Laser Eye Surgery – Not For Me, Thanks All The Same

Reading a comment on a post by LeendaDLL about Laser Eye Surgery.  And then I thought Why am I so freaked at the thought that they cut a flap in your eye?

And I remembered this, which happened to me when I was 7.  So, in true blogging spirit, I thought I would gross other people out share.

I am short-sighted in one eye, long-sighted in the other (yes, I know there are technical terms, but I cannot be bothered to google them right now!), plus I have an astigmatism (lazy eye) which causes my left eye to wander.  God, am I sexy or what!

I had my first operation to correct the astigmatism when I was 2.  That one I don’t remember.  I had my second op when I was 5.  I have vague memories of a darkened room and missing my mum.  This was 45 years ago, folks – visiting hours were 6-7 nightly, and that was it.  No mothers on the ward when I was a child – they would have just got in the way, rather than being the necessary part of childhood nursing they are today.

My third, and final, operation to correct my astigmatism (which, may I add, I still have) happened when I was 7 and I have vivid memories of this one.

Firstly I was on an adult ward.  Me and 29 old ladies.  Well, gee, I was 7 – anyone over 15 was old to me.

I remember singing along, headphones in, to hospital radio.  They should not be allowed to broadcast The First Cut is the Deepest on a surgical ward.  Fortunately, the little old ladies thought this was sweet.

I told a nurse I needed a wee (don’t know why I didn’t get up and go to the toilet) and she bought me a bottle.  Which I looked at.  I know I had short hair, but…  She got me a bedpan fortunately, before I wet myself.

Then I had the op.  bandages for 24 hours.  Odd being in total darkness and listening to things.  I did not even think gosh, this is what its like being blind.  I was not an empathic youngster; quiet and retiring, yes, empathic no.

Bandages off.  Then it was 5 days of having drops, 3 in each eye, 3 times a day.  And they stung.  A lot, but only (thankfully) for a short while.

Then the stitches had to come out.  Oh yes, this was in the days before dissolvable stitches and they had to be pulled from my eyes – while I was awake.  To this day, I can see the scissors – SCISSORS – coming towards my eye.  Now don’t move and don’t blink, I was told, and you will be fine.


The scissors were bad.  The feeling of the stitches being pulled out was worse.  And then I got to see my eyes in a mirror for the first time in a week.  Bloodshot does not cover it.  Bloodshot is what you have when you have smoked too much weed, or are very tired.  Bloodshot does not cover totally red whites.  I was not allowed to go to school for another two weeks – in case I scared the other children.

So I got something out of my experience anyways!

And I guess this is why I can never watch surgery on eyes.  Ever.  Yuk, gross and scary.  I cannot watch surgery on breasts either, though, and those have never seen a surgeon’s knife.  Although I did have a cyst drained once – they stick a needle in to drain it – really odd that it doesn’t hurt at all.


About bookmole
I am pro-choice. You make yours, I'll make mine, okay?

6 Responses to Laser Eye Surgery – Not For Me, Thanks All The Same

  1. Red Pen says:

    Well, that's just horrific! No wonder you don't want lasik. I can't bring myself to do it, and I have nothing even resembling a good reason.

  2. Laurel says:

    Wow, scissors and stitches in your eyes. I can't…well, I sort of can…imagine the feeling of stiches being pulled out of your eyeball. Eiawwww!
    I actually did LASIK a couple years ago and it's been great for me, so far. Who knows what the long term effects are. But I can totally understand all the reasons for not doing it. It's freakin' scary in so many ways!

  3. LeendaDLL says:

    fyi: astigmatism is not a lazy eye. It is actually a misshaped eyeball. Never before heard of it being exteme to the point of causing one's eye to wander. I'll have to investigate this more.
    I can see why you're so freaked out about eyeballs. I would be too. If you ever do try Lasik, be forewarned that it also results in severely bloodshot eyes (but it goes away in 24 to 48 hrs). And that scissors thing? That's just gross.
    another fyi: Lasik does not (usually) involve stiches – the flap is just folded back into place and that's that. Our techinque is good because it creates a much more even flap cut (the ONLY way to go for people with astigmatism) and a nice beveled area to keep the flap in place. Both methods of cutting flaps are incredibly safe – ours is just a bit safer and neater (as in both "tidy" and "cool").

  4. karen says:

    I've heard really good things about Lasik and have a couple of friends who have done it successfully. But I have also heard reports of people who got stuck with permanent halo vision – especially at night – I would not like that at all.
    Your fear for your eyeballs is very well placed. I cannot even begin to imagine scissors near my eye. I'm pretty sure I would have to be physically restrained (and sedated) before that could happen. Even then I couldn't vouch for the safety of the scissor-bearer.

  5. Bookmole says:

    Whatever I have, my eyes look in diff directions. One eye focusses on whatever I am looking at. the other watches the horizon for enemies.

  6. Venus says:

    I had my Lasik done in 1998. Love the results. No problems. My optometrist referred me to the most expensive clinic in the city – on purpose. As I understand it, the blade (keritome) should be changed after every surgery. Every surgery should happen with a fresh blade. It is extremely expensive to do this, thus only the more expensive places can afford to do this. The cheaper places try to get away with fewer blade changes. No stitches, no pain, quite a bit of stress and worry … but it was worth it.

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