March 10, 2017 — the day I took a leap of faith to undergo Z-LASIK after years of indecisiveness. What kept me holding back? The tormenting idea of cutting my eyes open which assassinates my sanity. But with the advances of medical technology, relationship breakups can be more painful than a corneal refractive surgery. The overnight recovery process is not an illusion anymore. Hence, having a poor eyesight nowadays is not an option. No amount of fear will succumb me to step back again. It’s now or never.
As told by my LASIK consultant, I arrived around 2pm at Shinagawa Ortigas Branch. A waiver form was waiting for me with a piece of paper about the things not to do after the operation. I have never expected that reading the waiver form would give me a second thought. Gambling the chance to correct my vision is risky, ba-blah-blah! I signed it anyway.
I sat on a couch where I met the six patients who would also undergo the Z-Lasik procedure. We waited almost two hours to prepare the machine — an hour in the lobby and another one in the sterile room.
The Sterile Room
In the sterile room, we were asked to take off our shoes and wear the slippers, medical gown and hairnet. This time the real tension is on. We sat down listening to individual stories and how each of us mustered our courage to finally go under the knife.
Nurse Pinkie oriented us on what will happen during the surgery. A speculum will be inserted on our eyes to prevent ourselves from blinking as we follow the green light. We need to answer in verbal and stick our hands on our lap during the surgery. Then she started to drop topical anesthesia on our eyes in three dosages.
The Medical Kit
The medical kit was distributed next. It consists of the following:
1. Protective Glasses – this must be worn all the time; may it be indoor or outdoor. However, if one cannot tolerate the light outside, sunglasses can be worn provided that you will put back the protective glasses once you have entered an establishment.
2. Eye Shield and Medical Tape – a pair of eye shield has to be taped around the eyes at night. This is to avoid scratching off the eyes unconsciously while sleeping.
3. Anti-Infective, Anti-Inflammatory and Artificial Tears – these eyedroppers must be religiously put into the eyes every three hours for the first 24 hours. And four times a day on the second to seventh day after the operation.
4. Pain Reliever Tablet – the nurse advised me to take it as soon as the anesthesia has worn off. If not, I might look like a desperate loser crying over a lost relationship. My ex should be choking at this moment.
Now that the anesthesia has taken effect, it’s surgery time! Announced to be third in the queue, my knees began to tremble. My heart pounded like someone is about to devirginize me at last! Oh I can tell.
Until I heard, “Next is Sir Emmanuel. Let’s proceed to the operating room.” I followed the nurse immediately. I gently laid on the surgical bed, and the other nurse covered my body with a blanket. Since we are not allowed to raise our hands, this is to determine any hand movement right away.
They put a tape close to my superior and inferior eyelids before inserting the speculum to my right eye. The metal is really cold that I have almost compared it to my ex, for the record! It was bothersome and uncomfortable at first, until the nurse put another drop to my eye.
Dr. Francis Guerrero instructed me to focus on the green light no matter what happens. I did my best to do so. Sucking my eyeballs was the next part. The sound of the machine is like an on-going printer, it was totally eerie. Then I saw a thin-like plastic lifted (which I believe is my cornea) and the red light started to laser my eyes. It smells like something is burning. When the red light disappeared, the flap was put back and another drop was put into my eyes.
After while, the nurse filled my eyes with water repeatedly before removing the speculum. And it was over! The same procedure was done to my left eye. I couldn’t believe the surgery lasted in just eight minutes for both eyes! It was absolutely painless.
After The Surgery
After the surgery we were advised to go home and sleep it off. Since it was Friday, I almost gave up in life looking for a cab. My friend took 30 minutes outside Hanston Square Building while I dreaded to get my eyes exposed to polluted air. Duh?
In the taxi, I still had a hard time opening my eyes since it gets easily tired. Although hazy, I was able to see things on my phone for the first time without my prescription eyeglasses. I was able to see the signages, plate numbers and small letters written on billboards clearly.
However, as much as I want to do so, again, my eyes get strained easily so I rested it way home. I also took the pain reliever so I won’t experience the pain anymore.
As instructed, I put my medication religiously every three hours. Thank God my alarm clock worked for me.
The Next Day
The world in my eyes is in high definition quality! Looking into the mirror, I even noticed a white strand of my hair from afar. Although my eyes are extremely light sensitive that moment, I could tell that everything was doing perfect.
I went back to Shinagawa. Dr. Guerrero scanned my eyes through a machine that has a vertical light again. He said that I can resume to my normal activities and instructed me to have the medication four times a day — morning, noon, evening and before going to bed. Except the artificial tears which I have to put every three hours; but not anymore when sleeping.
After A Week
After seven days, I went back for my another post-operation check up. The same doctor who had my LASIK screening was there to check my visual acuity. From 675/675 with almost 100 astigmatism to 20/16. How was that? I can see better than the normal human eyes can!
Then, Dr. Guerrero scanned my eyes with the same machine he always uses. He informed me to stop putting the anti-infective and anti-inflammatory anymore. But because my eyes are indeed dry, I still have to put the artificial tears every three hours.
It has been two weeks and I felt like I never had a surgery; except that my visual acuity is now 20/16. It works like magic and I admire how Shinagawa Lasik and Aesthetics stayed true to their words. No doubt why it is the world’s largest eye surgery provider. Z-LASIK is the most advanced refractive corneal procedure that is proven safe and effective. It has an overnight recovery process which is a huge factor.
Human eye is the organ of vision. We use them in almost every activity we perform, whether reading, watching television, and in other countless ways. Having these things said, vision is not solely what we see but how we see the world that matters most.
I hope you take care of your eyes.