About two months ago, I had IOL -- intraocular lens -- implants. I've always had an astigmatism in my left eye and just ... near? far? some kinda 'off' sight in both eyes. So glasses since my teens.
Didn't want to do radial keratotomy, where they put a few specific slices in your cornea (outermost eye layer), which heal and reshape your eyes so your sight is fixed (my sister had that ?? 15?? 20? years ago... LOVES it.
I didn't want to do that... 'bout 10-12 yrs ago, I attended a lecture at Emory about IOL... and decided that was for me. My husband wanted to do more research, and he had ABOUT decided he'd let me do it, when he up-and-died. (2011)
Could finally afford it (no insurance, didn't want to wait till medicare in 3 years? and fer SHURE was not letting the VA mess with my eyeballs!!) this year. (Plus, my medical microscope consultant for my biz had done some work for this doc about 3/4 hour away...) (DOUBLE plus, the IOL can FIX astigmatism!! I'd be able to see the clock across the room at night! YAY!))
I'd ALSO noticed -- the thing that made me finally call -- was I had to drive out to my FFL's house (to pick up my Micro after he swapped out the trigger...) -- at night, in pouring rain -- and OMG! I had NO IDEA how bad my night vision had gotten (almost never go out at night... didn't know how bad it had gotten! EEK!)
So, lots of exams and checking everything out. I decided I wanted distance vision in both eyes. I hate any restriction on my vision... Many many people LOVE having one close and one distance lens put in; their brains adjust pretty quickly. NOT for me!
So, after he'd decided what lenses and all; they sent me off; the eyedrops arrived ($180 for three bottles: little itty bitty teeny bottles... start with two different drops in first eye to be done starting two days before surgery. The third kind were for after surgery, along WITH the first two -- no big deal...
Had to have a friend drive -- they don't want you to drive home after "twilight" anesthesia. Took about an hour all told, check in, take bp, rehearse the stuff I told them about allergies and so on, insert an IV line into my arm (for the anesth.), and then roll me into the surgery, and put me out. Plastic eye patch to sleep in for a week (just sunglasses for the trip home). Take ibuprofen is there's discomfort (there wasn't any).
I didn't want to wait, so my second eye was the next week; same procedure except loooooong wait this time. (Eh, popular doc!)
Drops for 1st eye, then adding drops for second eye. (They give you a fill-in schedule at the place I went: cause it's this drop twice a day, this one three times; AND then the two eyeballs were out of synch: so where the first eye was dropping down by one drop a day, the second was full-dosing. No big deal, just write it down.
No pain of any sort -- and OMG!!! I could see the LEAVES -- individual leaves !! across the street! Looked at the menu (I took my friend to lunch both times as payback)... all I could see was these wee black squiggles... She handed me her CVS reading glasses?! WOW! Everything was clear.
The only HUGE problem was -- I wear glasses, right? No prob, I'll just pop the lens out of my computer glasses and distance glasses for the week till the other eye gets done... No! Whoa! My brain was used to understanding what I was seeing through the adjusted vision of glasses!! No working in harmony!
I finally put duct tape on the inside of the computer glasses over my amazing new eyeball side! (And sometimes was driving with my 'old' eye closed!) So, for a week, one-eyed at the computer. Distance glasses worked sorta okay with the lens out -- the brain struggled to merge the two 'streams.'
Second surgery and WHOO HOO!! Can see everything . Today, a month or three after, I can see the computer okay without the cheap reading glasses, but it's easier with. Distance is still delightful and amazing!! (LEAVES! BIRDS!! STUFF!!! And yes, as someone wrote earlier -- BRIGHTER and more colors!!)
Cataracts sneak up so slowly you don't realize how dim/dull your vision has gotten... The colors POP! afterwards.
I DO have ... I dunno 12? pairs of reading glasses (Costco has good ones, 3 pairs in a kit for, like, $16? The CVS good ones cost more, and the cheap ones are... cheap! Don't work that well!) So, I have a pair by the computer, in the kitchen, in my purse, in the workroom, on the dining room table, on the bed, in the bathrooms (for reading)... even in the CAR! (Try figuring out where Waze wants you to go when the screen is unreadable! Or answer the phone...)
I'm delighted. Really glad to have done it. Without insurance, the lovely doc actually only charges uninsured folks the Medicare price!! So, the two eyes, one with a plain lens and one with the "toric" lens (that fixes the astigmatism), the pre-surgery visits, the two surgeries and the anesthesiologist and a follow-up visit... was $5,060. The drops were $180 twice (special deal with the pharm, and they mailed them); needed the second set to finish out the second eye... (The doc is in Gainesville GA.)