprised how brave you can be with the amazing doctors and staff where I went. Even now, they are just awesome.