Recap of My LASIK Eye Procedure

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i got my first pair of glasses when i was 13. i refused to wear them. after much pleading to my parents, they finally agreed to let me wear contacts when i was 14. days after getting them, i distinctly remember driving up to the mountains during fall. i looked at all the aspen trees and thought, “whoa. i can see the individual leaves on these trees!!!! is this what it’s like to be able to see stuff?!”

i am one of those people who’s vision is so bad that it’s either contacts all the time or glasses all the time. none of this, “just for reading” or “just for driving” or those annoying people that wear glasses “just for fun!” i couldn’t see more than like 8 inches in front of me.

caversham wildlife park

therefore, i proceeded to shove contacts in my eyes from 8th grade through the beginning of freshman year of college. if you aren’t a glasses/contact wearer, then you may not realize that insurance will either cover glasses or contacts but not both. i figured i might as well get a pair of glasses, especially for all those late night parties study sessions.

me in 8th grade: yes, i used to straighten my hair to then curl it again and didn’t know what tweezers were.

now, this is around the same time i meet ravery, my glasses wearing husband.

let us pause for a minute and look at this insanely adorable photo of my husband:

i mean, not only does he look like harry potter but how did he have such an awesome hair even back then?! JTT’s got nothin’ on him.

back to college: turns out, glasses are waaaay easier to deal with when it’s hard enough to get to your 8am college class. i slowly started phasing out the contacts and wearing my glasses more and more.

have we been told we make a cute couple and then it’s immediately followed up with “actually…you kinda look like brother and sister!” yes, yes we have.

because my prescription has essentially stayed the same since i was 15, i got one more round of contacts (because my glasses still worked) and would use them sparingly. i treated them like precious jewels that could only be removed for special occasions (and then had to continue being utilized for 29 more days).

i specifically saved one set because i knew i wanted them for our wedding and honeymoon.

cassie rosch photography

at 15, i was told i would be a great candidate for LASIK and it’s been on my brain ever since. this was the first year i could actually afford it and it’s a BIG deal!

there was only one issue…

turns out my husband suuuuper likes me in glasses.

i heard him out, acknowledge his feelings and sadness around me no longer wearing glasses and then went and had a LASIK consultation.

why did i want to get rid of my glasses?

here’s a list for you:

  • swimming lessons with my daughter result in my glasses covered in water
  • i can’t snorkel
  • toddlers love yanking glasses off
  • working out while wearing glasses is the worst
  • they are expensive
  • they give me a headache by the end of the day
  • i couldn’t snuggle up, watch a movie and rest my head on my husband’s check without being uncomfortable or taking off my glasses (but than i couldn’t see the movie)
  • as sexy as i tried to make my double glasses situation with sunglasses over my real sunglasses, it’s just not that sexy.

onto the LASIK procedure itself since some people have asked about it (hi amanda, britney and laura)!

i went in for a consultation to ensure i was a good candidate for a LASIK and then scheduled the procedure for 3 weeks later. the consultation was like a normal eye exam with a few extra machines i looked through. the eye place i went to did a great job of providing enough information about what it would be like during the procedure and recovery without it feeling daunting.

i felt pretty decent the morning of the procedure. they retested my vision to ensure it was the same as during the consultation and put numbing drops in each of my eyes. i talked to quite a few people who had it done and everyone said it was totally worth it so i focused a lot of my mental energy on that. someone has to drive you since most often you are offered a ‘relaxation medication’ so of course, my husband came with me! he helped to keep me calm and was very nice and didn’t bring up the fact he prefers me in glasses.

when we went down to the procedure room, someone asked me if my husband was going to watch. i laughed and said “um…if you let him in the room he will convince you that he should do the other eye after watching you do the first one.” to my surprise, he wasn’t kidding. i was basically on display like an animal at the zoo. i am on at least two strangers instastories somewhere.

before i went in, i was offered ‘something to help me relax’ a bit. um, yes please and i’ll take two. i wish i would have waited a few more minutes for it to kick more because my anxiety definitely shot up as i walked into the procedure room.

the doctor was great and knew exactly what to say to calm me down and make me feel relaxed. he checked my vision again and then i laid down on the table.

since my eyes were numb, i couldn’t feel any pain but i certainly did feel pressure. they use this suction thing to hold your eye in place and keeps your eye lid open. that felt way more uncomfortable than what i was mentally prepared for but they gave me a little foam man to squeeze and that helped. i basically just started thinking about jim dale reading the harry potter series to me and my heartbeat slowed.

the surgeon created a flap with a laser (the LASIK part) and, as previously warned, my vision went fuzzy and then dark momentarily. i just pretended like i closed my eyes. then he had me focus on this red dot as the laser reshaped my cornea. i was also cautioned that i may smell a strange burning odor, which i did and forced myself not to think about what it was.

as the laser was reshaping my eye, i can only imagine that could be what tripping acid might be like. it was all of these insane colors, sparks/flashes of light, almost like a firework show in my eyeball. it was strange but not scary. then he closed the flap, said my right eye was done and looking beautiful and on to the next.

i found this picture on ravery’s phone immediately after the above photo. haha

as they went to suction my eyeball in place, the suction thing apparently popped off and they had to reposition it. i remember the surgeon telling me this in a super calm voice and he said ‘it’s all fine but we want perfection. we do perfection here.’ that made me feel better but shit the pressure of that one started to feel a tad painful and freak me out a bit.

i took a bunch of deep breaths and told myself it would be over soon. the same process of the flaps occurred. i do remember something moving in back and forth in front of my eye. my husband said that’s when it looked like they were scraping my eye but i couldn’t feel anything.

the doctor sat me up and asked how i felt. i was hesitant to open my eyes for fear that they would be filled with blood (gross and irrational, i know). i slowly opened them.

i could already see WAY better than when i wasn’t wearing glasses though my vision was blurry like when you are under water. he checked my vision and eyes again then sent me on my way!

the whole LASIK procedure took nine minutes. yes, nine.

here’s a picture of my eyes moments afterwards and with no blood in them like i feared!

they recommend that you go home and sleep for at least two hours. i’m not a napper but give me some valium and apparently i can sleep for hours! ravery was on baby duty for the rest of the night and next day too. i was super paranoid of atlas accidentally hitting me in the eye and making me blind. i kept my sunglasses on 24/7 for the first few days to prevent baby fingers to the eyes.

i was extremely light sensitive that day to the point where i needed the blinds closed all through the house and couldn’t really watch tv comfortably. i had downloaded an audiobook (station eleven, have you read it?! it was intense) to be prepared so i laid and listen to a lot of that with my eyes closed.

you aren’t allowed to wear makeup, go swimming, rub your eyes, be in dusty environments, exercise or really do anything that causes strain on your eyes or could get trapped under the healing flap. i also had antibacterial and steroid drops for my eyes four times a day as well as sterile eye drops another four times a day for a week.

here’s what my eyes looked like about 8 hours after LASIK:

as you can see, they are red from where the suction thing went and a little swollen. i went in the next morning for a check up and the doctor said the redness should go away in a few days.

it did not.

apparently the red is called ‘subconjuctival hemorrhages’ and it’s spots of blood from where the vessels broke. my eyes continued to look that scary and intense for about 2 solid weeks. that’s really my only complaint about this procedure. if you have events or important things to do in the weeks that follow, you may want to reschedule.

i had to meet some big player entrepreneurs in the denver area looking possessed and without any makeup. it made me super self-conscious. aside from the cosmetic side of things, i could see pretty much normal the next morning! it was nuts.

because 97% of my work takes place on a computer, i underestimated how easily strained and tired my eyes would get after LASIK. that week following, i couldn’t spend more than 15 minutes a few times a day looking at my computer. i hadn’t planned for that so it was a struggle. most everything i read and asked the doctors about seemed like i could go right back to being on a computer but i suppose everyone is different. mentally prepare that this may happen to you too because it was frustrating for me.

i felt a lot better when i could finally wear mascara again. i’m not much of a makeup person but i missed my sculpted lashes. the first night i could get dolled up was when my husband and i saw my massive celebrity crush/favorite musician mr. tom petty on september 22nd in LA.

i made him take off his glasses too so we could see what we both looked like sans glasses.

we were lucky enough to be at tom petty’s second to last show. he was incredible and i am forever grateful.

thankfully, my eyes are a lot better. it’s been almost 4 weeks since my LASIK procedure and the redness has gone down a ton and only a little obvious along the sides of my eyeball. yes, i can open my eyes quite wide.

i am experiencing some haloing around lights still at night so i try not to drive at night until that subsides, which it should.

weird habits that i have yet to break regarding my glasses:

  • searching around my nightstand for my glasses every single morning i wake up
  • trying to take off my non-existent glasses before a shower and before bed
  • reaching under imaginary lenses to itch my eyes
  • pushing up non-existent glasses during my run
  • when i get uncomfortable talking to someone, reaching to adjust non-existent glasses (i didn’t even know i did this before)!

overall, i am so very thrilled to have gotten LASIK done! it has been one of the best investments in myself and my vision. my husband is getting used to me not having glasses. i think it helps that the devil-eyes have subsided for the most part too.

it’s definitely a change for me too because i do look different without glasses. oh and now i have all this pressure to maintain my eyebrows since i’m not hiding them behind glasses anymore. oh these first world problems.

have you gotten LASIK or would you want to?

16 Comments

  1. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    October 11, 2017 at 8:11 am

    You are a BRAVE woman, Chelsea! Good for you! I have a total fear of anything near my eyeballs(ya, I’m super fun at the optometrist/ophthalmologist) so I will NEVER wear contacts or get LASIK no amount of convenience or anxiety drugs can make me. I treat my glasses like an accessory, so instead of a wearing a necklace I wear my wedding rings and glasses as my accessory.

    P.S. You are totally the type of person who suits glasses OR no glasses. I’m not sure I can pull the no glasses thing off.

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

      totally get it – everyone has there thing elyse (and i have my many haha). yeah, it would probably freak you out too much because i don’t have a thing with my eyes but it did freak me out a few times. i like your view of seeing glasses as an accessory! i definitely never viewed mine that way but should have!

      ps. you can TOTALLY pull off the no glasses, as evidenced in your wedding photos!

  2. Penny

    October 11, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Chelsea you are soooooo brave to do this, but i think it is wonderful. you were beautiful with glasses and of course still beautiful without. i have worn glasses since i was in the second grade. either glasses or contacts. back and worth just like you. i only go without glasses/contacts while sleeping, swimming, staggering to the bathroom in the middle of the night. i am so happy you were able to do this. i wish i was,
    but have been told that my vision is so bad that it would only mildly benefit me and might even make my vision and eyes much worse so i will be a glasses/contact lense person for life. oh well!!!! congratulations and you look amazing. hugs and love….

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

      thank you penny! wow glasses since the second grade! glad you can swim without glasses at least, penny! that’s really great.

      see you soon!!

  3. Amanda

    October 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Hiii! I’m so glad you wrote this! I’ve been super curious about it myself, but am way scared about the things that can go wrong. Do you think Ravery will ever get Lasik for himself?

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

      thanks for asking me to, amanda 🙂 ravery says he likes wearing glasses too much to get LASIK but who knows!

      in terms of feeling scared it can go wrong – i get that but find a surgeon and place that has super high reviews and people you know that have been there. that’s what i did. my surgeon has done more then 35,000 procedures so i felt confident in him!

  4. Christina @ Hugs and Lattes

    October 11, 2017 at 9:54 am

    LASIK freaks. me. the heck. out. My husband teases me and tells me I may need LASIK one day. I really only wear my glasses to drive, watch tv, at night, and etc. So I don’t think I will need LASIK one day. But thank you for sharing your experience! Still freaks me out. Now the question is, are you going to wear fake glasses for Ravery every now and then?

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:28 am

      LASIK is a total ‘your call’ type thing! if you feel happy wearing glasses for driving, tv, night and etc.then you do you! i am loooving it but also probably not worth it if you will absolutely HATE the process 🙂

      hahah that is too funny that you said that about me wearing fake glasses for ravery! i was totally like “is this going to be like a bedroom thing? like instead of sexy lingerie, i just wear glasses?” hahah

  5. Kathy Crowley

    October 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I had laser eye surgery several years ago—saved so that I could pay cash and for me, too, it was a big deal. I had worn glasses from the age of 8 and contacts from 14.

    Best thing I ever did. My surgeon was amazing. Because my eyesight was so bad, the laser was on my eye longer than for most people. I got nervous when I could smell burning…lol. Well, funny now. 🙂 And, it’s freaky when they numb your eyeball and then put that holder in place. If you’re a horror movie watcher, it’s hard to keep your brain from thinking you’re in a horror film. ha ha ha

    Again, for me, fantastic decision.

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

      we are so the same kathy! we saved up for LASIK too and totally one of the best decisions i’ve made!

      hahah i am glad i am not much a horror film watcher because i can TOTALLY see my mind going there while i had my eye in the place holder. haha

      glad you are still loving your LASIK!

  6. Sara | Mrs. Imperfect

    October 11, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I’ve also worn glasses from 8 and contacts from 14. Lasik definitely freaks me out a bit, although I have thought about it.

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

      you should totally get a consult, sara! most places do a free consult and you can talk through all your fears and make sure you’re a good candidate!

  7. Ashley

    October 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    WOW this is so cool to hear about how Lasik works!! Thank you for writing about it! I would definitely be freaked out with all that stuff going on in my eyeball (I hate being at the dentist and that’s just teeth.. haha) but I’m glad it was worth it!!

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 9:38 am

      oh no, the dentist is WAAAAAY worse than lasik for. sure. i hate the dentist and anything that goes beyond a cleaning. not sure if you would need it but totally consider it. hope you’re doing well ashley!

  8. Audrey

    October 12, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Oh my goodness- You are just so gorgeous with AND without glasses! (But I totally get where Mr. WS is coming from. I love K in glasses. So much so he wore his on our wedding day because I think he’s the cutest. He switched to contacts for the honeymoon, though. Lol) K wants to get LASIK so badly… I’m actually surprised he hasn’t yet. (It’s tough to stop him when he wants something, lol.) Right now he’s doing the contacts thing (going on day 708 or something… j/k), but he’s definitely got his sights set on LASIK (pun intended…).

    • chelsea

      October 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

      way to totally give me a confidence boost, audrey! thank you 🙂

      kyle should TOTALLY go get a consultation!!! he needs a follow through on that pun of yours 🙂

      then he can get fake glasses and wear them for you randomly like i might plan to do for ravery haha

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