Day three. AKA life on the surface of the sun.
I finally got the exam scheduled in December to limit my out of pocket. Because of the doctor I picked, I had to have the procedure done in December or lose my HSA money. I had hoped it wouldn’t drastically limit my ability to see on Christmas but it was worse than I had feared. Day 3 of recovery was Christmas Eve.
The light sensitivity was a special kind of hell. I couldn’t keep my eyes open at all with any kind of light so we bit the bullet and my wife drove us to my parents (a 6 hour drive.) Even with the shades the vision center gave us I couldn’t keep my eyes open for a second or two and even without that, they wouldn’t focus. Everything was crystal clear at this point, but the pain manifesting as light sensitivity was out of this world. For the drive I had to have my shades on, and a hoodie over my head for most of the drive. This is easily the most frustrating experience in my adult life. Our vision is precious, and this reminder of it was really a kicker.
I’d had a some contacts really bother my eye earlier in the year (the catalyst for saving for Lasik) and my experience there was light sensitivity that gradually went away as my eyes got used to the light. That was NOT the case here. Second one looking out a window, huh, eyes focused and clear but with a weird sensation forming. Seconds two and three, eyes unfocusing, absolutely no way to stop it. Second four, ow, and actual pain. Seconds five+, tears forming, eyelids shutting, no ability to keep them open.
I love the show House, and one of the things they did in an episode was to note that your body only feels pain in a single area. The light sensitivity was a form of pain. If I pinched myself very hard I could keep my eyes open no problem. That was useful to get through skimming a webpage for some information I needed. Other than that, I was essentially blind around anything bright.
I am incredibly grateful to my wife for taking care of me. She literally had to take my hand as I walked with closed eyes. To an outsider, they probably would have assumed I was blind.
If you are undergoing this procedure, make sure to either have a roommate, significant other, or a very good friend that can take care of you. I’d advise lining up food, taking time off of work, and just being prepared to live in darkness for a day or two.