They say you learn something new every day. I don't know if that's completely true, but I did learn something new three days ago. Several things, actually.
What I learned first is that a LASIK enhancement starts out differently than an initial LASIK procedure. With the initial procedure, the one I had back in March, what they used was a very thin, very sharp blade to cut a flap in the front of my eye. Then they folded that flap out of the way, zapped my eye with a laser, and folded the flap back.
With an enhancement procedure, however, there is no very thin very sharp blade. Nope, what they do with an enhancement is insert a "surgical instrument" (small putty-knife) into the scar from the original incision, then tear the flap back open along its original lines.
I'm sure there's a good reason for doing it this way, but I can't help but think that any healing that might have taken place over the last six months was for naught.
I found this out about 10 minutes before I had my own LASIK enhancement. At about the same time, they informed me that I would probably experience more pain and discomfort after this procedure than I'd experienced after the initial LASIK. Because of the ripping, I figured. made perfect sense.
A lot of the steps were the same, though. The doctor put a lot of numbing drops in my eye. Then he drew on it with a medical pen. Then he jammed the putty-knife in and lifted part of the flap.
Then I went to the actual LASIK table. They put the anti-blink doohickey on my eye, The doctor lifted (ripped) the flap back out of the way, then the actual laser zapped for about one second.
Then the doctor spent what seemed like a year fiddling with my flap. He ended up telling the nurse that I'd need a bandage lens. As he was fitting that (an oversized contact lens) onto my eye, he explained that, when he'd initially jammed that putty-knife into my eye, he'd caused a small amount of abrasion. That abrasion would be sore, and the bandage contact lens would decrease my discomfort.
The first problem I noticed with this bandage lens was that it made things hazy, so I couldn't tell if I could see better or not. I wish this had been the only problem I noticed with the bandage lens.
After OddlyFamiliarGirl ferried me home, I tried to take a nap. It didn't work. The numbing drops had worn off and I was in a lot of pain. A lot. It felt like I had a staple in my eye. I squirted some artificial tears in, and they helped, for about 10 seconds. I kept putting the drops in, but the relief never lasted more than a few seconds.
I went to get something to eat, and drink, reasoning that a full stomach might help me to sleep. It did help. I was able to sleep for about four hours. When I woke up, my eye looked like a cherry tomato. Very red and very swollen. My eyelids were swollen, too. I mean, I really looked like crap. More so than usual.
But I didn't want to be the pussy who called back into the eye doctor because of some pain. They'd already told me that I'd experience pain. I figured this was normal. I kept putting in the artificial tears, about every five minutes or so. I managed to sleep fitfully until Saturday morning.