10 years ago I went for Lasik laser eye surgery.
My prescription was relatively bad short sightedness (-6 in one eye, -6.5 in the other), not by any means the worst out there, but enough that I couldn't see anything without glasses or contacts.
I'd worn glasses since I was about 8 years old, tried contacts for a bit when I was 18, but got eye infections and basically didn't get on with them, so when laser eye surgery started to get affordable all those years ago, I jumped at the chance.
10 years later and my eyes are starting to get worse again, and I probably need glasses, but can't be arsed to go to the opticians. I can still see fine, but things aren't as clear as they used to be. They say that getting your eyes lasered is basically a reset button rather than a cure, and that seems to be entirely true.
I've had 10 years of not having to arse around with contacts, or glasses, so not too bad. The thing that really pissed me off about glasses was going into a pub in winter to meet up with your mates, and being able to see fuck all when you walked in, due to your glasses fogging up
Not really the best reason to spend £2k on eye surgery, but it was the tipping point for me…
Now, laser eye correction is a pretty regular procedure, but it is still a very invasive and serious operation, so shouldn't be take lightly. There are risks, and if you have large diameter pupils (over 6mm when dilated) then you will have ghosting and starburst effects around bright lights at night. I have that, you quickly get used to it, but you need to be aware of that and consider the implications. I was a bit annoyed that the surgeons and nurses didn't make me more aware of that before the procedure. I doubt it would have changed my mind as the benefits for me were enough, but it would have been good to know.
Regardless of that, I had the procedure.
It took about an hour, from turning up to walking out. 10 minutes in the chair, the rest of the time waiting around for various things.
First thing was obviously to sign lots of forms.
Then I was taken into a side room and given a couple of valium to take.
30 minutes later I was taken into "The room" and sat in "the chair"
It's a huge beast of a chair, with various robotic arms and screens kicking around.
The procedure was explained to me. First I would have my eye clamped open (think clockwork orange) then a suction cup would be lowered onto my eye and it would suck my eye into a ball shape (rather than the traditional oval). This would allow the automatic eyeball slit cutter to do it's magic, as that make the eye more solid and cuttable, a side affect of sucking on the eyeball is that you lose your vision in that eye, as the suction makes everything turn black.
Then the flap that had just been cut would be pulled back, you would be told to focus on the red light and the laser would do its magic. It's a weird feeling to be sitting in a chair and to be able to smell your own eye burning…
Flap is then replaced, and that eye is done, onto the next.
Next eye for me was slightly different…
The sucky machine did it's thing, but for some reason I didn't lose vision in that eye, and I saw the suction machine, I saw that open up, I saw the circular razor inside, I saw that get close to my eye, I saw my eye being cut, while locked down in a chair that I couldn't move.
That was an experience...
More eye burning, and done.
All good in the end, but one hell of a day.