Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independance Day (to my eyes)

So, I've got big news for those of you not on Facebook - Thursday afternoon at 5:30pm, I finally got LASIK eye surgery!

Contrary to last year, going up to the surgery I wasn't feeling nervous at all. I felt very calm and zen about the whole thing and didn't have any trouble falling asleep the night before. Once at the clinic, they did some last minute eye exams and then walked me through the procedure. After the exams, I sat in a darkened room for about 20 minutes while they prepared the machines, and then it was time to go. I still felt calm going in - and only had one minor moment of panic when the laser was actually coming down to cut the corneal flap. Just a brief "WTF are you doing?? A laser is about to cut your eye in a foreign country, are you insane?!?" And then it passed and it was all over before I knew it. They say it only takes 15 minutes from start to finish.

After that, I sat in the darkened room again and they gave me juice and cookies. The following patient was brought in and I chatted with him a bit. He asked if I was in pain, and I said no - and then I asked if he was nervous, and he said "Not really, I sort of feel like I felt before passing the Bac". Once he was brought into the operating room, I was able to go out and sit in the waiting room with Crystal, who was kind enough to accompany me to the clinic. Once his surgery was done, the surgeon came back to take a quick look at my eyes and then off we went. It's a good thing I was able to see fairly well (it was like opening my eyes underneath the water), because Crystal started leading me the wrong way home. ;)

There were about two hours afterward where it was sort of uncomfortable, but by the time I went to bed it had passed and I was already starting to see clearer. I woke up this morning and automatically reached for my glasses when all of the sudden I realized that I didn't need them! It was truly a bizarre feeling to be able to see straightaway after a lifetime of having to wear glasses or contacts. I immediately got up and looked out the window at the Eiffel tower, just to see exactly how far I could see.

As the morning went on, my vision kept getting better and better and now, a day and a half after the surgery, I'd say my vision is at about 95%. I still have trouble reading really fine print, especially with my left eye, but when I went for my follow-up visit yesterday, the doctor said things looked good and that my vision should continue to improve as my eyes heal.

As for the clinic itself, I chose it for several reasons - it was within walking distance of chez moi, I immediately got a good vibe from the surgeon and his staff, and the clinic looked extremely clean and professional (à l'américaine). I also really liked how willing they were to answer my questions - which isn't often the case with French doctors. I'm someone who likes to know what is going on and why, and they were very patient and willing to walk me through exactly what they were doing. If anyone is interested in getting their info, just let me know - the clinic is located in the 6th, near metro Vavin.

And here's a video they did to explain how the procedure works - it shows pretty much exactly what it was like for me. For the non-French speakers, the text is in French, but you should still be able to follow it:

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7 Comments:

Blogger Syd said...

I cannot imagine what that must be like. My glasses are the first thing I put on and the last thing I take off. They're practically an extension of my body. Anyway, congratulations on your new glasses-free life!

July 4, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

hehe I said I'd come with you, I never said I'd be able to guide you back home. I could get lost in a revolving door :p

Glad to hear your vision is getting better and better. It must be so nice not to worry about glasses/contacts. One day, i hope i can say the same for myself!

July 4, 2009 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm like Syd. You are brave! And congrats!

July 4, 2009 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

I understand the sensations you are experiencing because Robb went through the same thing. A long time ago, before lasik was perfected and it was still called radial keratotomy, I applied for the operation but I was refused because they claimed my eyes were too good. I assume you did not an astigmatism?

July 4, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

oh my. I am jealous. Mine was hell. Maybe mine was slightly different, I don't know, but I certainly wasn't able to even open my eyes for several days! Hope the rest of your recovery goes well.

July 4, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Congrats! Glad to hear it turned out well, I'm hoping to get it done early next year.

July 4, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Megan, did you get Epilasik (not sure if it's called the same in France)? A lot of my co-workers back home got that and none of them could really see for a week. If I understand right, with Epilasik, they actually remove part of the cornea and then let it grow back, which is why you can't see for a week. With mine, they just cut it, folded it back and then repositioned it again, which is why I could see right away.

July 5, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

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