How to Survive PRK

1.  Buy lots and lots and lots of lubricating eye drops.  You will be using more of these precious little bottles and vials than you have ever dreamed possible.  Also, you will notice immediately if you run out, say, in the midst of a conference that you are attending.  The drier your eyes get, the more you will ghost, so lubricate regularly!  Systane Ultra Lubricant Eyedrops (High Performance) are quite comforting and seem to be better than some of the other brands and consistencies that I have tried.  But be prepared to pay.  These puppies aren't cheap.

2.  Go to your one-week post-op check-up and talk with your doctor.  Say things like, "I was planning on trying to give my eyes a rest today because I am worried about straining them."  He will say things like, "Actually, I would prefer that you use your eyes."  Apparently, even though you can barely see past the ghosts to read, it is not in fact harmful to be trying to do so.  Just set the resolution on your computer screen to AS BIG AS POSSIBLE, change the font size on your BlackBerry, buy a magnifying glass or bar to help with printed text, and get used to playing Paleographer vs. the Ghosts.

3.  Blog about your experience so that people notice that you are no longer wearing glasses.  Then brag about what a tough time you are having and how deeply metaphorical the whole experience is.  Use phrases like "seeing through a lens ghostly" and "changing the way in which I view the world."  Speculate on how your brain is probably having to adapt to the new sensory input.  Remember the headaches that you used to get growing up whenever your prescription changed and the world sprang suddenly into focus.  Take some ibuprofen to help with the swelling.

4.  Look at the colors, man!  And the edges.  And the sparkles (e.g. in your diamond wedding ring).  Believe your husband when he says that you were able to read the eye chart at 20/30 (right) and 20/25 (left), even with the ghosts.  Marvel at the fact that you can actually see edges.  And sparkles.   And colors.  And that while the ghosts will one day resolve into single edges, you will still be able to see the light.*

5.  Be patient.  Enjoy the ride.  Remember that it takes time to heal.

*Actually, my doctor explained what the ghosts are about.  I have little ridges in my corneas that have yet to smooth over.  The ridges act like the edges in beveled glass.  So, basically, I'm seeing the world through my own personal stained glass window.  Pretty cool, eh?


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