Laser Eye Surgery

I feel like I’m going through metamorphosis as I enter the third decade of my life. I had surgery on my nose 4 months ago and just 5 days ago, I went through laser eye surgery. Before the nose surgery, the last time I was in the hospital for any length of time was two and a half decades prior – it really does pour when it rains. The nose has recovered nicely and I think I’m at 99% recovery on the nose. Anyways, I’m in the 5th day of recovery from the laser eye surgery. This is more for a personal account of what the first five days felt like as I want to remember what it felt like post-op as I seemed to have already erased the memory of what the pain felt like during my nose surgery recovery. I have this fantastic ability to literally erase memories of things I don’t like, which is both extremely useful and sometimes a hindrance.

The type of laser eye surgery itself was a No Touch PRK laser procedure. There was no way in hell I was going to let a knife or any physical object touch my eyes. This surgery basically shot a laser into each of my eyes. I had thought on and off about laser eye surgery for a long time. I think getting the nose surgery was a push to get it done. Also, this article on Silicon Valley bagillionaires prepping for the apocalypse, hilariously probably pushed me towards it as well. In all honesty, I looked forward to not having to constantly wipe down glasses that slide down the bridge of my nose.

Even though I read that the surgery would be quick, I was still astounded by how quick it was over. From the moment I was on the surgery room, I was probably out in 5 minutes. The actual procedure in each eye – where the laser is firing – probably was 20 seconds at most for each eye. It was really, really quick. So while the actual laser surgery was very short, the rest of the time was spent with the surgeon preparing your eye for the laser shot by putting some liquid on the surface of your eye and then wiping it down. The procedure was very, very quick. It went something like this:

The first day was brutal in terms of the pain: I could barely keep my eyes open and any amount of light was way too intense on the senses. On the first day I basically kept myself locked up in the bathroom with the lights off most of the day. Being a masochist for pain apparently, I didn’t even consider taking the pain relief eye drops that were given to me on the first day and suffered like an idiot. After only being able to sleep for an hour at a time the first night, I decided to take the pain drops every hour and never looked back. Take those pain drops the minute you are out of surgery like your life depends on it!

The second day the pain subsided a bit, eyes could be kept open a little longer, and light was still very bright but no unbearable. I still had all the blinds down in the house and couldn’t stand the lights being on, but it wasn’t as terrible as the first day.

I couldn’t believe how exponentially better I felt each passing day because by the third day, I felt pretty ok and getting back to normal. I was able to go out for a family dinner in the evening and remain relatively comfortable.

The fourth day was even better and now by the fifth day I’m able to type this up with the screen brightness dialled down halfway.

By the fifth day, which is as I write this, my eyes feel pretty good, although a bit drier than normal so I take those artificial tear drops, and I have no need for the pain drops anymore. My vision is still slightly blurry but its functional enough that I can see well enough to read and write. Longer distance – what I was getting corrected for – is still on and off. There definitely has been a major improvement in my long distance vision, but it tends to go in and out of focus a bit. My info sheet says that it will take a week or two for vision to stabilize and by 4 to 6 months the recovery should be almost 100% complete.

I have these soft contact lenses that have been in since the day of surgery that is coming out tomorrow morning and apparently I will be able to go back to doing all the normal things I typically do.

The cost of this surgery works out to roughly a 9 cents a day if I live to 90. So in other words, as long as each and every day for the rest of my life, I can say “I am happy to spend 9 cents to have perfect vision” it will all be monetarily worth it.

From an accounting perspective, it’s also interesting to note that while the cost of the surgery is entirely deducted from this years cash flows, since this is sort of like a CAPEX, the cost of the surgery should be depreciated over the next 60 years or so. Then magically, because of accounting, the net income is adjusted to show the fraction of the expense every year for the next 60 years on our income statement, even though on the cash flow statement you will see a big chunk of cash missing from this year’s cash flows.

Anyways, life really does seem to get in the way with writing here even more frequently than it might have a few years ago.

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