Patty Steves Gochenauer
Almost three years, ago, my husband and I started comparing the cost of my glasses, contacts, and contact lens supplies, and we estimated that the LASIK would pay for itself within 2-3 years.
For some reason, after having children, wearing contacts became more and more uncomfortable for me. I started wearing my glasses 24/7 and dealt with all those inconveniences: sweating, fogging up, vision with less clarity due to my astigmatism, as well as not being able to see in the shower, at the swimming pool/beach or in the middle of the night. In addition to the inconveniences, I also experienced neurological issues. Headaches/migraines caused by sunlight increased in number and severity, so I reached a point I had to do something. I either had to invest in prescription glasses AND sunglasses, or consider LASIK.
So, I started talking to friends/colleagues who had LASIK, began conversations with my eye doctor, and researched all the benefits, risks, costs, and recovery. My eye doctor loved my attitude and indicated I would be a perfect candidate, and she highly recommended TLC. I met with my neurologist and she gave me the go-ahead. After meeting with the doctors, going through the consultations and screenings at TLC, and being told I had "chunky corneas", I was set.
With all the research, the one thing I didn't want to see was an actual procedure. With my dread of needles and doctors, I didn't want to know how everything took place; I just wanted to know the final outcome. I convinced myself if I could handle two natural childbirths, I could cope with a few minutes of discomfort on my eyes. My hope with LASIK was not 20/20 vision; my hope was that I would be able to wake up and read my alarm clock that sits less than 2 feet from my face and to be able to check on my children in the middle of the night without needing to search blindly for my glasses.
When I arrived the morning of my procedure, I was nervous, but excited for the end results. The doctors warned me I might experience some discomfort: I was told "some people experience slight pain, some feel burning in their eyes, and others indicate it hurts like hell". I, of course, braced for the worst. The procedure took less than 10 minutes. When I sat up, I could clearly see my husband standing outside the room, watching from an observation window about 10-15 feet away! The drive home was the worst part of the entire event. My eyes burned and watered for the entire 40 minute drive: the best way I can describe it: I felt like I had been peeling onions and rubbing my eyes the entire time. That discomfort was minor and I would endure it all again, knowing I can see my children clearly any time of day or night. I no longer have to worry about broken or bent glasses, or buying contact lens supplies, and my astigmatism is gone!
From my research, one of the concerns expressed by some patients was the "starburst" effect many see while driving at night. For me, I can honestly say that improved after my procedure. I always hated driving at night because my astigmatism and contacts caused a great deal of glare and distortion. That star burst or halo effect actually disappeared almost entirely; today, I don't mind driving at night!
If possible, the only thing I would change from this whole experience is I would have done it 10 years sooner. Thank you TLC for your knowledge, professionalism, care and concern! I'm loving my new life free of glasses and contacts! I highly recommend TLC for anyone even thinking about LASIK.