I have been meaning to get my review blog back up and running for a while now. I figured my most important and recent investment is the one I want to get it started back up with. My Lasik journey. This may be more of a journal entry rather than a review, but I really want to remember this as best I can for myself and for others who may be thinking about having Lasik. For years I have talked about having Lasik vision correction, but by the time I got the nerve to look into it, I had other things happening. In 2011, I had a lot of dry eye issues related to hormone changes after the birth of my first son. Restasis didn’t work, warm compresses didn’t help. It eventually just became a part of life.
In 2013, I scheduled a consultation but then had to cancel it because I discovered I was pregnant with my second son. In 2015, I scheduled another consultation but had to cancel because I was nursing. You must be finished nursing for at least six months to allow for your hormones and vision to go back to normal.
Finally, in July 2015 after a family trip to Ocean City, MD I was ready to take the plunge. I was trying to be cool and body surf the waves when I was tossed like a rag doll and lost my prescription Ray Bans to the ocean. I wasn’t about to spend another $400-$500 on glasses so I scheduled an appointment when I got home.
I had heard many great things from friends at my previous job about Dr. Sonny Goel, who works at LasikPlus in the Baltimore locations. So, I made sure I made my appointment with him. My consultation was free. I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting when I went to my appointment, but me being me, I was nervous.
The appointment was basically just an eye exam. Dr. Gonzales did my exam and instantly put me at ease. He is super nice and I was no longer nervous. After the exam and once they determine you are a candidate, you watch a detailed video which explains all the different types of Lasik so you have a clear understanding of what you will experience.
After watching the video and going over any questions that you may have, you will be directed to the next person. I met with Crystal, who was also incredibly nice. Everyone who works at this practice is so friendly! She helped me schedule my appointments and go over my financing options. If you think that you can’t afford Lasik, I strongly suggest at least going to a consultation. There are many payment options that can help make it affordable for just about anyone.
In the coming weeks, I would battle some weird illnesses. A 10 day stomach bug, followed immediately by a three week long double eye infection. Never in my life had I had an eye infection, and the timing was awful. I was so sure that I would have to postpone my Lasik and was really bummed out. I had not chosen a primary eye doctor since moving to Maryland almost three years ago and didn’t want to go to an Urgent Care sort of place. My eyes were terrible and I only trusted an eye doctor to help me out. I found Dr. Patel at Peepers in Gambrills, MD and was very excited to find out that he is a partner of Dr. Goel’s office. I saw him a few times over the two weeks and he helped get my eyes back on track with the help of many eye drops.
He passed me back off to Dr. Goel’s office and Dr. Gonzales cleared me for my Lasik surgery the following week. I was pretty shocked. Going from a double eye infection to being able to see clear in three weeks just didn’t seem like it could happen. I was so excited to be able to still have my surgery. What insane timing.
After a very busy weekend, the Monday morning finally arrived. It was odd to think that after 25 years of wearing glasses, that would be my final morning of needing them to see. Even with the 8 years that I wore contacts, I still had to wear my glasses at night.
If I said I wasn’t a nervous wreck that morning, I’d be lying out of my teeth. My palms were sweaty, I felt like I was going to throw up. I couldn’t watch the TV monitor that showed the surgeries happening live. I’ve known a lot of people who have had Lasik and they’re all great and rave about it being the best thing ever. Still, I was having a really difficult time pep talking myself.
After checking in to the office, I was brought into a room to go over my post-op medicine checklist. I had to get two prescription drops filled prior and bring them with me. I also needed to get preservative free lubricating drops. I could have purchased them at the office, but got them at CVS on the way there.
After watching some more Property Brothers in the spacious waiting room, I was brought back to have Dr. Gonzales examine my eyes once more. Everything checked out fine. Back to the waiting room until Crystal was ready to officially check me in. She went over my financial paperwork and waivers. She gave me two Tylenol PM so that I could sleep easy after the surgery was done. Day one post-op is all about resting your eyes to help start the healing process.
I was then brought back to the final room before my surgery. I was given a blue cap to wear over my hair and an assistant put some eye drops in my eyes. I believe one was an antibiotic and the other was for numbing. Then, we waited patiently for Dr. Goel to come in. This would be my first time meeting him, though, after seeing his picture all over the place and watching him in the videos I felt like I had met him before.
Dr. Goel introduced himself to myself and my husband, who was documenting my pre-op experience like a paparazzi. He examined my eyes once more to double check we were good to go. All was cleared. We very thoroughly went over the whole surgery, step by step, so that I knew what to expect. It was to last under 10 minutes, be very quick, and easy peasy. There was no turning back now.
The surgery room was ready to go. I handed my phone to my husband who taped the entire thing. I noticed the music pumping in the room. I felt like I was going clubbing, but it helped my anxiety a lot. Dr. Goel asked me to verify my information and that he was to be correcting my nearsightedness and astigmatism in both eyes with Lasik. There were two assistants in the room, as well. I remember hearing them confirming my information and specs before each step was done for accuracy. Things seemed to go by very fast and my nervousness made the whole thing seem like a blur. I also had some additional numbing drops put into my eye at one point before we began. I can’t remember if it was in the surgery room or beforehand. I just remember being told, “You can never be too numb.” Nope! You can’t. Numb away.
The first bed I was taken to makes the cut in your eye. Right eye was first. After having a disc put into my upper eyelid and then lower lid, I was swung turned under a machine that comes down on top of your eye. It has lights around it and presses down gently on your eye. Well, at this point in time I blinked. I don’t know why I blinked, but it wasn’t the best idea. I instantly felt everything fold up and we had to start over again. I don’t recommend blinking. Dr. Goel didn’t scold me or make me feel bad. He was simply told me that I blinked and we would do it again. I appreciated that. My left eye went fine and was uneventful.
I was then told to sit up. Things looked hazy and smoky. The assistant helped me walk a few steps over to the next bed. This was the laser bed. I want to point out that whole time Dr. Goel was checking with me to make sure I was okay and letting me know how much time I had left for each step and that I was doing great. That was really helpful for me, who was already paranoid after blinking immediately during the first step.
I was told to look at the green light. I saw a scalpel going around my eye, which was my lens flap being pulled back. There was lots of cleaning and squeegeeing happening on my eyes. Sometimes the red laser would overpower the green light so I kept staring at the same spot and was grateful when I could see it again. This part is so much harder to watch on the screen than actually having the procedure happen to you. You literally don’t feel anything, even though you can see blurry things moving around. I didn’t even feel the eye clamp being placed on my eyes. It wasn’t until I watched back the video that I even knew that they were put on.
And that was it. Before I knew that my Lasik surgery had come to an end. Things were hazy and cloudy so I could not see right away, but I was told that would be normal. Dr. Goel checked my eyes once more to make sure that they looked good. I thanked him probably 10 times, we hugged and took some pictures. I have so much respect for his work. He’s extremely proficient, calm, soothing and caring. I am amazed at what he has done for more than 75,000 people. Even though my Lasik is guaranteed for life and I can go to any LasikPlus in the country, I would fly back to Baltimore to have him do any future surgeries that I might need down the road (that is, if we move back to Florida at some point).
My ride home was a little rough. It was 50 minutes away and very VERY sunny outside. I’ve always had a bit of light sensitivity, but it was cranked up 200%. I had sunglasses on with my eyes closed the whole ride, but still felt like someone was shining a flashlight directly into my face. I am a wuss with pain tolerance and became cranky quickly. Kevin was hungry, but I was mean and told him to take me straight home. Poor Kevin.
Our bedroom is fairly dark with dimming curtains, but I still felt like it was really bright in there and had trouble falling asleep. To sleep, I was given two shields to put over my eyes and tape to my face so as not to accidentally rub or poke my eyes. I slept for about 15 hours, but was not really comfortable until the sun went down. You will always find me sleeping on my side except for on this day. I was not about to mess my eyes up and didn’t want to take any chances. Back sleeping it was. My eyes were very watery and leaking even with them closed. I did my eye drops twice upon waking up and then went back to sleep to rest.
The following day, the light sensitivity calmed down a lot. I still wore sunglasses inside and out to protect my eyes. I am still staying away from fans or breezy air as that will obviously dry out my eyes and can cause healing issues. My right eye (the one I blinked with) is pretty red and bruised. It’s gross looking. It should heal up in 2-3 weeks, so for now I will just creep out the children at my work. I can see far away. I cannot see things two inches from my face like I could before. That is apparently how normal people see, with items about 9 inches away from their face. That will take some getting used to. Sometimes I can see great. Sometimes one eye will be blurry. Sometimes the other eye will be blurry. It will take about three months or so to fully heal and have my vision settle. Night time driving was interesting. I thought I had sparkle and halo issues before surgery, but it was nothing like this. All the headlights, traffic lights and every other light all blurred together. That wasn’t my favorite, so I will avoid driving at night until that calms down. I am not freaking out, as I understand that all of this is normal. My next appointment is in two weeks. I can’t see to see my progress!
I am very happy that I did this surgery. I’m happy that I’m a part of such a great practice and met such fantastic doctors along the way in my journey. Today I am 4 days post-op and feeling good. Remember to take your drops as directed and keep your eyes protected and you will do great. I recommended my sister in law and she had her Lasik/PRK (PRK is a little more invasive than regular Lasik and has more pain and longer healing time associated with it) surgery done two weeks before me with Dr. Goel and she feels the same way. If you are in the Baltimore area or any surrounding area, definitely reach out to the Towson, Columbia or Annapolis LasikPlus offices to book your consultation. It’s absolutely life changing.