Article published in Cork Independent, May 5th, 2011.
ONE week of antibiotic drops four times a day; anti-inflammatory drops three times a day; lubricant drops whenever I needed them; odd-looking Darth Vader goggles in bed; and better than 20:20 vision. You read that right. Better than 20:20 vision.
On my 24-hour checkup I'd been told my sight was completely improved, and it has remained that way. Distance sight is perfect, clearer than I've ever known. Seeing up close is still very slightly blurry, while my eyes adjust to having to do all the work for themselves. Spending a minimum of eight hours a day in front of a computer screen doesn't help, and last week's print day was certainly not helpful - my eyes were dry and tired afterwards. But that much computer work would do that to most people.
I usually spend time reading or watching TV in the evenings, often while checking emails and tweeting on my iPhone. I've been doing less of that since the procedure, as my eyes are quite tired after the working day. My colleague Liane, who also had the procedure done, tells me this passes after a month or so - in line with what I've been told at Optilase.
The first week of aftercare is nothing major. The drops are not a big deal, and the slight redness in my eyes faded within a day or two. I have continued taking the flaxseed and omega 3 oil and drinking lots of water - as Marie in the clinic reminded me, once you're hydrated, your eyes are hydrated. And it's been doing wonders for my skin!
The goggles are rather a pain - particularly as they have to be taped on and leave strange red marks in their wake each morning. But the paranoia about rubbing my eyes in my sleep is making sure I wear them - there's nothing like the fear of taking your eye apart to keep you awake at night!
I went out on the town over the weekend, and some things were notably different. One, being able to go into a pub and see who I was looking for, immediately. Being able to read prices and menus without squinting - with my contacts, previously, I could never see particularly well. Walking into a warm pub or restaurant from the cold outside without having to remove steamy glasses - same thing goes for cooking and using the dishwasher. It's a lot easier. At the moment, my main drawback is being unable to wear eye makeup. I rarely leave the house without mascara, and of course always had my glasses on too, so it's like I'm missing two layers of armour. I can't wear eye makeup for another two to three weeks, so I'm currently exploring the options for lipstick. A whole new world, indeed.