My Laser Eye Surgery Story – Focus Clinic London
Why Get Laser Eye Surgery
I’ve worn glasses since I was 10. It’s honestly never bothered me that much in the ‘how they look’ sense. I find other people with glasses attractive, never thought it made much difference to that sort of thing etc. I suppose I am rather odd in a sense that I am critical of my own looks but really couldn’t care less whether someone else takes an issue to me or my glasses. I also don’t care if other people wear glasses. I wrote half of this post before having it done and the other half after so it might sound a bit weird so I’m sorry if it does. I just wanted to share my experience. FYI – this was paid for myself.
I Kind of Like My Glasses
To be honest I was quite protective of them if someone said anything nasty I got angry. But people made comments on them ALL the time. I find it so bizarre. It’s one thing having an opinion on someone or their outfit etc. but telling them directly to their face? I find it strange and rude. It’s one thing nudging your friend and whispering – wow what is that person wearing. It’s quite another to go over and boldly ask them! I’ve been called all sorts of glasses related insults over the years too. Not that it upset me, again I just find it so strange! You wouldn’t shout names at someone on crutches, or in a wheelchair, would you? Maybe they do that too, weirdos.
I actually felt a bit worried if I would like looking at myself without glasses. I have worn them for all of my teens and all of my adulthood. I was not sure how I would feel when they were finally gone. I hoped I would feel like a whole new woman! Sarah mark 2, sports edition with turbo vision haha!
You may be wondering why I wanted this done after all that, and the reasons I have wanted to get it done for years are:
- Swimming – where am I going, I can’t bloody see
- Sunglasses -it is so expensive getting prescription glasses or you have to wear contacts with regular sunglasses which I hate. I hate contacts
- Snorkelling -all great until my contact lens floats away
- Putting on makeup – I have to get so close to the mirror it’s quite hard
- Diving – too scared to try and learn when I have to rely on float-away contacts
- Skydiving – it was so hard to see what the hell was going on!
- Lying down to watch a film or the tv – glasses move and jab you in the head
- Rollercoasters – you have to take them off – what’s the point then!
- Falling out of the shower – without my glasses on I misjudge things and fall
- Using the wrong beauty products in the shower – Staying at a friends house and using femfresh not shampoo. Oops.
- Cinema – you have to wear 3d glasses on top of your own which never really works
- Stairs – I have to look down when walking down stairs otherwise I misjudge and fall
- Driving is a pain as I wear my sunglasses but if it starts to get dark I have to pull over to switch glasses
- Switching from glasses to sunglasses when you go in and out of the office of shops is such a pain
What is my Prescription
I had -3.5 short-sightedness in both eyes, and also a varying degree of astigmatism in both eyes. Even thought my eyesight was not technically that bad I struggled to even get up in the night and go to the loo without putting on my glasses. Not that great!
Why Focus Clinic
I decided to finally bite the bullet and get the laser eye surgery after watching videos on youtube of people getting the surgery done at Focus Clinics on youtube. I googled them and found their website and TV presenters, models like David Gandy and many more people had had the same surgeon I would have. I felt good that if people who were considered financially able to have had chosen to have this as the best they could afford, it would be good. The procedure seemed a lot less terrifying than I had imagined and the surgeon that did it seemed very nice and calming, and very professional after watching the videos. I was also surprised that while the operation is expensive, it was much cheaper than I had thought it would be and cheaper than when I had looked into it before years ago. I have been saving for 4 years for this operation so please don’t think I just flash the cash willy nilly!
What Happens Before The Procedure
You book an appointment for a consultation at 22 Wimpole Street London, go along and have quite a few tests done. I was very scared of the tests as I have never even managed to have that ‘puff of air’ test before without giving up or the optician getting pissed off at me and telling me off (if that happens I just leave, I’m not about being told off). If you’ve seen that episode of Friends where Rachel is having her eyes tested then you will know what I mean, that was how bad I was. I would have legitimately rather have had 3 smear tests than 1 eye test.
There are lots of machines that you are tested on. Most you just look through the lens and look at something, be it a light or a picture, and the machine gauges different things about your eye. There are only 2 tests which actually involve them touching your eye but they put numbing drops in beforehand and you feel nothing. So the only slightly scary parts are when they put the drops in your eye – but they do that so quickly it’s fine. And where they touch your eye with a device to measure your cornea, which again, takes literally 2 seconds per eye and I felt nothing as my eye was numb. I am terrified of eyes and I was honestly so surprised I did so well. Everything is so quick you have no time to panic and you aren’t really told what each thing involves and the staff are so nice. One of the touch your eye parts of the test she said ‘done’! And I had no idea she’d even done anything it was so fast.
Booking an Appointment
After they gauge whether all of the tests means that you are a good candidate for Lasik (which I was) A Lasik to be exact, they can then book you in for your surgery! I chose to take an appointment as soon as I could after as I didn’t want to have too long to freak out about it. But I did have to wait a month, was dragging a bit. My surgery was on the 17th of June.
I wrote this beforehand:I will be so excited to actually buy normal people sunglasses! I do have a pair of gigantic Prada sunglasses so I am going to wear them on the day and buy some new ones when I can enjoy the feeling of being able to try the glasses on and see how I look in a mirror which will be such a luxury. I always buy the same ray ban glasses at the moment as buying a new style is awful as the ones you are trying on have no prescription, so you can’t see what you look like with them on! Talk about stupid.
You then have another appointment about a week before your surgery to meet the surgeon and discuss any issues or questions you have. Mine is on Thursday.
On The Day
I am so thankful that my friend Dan met me there, as he lives nearby and you need someone to take you home after surgery as you will be sensitive to light and a bit blurry. You also have to take (possibly your first ever) pair of non-prescription sunglasses with you to wear afterwards.
They go through all of the tests you had in your consultation again just to check and you meet the surgeon again. When you are ready to go to surgery they give you a bag with all of your drops for afterwards and explain how you need to use them. Your eyes are then cleaned with a cotton pad (around the eye) and you are given the anesthetic drops in your eye, and a snazzy hat and shoe combo ready for surgery.
You go into the room, which is dark and bloody freezing and lay on the bed and they give you two stress balls to squeeze if you are freaked out during surgery. At this point you are likely to be so confused you don’t even have time to be scared.
They put metal clamp things on you so you can’t blink. You do not feel a thing. It’s handy since you don’t want to shut your eyelid while they are lasering! You don’t even have time to notice this feels a bit weird and it is not painful at all or scary to have put in, it also feels like you are blinking but you aren’t which is strange, but means you don’t have to hold your eyes wide open, you just blink as normal even though you aren’t really blinking.
The Surgery Itself
First they need to make a flap in the very top of the clear part of your eye, so the laser can get on in there and do its thing. This is the only bit of the surgery where you feel anything at all, and all you feel is the tiniest pressure of the machine as it presses down on your eye a bit to hold it in place. All that really happens is for 20 seconds you are looking at a green light the light fades away and then comes back. That is honestly it. It’s just like being really drunk at a rave and starting to fall asleep, that’s the only way I can describe it. There is zero pain.
Once the flap is done then all you do is look straight at the coloured light above and do as you are told, then it’s simply repeated for the second eye. Again the pressure wasn’t bad at all and but I kept thinking Sarah, you’ve waited so long to do this you moron why didn’t you do this 10 years ago! If you push the palm of your hand against your (closed) eye, it feels 10 times worse than the laser eye surgery pressure. The rest of the op is just watching lights flash and they keep telling you that you are doing really well, even though you aren’t doing anything so I had to try not to giggle.
You are then sat up and taken to a rest area to rest your eyes and just basically chill out after being all adrenaline’d up all morning. Then I was ready to be taken home. I was basically just feeling like it was all quite surreal at this point. I felt so brave!
Then we went home. Thankfully Dan’s promise to give me an in-car eye test of all of the road signs was just a joke as I needed to rest my eyes and enjoy wearing my new sunnies. Instead he decided to give me an in car disco with old hits from Biggie and Snoop Dogg which did make me laugh. Hey I got to enjoy his fancy new car’s stereo system while I could!
When I got home I sorted myself out with all of my stuff and my drops so I was ready to put on my plastic eye covers and go to sleep. Normally I watch youtube videos but since I couldn’t see too well I just randomly listened to Magic Mike while it played. Can you imagine? Nobody probably watches it for the dialogue and I’m laying there listening to it haha!
You need to put the drops in every few hours Then I went to sleep for 4 hours. When I woke up I did a bit of pottering about and then went back to bed for the night. My next appointment was the next morning. I set my alarm, put on my plastic eye shields again and went to bed very excited so it was a bit hard to sleep. I was excited about how I would wake up the next day and be able to see clearly.
I got up and gingerly went to remove my eye patches. My eyes were a bit crusty (sexy) but I just boiled some water and let it cool, then wiped over my eyelids and I was back to normal. Then I put my sunnies on for a shower which was hilarious to me but I couldn’t get my eyes wet. It worked fine! I really needed a shower at that point I felt gross. I obviously just showered from the neck down to clean myself. I then cleaned my face avoiding the eye area with miscellar water on a cotton pad. Got dressed and off I went to my checkup.
The checkup went well and my eyesight was better than 20/20!
The Week After
I’ve been trying to have breaks from work and an actual lunchbreak which I rarely get so I can get out of the air con and into normal air. This does help as without the breaks my eyes feel very tired. In hindsight I would have taken a few days off work as in reality nobody really cares that you’ve had it done or makes allowances for you. The most you get is a ‘how are your eyes’ once or twice and then nothing. I’ve had my one week checkup and my eyes are a bit dry so I have to take extra flax seed oil tablets and they have given me some extra moisturising eye drops. But apart from that I can see so well and it had really changed my life. I tried on some sunglasses while shopping today and I could see what I looked like for the first time ever. It was amazing!
Save £200 on your Lasik
I totally recommend going to focus clinic if you are looking to get laser eye surgery. David the surgeon is so lovely and amazing at what he does. All of the staff are so kind and reassuring.
I had no problems at all and my vision is amazing. Apparently, if I recommend anyone to get it done and you give my name and perhaps my email (I mean I’m Sarah Smith there must be hundreds) then you get £200 off your surgery. I wish I had known someone so I could have got a discount. If you are interested just pop me an email and I can give you further info. But either way this was one of the best things I have done in my life, so if you want to do it, just do it! You won’t regret it.