Lasik Part 3 – 3rd Review

It’s been slightly over a month since I had lasik done and my left vision is still a little fuzzy. Went for my 2nd review 2 weeks ago and was told that the surface of my left cornea was irregular and there’s a slight swelling in the middle of it. I was prescribed with Alcon Duratears, a gel to be applied into the eye nightly, and Allergen FML 0.1% Liquifilm to be administered 4 times a day. I also asked for sleeping aid as discomfort in my eyes disrupted my ability to fall asleep. The medications cost S$49 with about S$25 being the price for 9 Imovane tablets (sleeping pills). To fall asleep is expensive. Where’s Snow White’s apple?

Left VisionRight Vision At the 3rd review, I went through the usual set of tests – power measurement, eye pressure and optometric before consultation with Dr Marc Tay. From the 2nd review, I still had slight astigmatism in my right eye but by this check, it has been fully corrected. But I still can’t differentiate Michael Jackson from Diana Ross with my left.

The good doctor told me that my left cornea has evened out more from the last check and it is less angry. He explained that the healing process is like waves; some days I feel super with the gentle surf, others I sink with the weather of Poseidon. So I guess there isn’t much to do except to wait out the storm. Some patients heal faster, some take a longer time. I gathered some experiences from friends and they said that their left eye took a slightly longer time too. Jackie from Tabs told me his full recovery took 7 months. Generally, people with high power are at higher risks of complications and take a longer time to recover. So there’s hope for me right? I mean, it’s a matter of time for healing and not a ‘technical fault’ now, right?

Nevertheless, the assurance from Dr Tay made me feel better. I was rather anxious and maybe a little, I hate to admit it, depressed (?) over the past weeks ‘coz the double vision gave me headaches or slight dizzy spells and my energy was so zapped. There’s this constant feeling of heaviness around my eye area and I’m worried it’s going to be for life. As if I don’t have enough to bear already. I’ve heard the Good News. Why does it elude me?

May be it is the adjustment phase of freedom. I’m so used to having something pressed against the ridge of my nose and suddenly the pressure is gone. Maybe my left eye is more sentimental; it takes a longer time to mourn the death of my glasses and contact lenses.

But I’m still mostly glad that I had lasik done. I am thankful that my right eye turned out well or I could be blinder than ever. I am thankful. Little things. Nothing is taken for granted.

Perhaps it is God’s will. About a week after my lasik, due to the course of work, I had to interview this woman to script a video for SNEC (Singapore National Eye Centre). I’ll call her SY. At the age of 15, she was affected by the Stevens-Johnson disease and became almost blind. From what I understood, Stevens-Johnson disease could strike anyone, anytime, from an acute reaction to something we ingested (usually antibiotics) and can cause blindness due to scarring of the cornea tissue.

SY had a flu at 15. She visited the doctor and was prescribed some medications including an antibiotic. Nothing unusual. She took the medications and went to bed. Within hours, her body broke out in burning rashes and her eyes were stuck shut. Within 48 hours, her cornea had been scarred and her world became a blur.

For the next 13 years (she’s 28yo now), she battled to save her vision. She’s the only child from a single-parent home as her father passed away when she was 3yo, and I could just imagine the hardships she and her mother must’ve gone through both emotionally and financially. She’s Malaysian and for her to seek treatment in Singapore, you can imagine the medical bill.

Yet, throughout the interview, she was not sour or bitter. SY admitted that she did went through depression, and periods of extreme fear, of hopelessness, desperation and giving up. She’s gone through two major operations but her condition hasn’t improved tremendously. But she managed to press on with support from her mother, friends, and through Christianity (I’m not advocating religion here).

Despite her illness and visual impairment, she’s earned a business degree and is today a teacher of autistic children. She could’ve gone on to pursue careers in business and finance but she chose to teach. And not to teach any children, but autistic children who require that extra care. She couldn’t see very well herself. If anyone needed extra care, it was her.

But SY told me that perhaps the illness was the best thing that happened to her. That she learnt to see with her heart and molded her character. She had received so much from people around her, the blessings, that she just wanted to give back, to share what she had received. Perhaps when we learn to receive without pride, we learn to give out of gratitude.

And she shared with me that during the years when she had to attend the school for the blind, she encountered this Malay girl of about 9 or 10yo. The girl constantly had a black nose. SY didn’t know why.

The Malay girl was going blind. Her depth of vision was only the length of her nose. She knew of her condition and she just wanted to take in as much as possible to store in her memory before darkness sets in. So she would read constantly, nose tip touching the pages of books, magazines, newspapers… that’s why her black nose.

I hope we don’t need a black-nose situation to let us appreciate the things around us. SY is still seeking treatment for her eye condition. The area around her eyes have this sticky, glossy look about them from the eyedrops that she has to frequently use. She has to travel from Penang to Singapore each time for her appointment and everytime, she will be wondering what will be the outcome of her eye exam and cornea health. Similarly, I’m concerned with what’s happening to my left eye. Definitely I am afraid. I am worried.

But I’ve learnt to see hope from her red, glossy heart.

My next review is 2 months later. Hopefully I’d learnt to see beyond.

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22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blueyblue
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 03:17:52

    mine was okay though slightly off but then its still 6/6 on both sides
    dun worry lah u can go for enhancement too wat
    LOL
    Marc Tay ok lah his consultation v quick

    Reply

  2. blueyblue
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 03:17:52

    mine was okay though slightly off but then its still 6/6 on both sides
    dun worry lah u can go for enhancement too wat
    LOL
    Marc Tay ok lah his consultation v quick

    Reply

  3. airyharse
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 07:29:27

    wish u all the best 🙂

    Reply

  4. airyharse
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 07:29:27

    wish u all the best 🙂

    Reply

  5. runecircle
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 08:14:22

    a wonderful post. am really sad for them but also touched by their inner strength and courage
    all the best with you 😦 hope it’s ok

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 16, 2008 @ 10:03:29

      hey thanks… yeah, i went away pretty inspired after the interview. she told me that the one thing she wanted most was her tears. the stevens-johnson disease had sealed a tear ducts, so while she can cry, there are no tears.
      let’s celebrate our tears :o) heh…

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 16, 2008 @ 10:03:29

      hey thanks… yeah, i went away pretty inspired after the interview. she told me that the one thing she wanted most was her tears. the stevens-johnson disease had sealed a tear ducts, so while she can cry, there are no tears.
      let’s celebrate our tears :o) heh…

      Reply

  6. runecircle
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 08:14:22

    a wonderful post. am really sad for them but also touched by their inner strength and courage
    all the best with you 😦 hope it’s ok

    Reply

  7. nonkie
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 08:31:08

    coincidentally, i just had my 4th review with marc tay last week too. and 9mths ago during my 3rd review, i still had 70degs in my right eye, (left was perfect by then). i kept thinking to myself that something had gone wrong during the procedure on that eye as he kept flipping the cornea flap on and off a few times..well. during the 4th review (its been almost a yr since the surgery), my vision managed to go down to 45. its not perfect, but i was glad i was actually healing slowly, albeit much slower than most ppl. so dont worry, maybe you’re just like me, healing slower than most ppl. =)
    oh, maybe u can try taking eye supplements like lutein or bilberry too.

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 16, 2008 @ 10:06:44

      hey. thanks for sharing with me ur healing process. it is a consolation to me and i hope ur right eye will achieve perfect vision son :o)
      i’m trying to eat more carrots, tomatoes and green leafy veg for beta-carotene and lutein. i’m also taking a multi-vit formula with bilberry. thanks for the advice :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 16, 2008 @ 10:06:44

      hey. thanks for sharing with me ur healing process. it is a consolation to me and i hope ur right eye will achieve perfect vision son :o)
      i’m trying to eat more carrots, tomatoes and green leafy veg for beta-carotene and lutein. i’m also taking a multi-vit formula with bilberry. thanks for the advice :o)

      Reply

  8. nonkie
    Aug 16, 2008 @ 08:31:08

    coincidentally, i just had my 4th review with marc tay last week too. and 9mths ago during my 3rd review, i still had 70degs in my right eye, (left was perfect by then). i kept thinking to myself that something had gone wrong during the procedure on that eye as he kept flipping the cornea flap on and off a few times..well. during the 4th review (its been almost a yr since the surgery), my vision managed to go down to 45. its not perfect, but i was glad i was actually healing slowly, albeit much slower than most ppl. so dont worry, maybe you’re just like me, healing slower than most ppl. =)
    oh, maybe u can try taking eye supplements like lutein or bilberry too.

    Reply

  9. Camemberu
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:56:49

    What a beautiful story on SY and the Malay girl with blackened nose. We really take things for granted, and it’s ironic that so often it’s the less fortunate who are happier than we are.

    Thanks for sharing your Lasik experience too! If my left eye blur, I die ah! Cos that’s my camera eye too! I dunno how to take photo with right eye! Cannot even squint properly!

    Reply

    • Darren Ng
      Jan 05, 2011 @ 03:22:56

      yeah, i was so touched by their positive spirit despite having to deal with such adversity. makes me see the small things in life and start appreciating them better. the outcome of my lasik though unfortunate, represents a miniority who’ll experience complications.

      many of my frens who did it had no problems. i do get a little depress about it at times because it’s a terrible feeling to not be able to see clearly every waking moment, so i make up for it by seeing as much as possible and remain hopeful for a miraculous recovery! 🙂 i can only take pic with my right eye not left although i never knew which was my camera eye in the first place. lol

      Reply

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