One Year After ASA Eye Surgery

April 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm 12 comments

eye-bobbleToday was a great day! After months and months of eye healing, I had my one year follow up appointment from my ASA eye surgery.  My local eye doc doing the follow-up said I was close enough to 20-20 for us both to be thrilled…

And, in all actuality, 20-20 isn’t the goal for everyone.  It’s not even ideal from everyone.  In fact, they do tests before your surgery to see what vision you tend to prefer, so I am likely “preferring” to see things sharp at a distance after not being able to see them for so long!  I’m not sure what my vision was before, but my contacts were -6.50 and I had astigmatism in both eyes.

I’m sure there are some who have it worse, but all I know is, I was so nearsighted most of my life, I couldn’t even tell how many fingers I was holding up right in front of my face!  😀  I was so nearsighted, I couldn’t walk through the house in the dark without running into the walls.  I was so nearsighted, I learned to shave my legs in the morning without seeing — I could do pretty well by feel, but always had to repeat my bony knees and ankles later when I could see with contacts.  I never could get right up and pop in contacts, and wearing glasses fogged up in the shower.  I was so nearsighted I couldn’t drive without glasses, couldn’t walk around without them, and was often afraid of a fall-out that would render me utterly useless without the aids. I couldn’t even be at the pool without glasses or contacts, which was always an annoyance…chlorine left a permanent fog on them (thank goodness for disposables, but still).glasses

A glory moment recently:  last week, Mom came over and said, “Daughter, do you have any ‘One Solution’?”

“No, mom…I most certainly do not have any solution!”

She said, “Oh, you!  I forgot.  That’s just sickening.”

The other day, I went to the tanning bed (haven’t for years, but am getting a base tan this year slowly for a personal treat).  ANYWAY, I didn’t have to go home to take out my “eyes” first.  I didn’t have to fool with putting them back in after I had lotion on my hands.  I didn’t have to worry about it AT ALL.  It was lovely.

I can see really well at night driving with no halos or light problems.

It took from the end of May until the end of September before I started to have a “wow” moment and could read comfortably and see first thing in the morning definition on doors and things.

It was a LONG wait and a LONG process, but ASA was the best choice for my eyes (there were irregularities on the surface of my cornea that needed to be dealt with now or later anyway, so they just burned the surface clean with a mild alcohol solution and let it rebuild–thus the name ASA–Advanced Surface Ablation).

my-glassesThis photo of me drawing was one of the last trips we took where I needed my glasses, last fall break.

This year, I didn’t have to pack all that stuff to go swim in a heavily chlorinated hotel pool! (Ironically, the pool water was too cool for me to swim…but still, even the chlorinated air used to dry out my contacts!)

The dry eye symptoms from the surgery have gotten progressively better since my last visit, though I still use drops some in the morning, especially if I have a lot of popcorn the night before.

My eyes  ARE STILL healing, and my vision was still improving even a year later!  I have improved a half step since the last visit in my worse eye.

My eyes aren’t fatigued at the end of the day from a day of contacts.  I am saved minutes of my morning and evening routines, and the hassle of inserting and removing contacts is such a blessing.  I don’t have to find my glasses.  Be thankful if you have good vision already!

It’s a great gift–I used to pray as a young girl that if God would heal, that he’d heal my eyes (and my zits).  My zits are mostly gone now, twenty years later, and my eyes are “healed”.

I’ll take it.  He is GOOD!

I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone.  The discomfort, risks, and expense wouldn’t seem worth it to me unless there was a great lifestyle benefit to be gained.  If you are getting older and have cataracts, insurance will pay for it, so I’d wait.

The bad part is, you may not know until you go for the consult whether you get Lasik or ASA.  I had to have the latter, which meant the difference in a 3 day recovery and a 3 month recovery, a lot more pain, and a lot more waiting.  So, think carefully before you go jumping on a bandwagon.  It costs just way too much if it’s not a debilitating thing for you, and not everyone is a candidate, even if you want it.

My eyes had finally stopped changing for a few years, and soon, they will start going downhill again, it was a golden moment for me to do it, if it were to be done.  I can get the most out of the expense.

Thank you, dear husband!  He stuck by me, drove me, and helped me out during my recovery.  Three cheers!

eyes-park

TODAY:20/25  in my Right eye; 20/30 in my Left… I like it!

I CAN SEE!

PHOTO: March 2009, Park (trust dark tinted sunglasses, protecting my eyes from harmful UV as they continue to heal–The eye surgeon in Louisville said they were really uncertain as to how long it actually took a lifetime of cornea to heal back fully, but the eye doctor today, and even in January, said if he didn’t know I’d had the surgery, he could see NO sign of scar tissue or even any line at all that indicated it had been done at all.  AMAZING.)

READ MORE:  If you want to read more about the days/months following the surgery  here’s a link to those back posts.  (I love the photo on one of those links where I found a way to decorate my post-surgery goggles with sequins.  I may have been in a heck of a lot of pain, on morphine, taking twenty some odd eye drops a day, but dad-gum it, I was going to have me some girlie sequins going on!)

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Entry filed under: Advanced Surface Ablation, Health.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carol  |  April 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    That is awesome, Maggie!! I am so happy for you, that you finally got “healed!”

  • 2. Misty  |  April 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Yay!! I know it’s been a long road for you, but so glad you’ve arrived! Enjoy!

  • 3. Cindy  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:08 am

    like the addition of the pictures and the smilies

  • 4. Kim  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Whoo-Hooo!!! I’m going to try to do the eye surgery thing next year. Can’t do it this year because this is a surgery free year…remember???

  • 5. terry  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:55 am

    I am happy for you. I enjoyed reading your comments. I will pe doing ASA on May 28 2009. I am excited for the end results and hope and pray that all goes well for me. I enjoyed reading your experience.

  • 6. terry  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:58 am

    I am happy for you. I enjoyed reading your comments. I will be doing ASA on May 28 2009. I am excited for the end results and hope and pray that all goes well for me. I enjoyed reading your experience.

  • 7. Al  |  December 18, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Maggie, I just had ASA a week ago, today. Many of my peers have had the bladeless LASIK procedure; and to be quite frank, I was getting very jealous of them until I read your article. I too had to have ASA due to issues on my corneas and my surgeon recommended it over LASIK for long-term benefits. The pain was excruciating for the first 3 days. 7 days later, I am so blurry I am almost in a state of regret. My left eye is healing faster than the right, so vision is staggered. My job requires me to be in front of a monitor all day so I’m a half a foot away from the screen with the resolution substantially lower than what I’m used to (so the fonts are bigger). I so badly wish to read street signs (I drove yesterday for the first time). I google everything about ASA and that’s how I found you. I’m praying for a speedy recovery, and 20-20 for the both of us. Good luck. Thank you for sharing your experience, and please keep in touch.

  • 8. Maggie  |  December 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Al, I think you will see this comment if I leave it here. Let me know or I’ll email you.

    My eye sensitivity is MUCH better now. I hardly ever think of needing sunglasses other than when I normally would. My vision has leveled out to near perfect results. I am very happy with the results and think it is one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.

    You might try some cheap dollar store glasses…sometimes they have a sign to help you determine what strength you need. That helped me with books and computer screens to bridge the gap…however, you don’t want to overuse them to the point that your eyes think they have settled in a good spot and do not continue to try to adjust to normal. I only used them occasionally when I got very frustrated or was just dying to read a little something in a magazine for a few moments.

    I wish you well. Tip: watch movie popcorn…the salt bothered my eyes the next morning to the point I could hardly get my eyes open the next day. Country ham had the same effect. I found some eye salve I would use before bedtime during dry winter months when the heat was on a lot if morning dry eyes were painful…mine were!

    Best wishes!

  • 9. Teresa  |  May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Had ASA about 4 weeks ago. So disappointed. This was my “free enhancement” from my 1999 Lasik. I can’t see up close or far away. Although your story is wonderful to hear, I cannot think of anything worse than having to wait a full year for complete recovery. What a real bummer. I wish, I wish, I wish I would had never had this done to my poor eyes.

  • 10. Maggie  |  June 12, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I had an unusual case and has to do the surgery “the old way”. Now that I did it, it was worth the wait. Still the best thing I ever did, though the road was long and hard!

  • 11. Allie Amon  |  October 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Maggie: I am having this surgery as a enhancement from Lasik surgery in 1996. I was so pumped up reading your story until I read Teresa’s post (no offense to Teresa). Your recovery was longer due to some other issues correct? In other words, if their are no issues the recovery should be a couple of months when the blurry vision vanishes? a couple of months will not be so bad in my opinion. My night vision has gotten so bad, I’m afraid I could hit someone if they had dark cloths on walking down the side of the road… Thanks for you inspiration. And as for Teresa.. Hang in there hopefully you will be seeing 20/20 soon. One more question Maggie? I have a high tolerance for pain.. but one of the post said exscuriating pain? OMG is this true? My surgeon said most people take over the counter aspirins and/or they could prescribe something? Thanks for taking the time to create your story. Allie

  • 12. Courtney  |  December 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Allie-have you had your procedure yet?

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

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