Now, before I continue with this blog, I want to make it clear that I have, in no way, been asked or paid to write this blog or recommend Optical Express for laser eye surgery. The surgery has cost over £4,000 in total. A huge amount of money that I struggled to part with it at first but, if you want to know why I did, read on…
I first considered laser eye surgery 5 years ago when my brother-in-law had it done. I was heavily pregnant with MC at the time and once she was born I couldn't bear the thought of risking my eyesight, going blind and not seeing her again.
Even though my brother-in-law had amazing results and said it was life changing and even though I had been told that no-one had ever gone blind from surgery, I couldn't shake off this doubt that I'd be the one that it would go wrong for.
It wasn't until last year that I started to look into it again. More and more people I knew were having it done - friends, acquaintances and fellow bloggers. They all had amazing results.
Last summer we had superb weather. This is when I really wished I didn't have to wear glasses or contact lenses. I was only sent 10 contact lenses a month and would save them up during the winter by wearing my glasses more. Then, when it got to the summer, I could wear contacts pretty much everyday and have the freedom of being able to wear nice sunglasses freely.
In September I told Matt that I wanted to have the surgery. I investigated the best place to get the treatment and chose Optical Express. It was the place that almost all of the people I knew had been and the online reviews I read were reassuring.
After becoming ill during September and October, I finally had my laser eye surgery consultation in November. I was checked over throughly and told I was fine to have the treatment at a cost of £3,500 for basic LASIK surgery. It was an awful lot of money but it was going to make a lot of difference to my quality of life. If you've never had really poor eyesight then you won't understand how it feels. Anyway, after careful consideration and talks with Matt we booked me in for 17th January.
I was SO excited! I'd been wearing glasses or contacts for over 25 years and the thought of being free of them felt great.
A few weeks before the treatment (and after some further research) I ended up paying an extra £800 for Optical Express' Advanced Wavefront treatment.This meant that the treatment was more precision made for my eyes. It would take any unique imperfections into account so I'd experience better vision than I could achieve with glasses and contact lenses. I paid this because I wanted to be more assured of great results and you can't really put a cost on your eyesight?
The only slight critisism I have of Optical Express is the wait time on the day of treatment. I was told to arrive at 1pm and I didn't actually have my surgery until 3.30pm. I had been told to allow 2-3 hours but the more I sat in that waiting room, between checks, the more anxious I became. However, the surgeon, Antonio Uceda-Montanes, was lovely and he set me at ease as soon as I met him.
I walked into the 'theatre' and two lovely nurses in their scrubs told me to lay down and make myself comfortable. Two large machines were either side of where I was and they seemed to be making noise like they were warming up.
Then the anaesthetic drops were put into my eyes to numb each eyeball while we waited for the surgeon to come through for the procedure.
Then it was going to happen!
The surgeon told me that I would feel no pain, just pressure and to concentrate on his voice and everything would be fine.
I was aware of talking between the surgeon and the nurses and then I remember the suction ring coming towards my left eye. This was the most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure. I didn't feel any pain as it was put on my eyeball but I felt a lot of pressure. The nurse confirmed that the suction was on and we were ready to go. I was told to look at the light as the first machine to my left was brought over my eye and put in place. This was the soft laser that was going to cut the flap on my eye.
After the flap was cut, the suction ring was removed. Then the surgeon lifted the flap and the machine on my right was brought over. This was the machine that was going to correct my vision. There were some sharp clicking noises and a very slight burning smell (which, I believe, is produced my the carbon atoms the laser generates) but there was absolutely no pain or discomfort.
Then the surgeon put the flap back, administered drops and that was one eye done. All within 5 minutes!
After the process was repeated with the other eye I was checked over by the surgeon and all was fine. I was then led to a room where a nurse gave me 3 lots of different drops to use and some rather sexy goggles to wear to sleep in for the next week. These are to protect your eyes from being knocked in the night when you're asleep. Then I was ready to go.
Wearing my own sunglasses (your eyes are a bit sensitive to light from the anaesthetic drops) I walked out of Optical Express into the Trafford Centre full of busy shoppers. We walked back to the car and I text my Mum and my Sister. Then I closed my eyes for the 40 minute drive home as it was beginning to get dark and my eyes felt sensitive to the car lights and were quite watery.
I was advised that the best thing I could do was go home and sleep so that's what I did. I slept for a couple of hours and then, by 7pm I was watching TV! My eyes weren't sore (I'd taken paracetamol when I'd got home) but they did feel a little uncomfortable.
I watched TV all night and when it was time to go to bed I automatically reached up in the bathroom to take my contact lenses out but then stopped as my hand went towards my eye.
I WASN'T WEARING CONTACT LENSES!
The realisation was huge.
I felt like crying but I figured that wouldn't be good for my new peepers so I went to bed.
The next morning I had a check-up in the Chester branch at 9.30am. As we drove there I was testing my new eyes and could read things further away than Matt who has perfect vision. He started calling me a cyborg. At the check-up I was told that everything was healing as it should and I was given the all clear to drive.
I drove up to my mum and dad's at 10.45am to collect the kids who had stayed with them overnight.
I could see! I could see! I could see my family without glasses or contacts!
As this first week went on my vision got better over the first 4 days or so.
Night vision isn't quite there yet as I do experience halos on car headlights still but this was to be expected post-surgery and should subside.
Everyday at some point it hits me that THIS is my vision now. I don't need help to see anymore. Every morning it feels strange to open my eyes and be able to see everything straight away.
As from today I can wear eye make-up again and ditch the sleep goggles. Although secretly I think Matt has gotten quite used to sleeping with Bono.
And yes, incase you're wondering, I am asking myself why I didn't get this done sooner!