Final thoughts on PRK

I had my surgery on a Friday afternoon at 3PM. When I woke up the next Monday morning, I felt like a different person. My eyes no longer felt like "something" was irritating them. They were dry buy manageable. They were tired but I could see. Light wasn't painful.

The worst thing that Monday morning? THOSE BANDAGE CONTACTS. So gross and dry. The steroid drops you use with PRK are cloudy and gross and make the contacts equally cloudy and gross. You are not allowed to remove or touch the contacts, so... lots of artificial tears.

On Monday, I was able to go shopping with my mom, function around the house, and start making goodies for a family from church thad just had a baby.

I am glad I didn't choose to go back to work that Monday or Tuesday. my eyes just needed... down time. Non-computer-screen time. I felt fine, but my body wanted rest.

This is going into my 3rd week of recovery. My night vision still isn't quite perfect. I need the light to see details and focus-out blurs, making driving difficult when it's dark. Car lights also tend to be starburts or halos, making it hard to tell how far away something is or which direction it's traveling. So far, I've been able to manage to really avoid driving after dark. A huge thanks to my sweet friends and family who offer to help me run errands and pick me up and take me home for evening activities. It's not easy for me to admit I need help, so the offers make it simpler. When I wake up in the morning and it's dark, my eyes do pretty well because they just came from a long period of rest.

The details of my vision aren't perfect yet, either. I struggle with print on the computer screen (harder than paper for some reason) and have to take print materials back and forth until they focus. I can see far away, just the details aren't precision clear yet. So sorry if I stare at you blankly -- I'm probably just trying to focus my vision!!! If I squint just a little at something blurry, I can usually get it to focus at my "contact lens" level of clarity.

This is all very normal from what I understand. I am told that 99% of these issues resolve in weeks 4-6 of recovery. PRK just has a more complicated healing process. I'm thrilled with the vision I have achieved thus far. I still go to "take out my contacts" at night because I'm used to thinking that if I can see, I'm not ready for bed. I still have to do steroid drops every 4 hours for a few more weeks. They have to stay chilled, so this is complicated. I'm also supposed to be using artificial tears ALL THE TIME. This is easy to forget when I get busy, but I'm working on it.

Would I recommend PRK, with it's complicated recovery and pain? YES. Really, 24-48 hours of suffering for years of corrected vision is not a bad trade in my book. I made it though with no crazy drugs and was back at work less than week later. I'm also excited to know that PRK is more stable and long-lasting than LASIK, making the recovery worth it.

Now we will pray that if we decide to ever have a baby, my vision doesn't really change with pregnancy. Like I said, I'd recommend PRK, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again any time soon.

Questions about corrective laser eye surgery? JUST ASK!


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