I am now at 7+ weeks post-SBK laser eye surgery. Finally, I have a tunnel and some light to report. A few days before the 7 week point, I was very down. My eyes were so bad after working on the computer for only a few hours that I could barely see street signs while walking the dog in the afternoon OR in the morning (before getting to the computer). I was at my wit’s end. What else could I do to encourage more rapid healing or give myself some hope that I wouldn’t need to get glasses just to walk the dog? If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s not being able to see. Those of you who’ve worn glasses from an early age will identify.
Then I woke up last Thursday morning and it was a misty day. My eyes felt great in that mist, so I dug out an old humidifier and put it in my office. I noticed an improvement that afternoon while walking the dog, and on Friday I actually saw some street signs clearly while driving (instead of having to squint).
I made another change. I had been using the various brands and forms (with preservative/preservative-free) of eye drops and ointments that had been recommended to me, and they really weren’t working all that great. Some would make my eyes feel dry again too quickly, and others were too gummy. My optometrist’s colleague had recommended Liposic ointment for night time use. Well, I decided to use it during the day, because it only obscures eyesight for a few minutes yet is very comforting. And I began using Refresh Lacri-Lube ointment at night. THAT I can’t wear during the day, because it’s almost akin to putting Vaseline on your eyes. The vision blurs, but who needs to see when they’re sleeping? Lacri-Lube at night and Liposic during the day made my eyes feel so much better. Not only are they gel ointments, but both have different ingredients than the Refresh Tears (regular eye drops) and Refresh Celluvisc that had been recommended to me.
While stocking up on eye drops (I should buy stock), I noticed another brand called Refresh Endura (that might not be available in the U.S.—see this forum—but is in Canada. The U.S. has something called Refresh Optive that I can’t find here, so I can’t compare them). Endura is not as gummy as Celluvisc, and is a different formula (Celluvisc and Refresh Tear/Refresh Liqui-Gel share various levels and viscosity of the same ingredients). Well, lo and behold! My eyes love Refresh Endura, and I am now using that in conjunction with the Liposic ointment and the humidifier, as well as continuing to limit my computer time during the day, then using the Lacri-Lube at night. When I just need something “light,” I use Bion Tears (also no preservatives).
This morning, I saw wonderfully while walking the dog. Today I had to drive to a nearby town to conduct some writing business, and I noticed that day-time driving is okay while on this combination of eye drops. The slower I’m driving, the easier it is to read the signs. So while I might still need driving glasses for highway driving, twilight and night driving (to be determined at the 3 month point—until then I’m just not driving at night or twilight), I now have hope, hope, hope (!) that “everyday” seeing (like taking walks) will turn out okay.
I can’t tell you what a relief this is.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that if you (1) live in an area with very low or almost non-existent humidity and (2) it’s a cold, DRY winter with barely no snow, that you should (A) NOT HAVE LASER EYE SURGERY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN WINTER. Let people in Florida get laser in December. If you live in a dry climate, for God’s sake, do it in March.
Now, I should temper that advice with the fact that I happen to be one of those in the minority of 2%, or whatever it is, who wind up with very dry eyes following SBK. There’s no way of knowing, of course, if you will be in that minority until AFTER you get the surgery. Unless you have very dry eyes to begin with, which I didn’t.
My other piece of advice is to experiment with the various eye drops/ointments on the market. Don’t think that just because your optometrist recommended one brand that it’s THE right brand for YOUR eyes. Because eyes are different. If I had stuck with my original regime, I doubt I’d be writing this post today. It’s just too coincidental that my eyes began improving when I changed to drops with different ingredients (although made by same company)…and then of course the humidifer helped, too. But on its own, it wasn’t enough. I needed that Endura. Sweet, sweet Endura.
So…at the 7+ week point, I’m thinking I would do it again, just not in mid-December. Or in July/August. Where I live, March and April sound perfect. So does June (it always rains in June). At least then, no matter how dry it is inside, you can go stand in the rain with your eyes open and get some relief.
By the way, did you know the chances of having more than one breech baby are very low? Well, guess who had two in a row? That’s right, me.
I just like being in the low percentile, I guess. Or, my body does. Whatever, I am now holding out hope that I will eventually no longer feel like I am wearing a pair of old contact lenses I can’t take out.