Eye-laser surgery diary (Trans-PRK method)

3. Recovery process, week 1

Day 1, August 13, 2015

I am completely fucked up — there is really no other way of putting it. After being on this planet for 28 years, I’ve broken almost half a dozen bones in my body, I’ve torn several muscles, I’ve had my eardrum ruptured, and I’ve had my share of rough mornings. This is far worse than anything I’ve experienced so far.

My eyes are absolutely killing me and I’m completely disoriented. The entire day consists of me fighting to not pass out from the pain and misery. Over-the-counter painkillers don’t seem to do anything, I can barely eat and drink, and lying down is not an option because I’m afraid it will make me throw up. I literally spend the entire day sitting in a chair in misery while pouring drops in my eyes.

My eyes are incredibly sensitive to light. Even the dimmest source is too bright for me. Even with my eyes closed and special super dark shades the eye-laser people gave me, I can see silhouettes of my hands if I move them in front of my face. It’s almost like having x-ray vision. Another strange thing: I’m extremely thirsty. I drank a huge amount of water today, but I barely had to pee.

Until the next appointment, I will need to put tear drops in my eyes every 15 minutes, antibiotic drops 4 times a day, and anti-bacterial drops also 4 times a day.

At nighttime, I’m completely exhausted and eventually pass out. It takes around half an hour for me to be able to lie down and pass out without throwing up.

Day 2, August 14, 2015

I feel slightly better than yesterday, but not a whole lot. I would equate this to a nightmare-hangover combined with sand-filled eyes. As the day moves on, things start to slowly get better, although I’m still completely incapacitated. In the evening, I can barely handle eating half meal.

This was another day that was straight-up miserable from start to finish.

Day 3, August 15, 2015

I wake up with a migraine, but feel notably better than yesterday. At noon, I can actually open my eyes again in short bursts. As the day goes on, I rapidly start to feel better. When evening comes around, my eyes actually feel pretty good and the headache is gone. Walking around and doing basic stuff is possible again. I can actually read and even look at a computer screen with the brightness on the lowest setting. Finally some relief.

Today was a hundred times better than yesterday. I almost forget how bad the two days before were.

Day 4, August 16, 2015

I wake up feeling just fine. My eyes seem to function sort of normally again, and I’m not ultra-sensitive to light anymore. I can see sharper than I could without glasses, but things are still hazy and distorted. This is to be expected, as I’m still wearing the bandage-contacts and my eyes are still recovering.

In the evening, I watch a couple of episodes of Deadliest Catch with my folks. Watching TV is possible again.

Excited for tomorrow, as the bandage-contacts get taken out.

Day 5, August 17, 2015

Probably the first Monday I genuinely looked forward to in years. I walk back into the clinic, and the contacts get taken out. To my surprise, there’s not much change in vision. My eyes feel vulnerable and “naked”. The assistant looks at my eyes with a machine and tells me they’re healing up nicely. The outer layer has already regained about 30% of its total thickness. I also get a reading test, and I score 55% with my right eye, and 65% with my left eye. Apparently, we’re on track, and I’m okay to leave.

I won’t have to take antibiotic drops anymore, and I get different tear drops that I will only have to take every hour now.

After half an hour or so, my eyes start feeling better and better. It’s like there was a grain of sand in there that is taken out now. As the day goes on, they feel better and better. It’s truly a relief.

Day 6, August 18, 2015

Vision seems to be getting better and better. I’m not there yet, but well on the way. I can read the tag on a car from 20 meters out now. My range before the laser surgery would be 3 meters or so. I return to work and I can sit behind a computer again. Around 3 ‘o clock, I feel my eyes are tired from looking at the screen, though.

Eyes are still sensitive and feel vulnerable, there’s no pain anymore, except a stingy feeling every now and then. Part of the recovery process.

Day 7, August 19, 2015

Pretty much the same as yesterday, but a little bit better. Eyes feel a little more rested.

Day 8, August 20, 2015

One week in! Vision is better yet again than yesterday. The tired eyes also start a little later than yesterday.

Friday. I get through the work day just fine, but I’m still a little more tired than usual. After work, I head out to have a couple of beers with friends. They ask how my eyes are doing, and I read the beer menu to to them that’s about 10 meters away. They’re amazed, as they can’t read that with their “normal” eyes. I’m amazed by this as well, actually.

Next: Recovery process, week 2