With the meds, the ulcer was only supposed to last a couple more days but instead it found a home in my right eye and decided to stay for a month! The ulcer shrunk in size from 2mm X 2mm to 1mm X 1mm after the first week but then remained at .5mm X .5mm the remainder of the month. I thought that was good but turns out it wasn’t. Even though the ulcer was getting smaller, it still stuck around long enough to revert. I was afraid it would grow back again so I continued taking the prescribed meds religiously until the ulcer vanished completely. I had lost my eyesight for about a week but it slowly came back as the ulcer healed. After being on the antibiotics for a month and making extensive hospital visits on a weekly basis, my doctor finally gave me the good news: the corneal ulcer was gone. The bad news: my eyesight sucks. I was told my eyes are prone to infection and I should stay away from contacts to prevent them from irritating the ulcer scar. My eyes have always been photophobic (sensitive to light) and putting sunglasses over my glasses was a hassle during the day. More importantly, after the effects of my corneal ulcer I no longer had the right prescription of glasses so I would have to go and get those updated. But you cannot get your glasses prescription updated unless you first go through an eye exam which can be expensive if you are going back and doing it every year as you are supposed to. Nevertheless, I wore glasses during these past couple months until I realized, I could live without them.
I never thought of getting LASIK eye surgery until my doctor had told me I may be a perfect candidate for it. Even then, I figured it would cost a fortune as the average procedure usually costs ~$4,000 (bladed) to $6,000 (bladeless). Shortly after, my father shared with me a groupon floating around for a bladed LASIK procedure worth only $1900! I was skeptical at first and did tons of research on the private practice that offered this very inexpensive permanent solution. I then realized Vision One LASIK Center is not just legit but it is also reputable and brilliant. There was one success story after another! I spoke to the doctors on phone and felt very reassured with the whole practice and process. I instantly started saving up for it.
3 weeks later, I went to the Lombard location of the Vision One LASIK Center, to have the LASIK procedure done (only Lombard location does the procedures, downtown and Arlington Heights locations perform consultations and follow-ups). It was a full house. There were so many people and I liked seeing that. It meant this place was doing something right. I felt like I was the youngest there. Seems like the average age was 35-40 and mostly men. Because of my eye problems (ulcer scar, myopic astigmatism, and increased pressure) I was part of the very last group to get it done. There were many groups that went before us and the place was starting to clear up. At the very end of the day, there were ~17 of us left. We all had similar issues and so they had us wait the longest. If you are an average person with not many eye problems then you would most likely have gotten the surgery done much earlier.
Before arriving to the center, I had picked up my prescribed meds and I had arrived at my appointment time which was 5:30pm-9:30pm. During the four hours of waiting time, we had paperwork to fill out (and by paperwork I mean lots and lots of consent forms which were really starting to freak me out). I didn’t worry too much about all the side effects or things that could go wrong because I understood it’s a common procedure and this place was highly experienced and reputable. I also remembered it’s common protocol before every surgery to be informed of the risks so I just signed off on them, knowing I’ve made it this far and there was no turning back for me…We watched videos on how to use our eyedrops after the surgery, there were additional vision tests performed before the surgery, and a lot of downtime in which I managed to write and submit an essay for school (: yay for free wifi! :)
Things were running late, after 9:30 pm we were still sitting and waiting. Since we practically spent the whole evening at the center, the staff had kindly ordered dominos pizza for us. Finally, Dr. Burger who performed my surgery, started calling out each of us one by one. Luckily, I was approximately the fifth person called and I went in with my fingers crossed hoping I was approved. I was. They gave me my eye kit (with sunglasses, goggles, & wetting drops) and I wore a scrub cap. I laid down on the bed and right above me was the LASIK-VISX technology that was going to forever fix my poor eyesight.
Side-Note: If you are planning on getting LASIK done, I strongly encourage you go with someone to support you during the procedure! A hand to hold will make all the difference! I went by myself assuming it wasn’t going to hurt and all my loved ones were busy with other things at the time. By the time I actually sat for the procedure, it was already 10pm. Expect it to be a “half a day thing” (at Vision One LASIK Center).
Side-Note: A lot of people look up the procedure on youtube beforehand, I strongly suggest not to. I did not and so I had no idea what to expect but from what I’ve heard from the people who have watched it on YouTube, it’s horrifying and grotesque. I've watched it now, and let me tell you, actually having it done is not half as bad as watching it done.
I went to my post-op appointment the next day downtown and my vision had dramatically improved! Later that week, I went again for another post-op appointment (they keep you in check!) and I had been informed from Dr. Brand that my vision was better than ever and I no longer needed to take the medications! I had shared with him my painful experience and he was surprised. He says that happens very rarely but it does happen. Some people will feel it. In a case like mine, because I have never had any other type of surgery before, I was not aware of my anesthesia absorption rate but it turns out people like me who are able to feel the pain during the surgery have a fairly high absorption rate and need more anesthesia than the standard amount. Also because of everything my eyes have been through, they had become very sensitive to pain. Please keep in mind, my experience was very rare and not everyone should feel pain at all. I asked around at the post-op appointments and it seemed everyone else felt a bit of pressure and irritability but that was about it. Not nearly as dreadful as my experience was. Lucky them. In spite of my experience, it was absolutely worth it.
Not even a week in and I already have 20/15 vision, which much to my surprise is better than 20/20 vision! I learned that it basically means a person with 20/15 vision can see objects at 20 feet that a person with 20/20 vision can only see at 15 feet. Confused? This clarified it for me: https://www.eyecaretyler.com/resources/how-the-eye-works/what-does-2020-mean/
Needless to say, getting LASIK was by far the best investment ever! Why? I walked in with -4 eyesight and an astigmatism of 2 (400% more than the normal which is .5) and walked out with better than the standard 20/20 vision that I could have only dreamed of having in this lifetime.