One week later

Sooo, what a week it’s been, and in a good way! Everything went really smoothly last Tuesday. After signing consent forms and some waiting around in the hospital the lens was implanted into my left eye. I think I was knocked out for about 45mins in total, so it didn’t take too long to get out of the hospital afterwards.

Immediately after leaving the hospital, the first stop was back to the eye clinic to check the pressure in my eye. All looked good, so the bandages were removed and I was sent home with an a followup appointment scheduled for the next morning. My vision was pretty good out of the left eye – much more so than I’d been expecting, and there was no pain.

At the check-up the following day again my eye pressure was good, and my sight had improved from -11 to -0.25. The astigmatism had been halved, from 2.5 down to 1.25, and I was told that the remaining amount could be removed by laser in a few weeks.

Initially I was trying to either use my glasses and cover the “fixed” eye with a patch, or use the “fixed” eye and cover my right eye with a patch, but both of these were resulting in headaches. For the past few days I’ve taken to wearing no glasses and relying on my left eye to do most of the seeing. This is a little weird, as my right eye has always been stronger, but I’ve adjusted. I’ve driven a little bit, and it’s okay during the day, but I think that night-time driving would be a bit of a risk. The right eye causes a lot of halo-ing at night without glasses, and it’s very easy to end up with blurry vision because of it.

Today I had my one-week checkup and started on my eye-drop regimen for the second eye. I think my vision has improved even more in the past week, but there’s still a bit of blur caused by the remaining astigmatism. When that was corrected in the eye-test my sight was incredibly sharp – I could read the smallest text on the test and it felt awesome! The doctor mentioned that I probably wouldn’t even need to get that astigmatism corrected when the second eye is done, and that my near-vision might be better when I’m older if I don’t get it corrected… but my thinking on it is that I’ve waited so long to get this done that I want it completed, not left half-undone because the intitial results were “good enough”.

D-Day

So, tomorrow’s the day. It’ll either be awesome, or I’ll be completely ruining my sight and mucking up my left eye.

Have to head to the clinic for 12, where there’ll be a quick overview of the procedure again, some consent forms, lots of money, and then I’ll be shipped over to the hospital. It’s done under a general anaesthetic, so I’ll be knocked out for a couple of hours. Should be ready to go home by 6pm at the latest I think.

People have told me that I’m crazy to get this done – it’s a lot of effort, a lot of money, and it could go badly wrong. On the other hand, I’m hoping it’ll be LEGEND….ary, and I’ll finally be able to get rid of glasses. I don’t think that anyone who hasn’t worn big heavy glasses every single day for at least 20 years can appreciate the idea of not having to put up with them anymore. There’s a big difference between the glasses that you can wear with a -2 prescription and the ones you can get with -10 :)

Anyway… fingers crossed. I’ve been super good with my eye drops (one anti-inflammatory, and one steriod), so I guess it’s time to roll the dice!

One week to go!

RIght, I’m getting the first of my eyes fixed next week. Wuhoo. I got a call today from the clinic giving me the details of how it’s going to happen:

First off, a quick chat with the surgeon to confirm what we’re doing and for him to calm down any nerves etc. Then it’s over to the hospital where I’ll pay a lot of money, get knocked out, and have the lens inserted into my worst eye (my left). The next day I’ve to return for a checkup. I’ll be wearing an eye-patch until the process is repeated on my second eye (two weeks later).

I got prescriptions for three eye drops today. One of them I start taking today, 4 times a day in my left eye. I start taking the second drop from saturday in addition to the first. The third one is a post-operative drop. From the charts they sent me it looks like I’m going to be squirting a lot of this stuff into my eyes for the next 6 weeks, and I’d imagine even more again after the followup laser.

From what I’ve read, I should be able to see okay from the eye after a day or two. I’m hoping that the vision will end up being about on-par with the contact lenses I wear, but it’s really a wait and see kind of thing I think. Fingers crossed!

Lens selection

My first contact with the clinic which I chose to visit was 6 years ago. They’d the best reputation for any of the eye surgery clinics here in Ireland, and I’m not so comfortable with the idea of going to a more mass-market surgery / clinic when it’s my sight that’s going to be tampered with.

The staff at the clinic were very helpful, but they gave me the bad news that I wouldn’t be able to get laser eye surgery done because of the combination of my two issues. At this point it was suggested that they could replace the natural lens in my eye with an artifical lens (similar to a cataract surgery) which would solve my problem. I ran a mile.

I left it 5 years before going back to see had the options changed. I’d done some research online, and there were new Phakic IOLs which had been developed – these lenses sit between the cornea and the natural lens of the eye, and as such they’re removable in the case of problems. Here’s an idea of where these kinds of lenses sit in the eye, and what they look like:

I figured that I’d be told that I could get one of these lenses, either an artisan lens or an artisan toric lens. Toric lenses correct both astigmatism and myopia. Instead, my doctor recommended a new lens called a cachet lens. I’m going to blatently rip off bits of another website which shows how this lens works:

There are a couple of nice features about this lens. First, it’s flexible, so it folds up really small before injection into the eye. This means that you don’t need stitches in your eye after it’s inserted, so the healing time is reduced from about 8 weeks to 4 weeks.

The second nice feature is the way that the lens is self-balancing. The arms on the lens hold it stable in the eye, so it’s not hooked into the iris, and there’s less chance of it becoming “loose” in your eye.

The cachet lens doesn’t correct astigmatism however, so the current plan is to try and see if it’s possible to reduce the level of astigmatism I have by careful selection of the insertion point for the lens. It’s highly likely however that I will need laser correction for the astigmatism once both implants are in place and my eyes have healed. I’m okay with this, but it means that post-implant insertion and pre-laser my sight won’t be as good as it is now with my glasses.