11 August 2010

3-2-1 Contact

Dress: Forever 21 Frond Linen Blend (worn here before - also seen on Spiffy! and Jan!)
Belt: Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy stretch (worn here and here and here before)
Shoes: Sofft Giovanna (worn here, here and here before)
Necklace: Anthropologie Double Torsade (worn here and here before)

Long post alert! I had Lasik surgery done on my eyes a few years ago and it literally has changed my life. I can't tell you how good it still feels to wake up in the morning and be able to see the sun streaming in through the blinds and the numbers on the clock. I don't have to deal with glasses headaches anymore or have to worry if I packed my contacts solution or rewetting drops if I go anywhere.

I know some of you ladies are considering Lasik as a option to correct your vision and wanted to hear about my experience with it, so here it is. I won't go into details about what the procedure is or how to pick a doctor because we all already know it is imperative to do your research first - plus I'm no expert!

The techs at the doc's office will do like a million tests on your eyes first to see if you can have the procedure. These tests not only help to determine if you have agstimatism or other eye irregularities, but also checks on the thickness of your cornea, and the amount and the locations of tissue to be removed during the surgery.

It took me 3-4 months of doc visits before I got approved for my surgery. This was because I have chronic dry eye and the Lasik procedure is said to make your eyes even drier. The doc ended up putting me on a prescription for Restasis (a prescription eye drop that increases tear production), which resolved the issue after a few weeks.

The procedure
The actual procedure only take like 20 minutes but you're in the doc's office for a few hours. First they give you Valium or some mild sedative so you don't freak out as they play with your eyeballs. Then they put some drops in your eyes to numb them and put a suction ring on your eyeball to hold it in place. The ring will completely blur your vision - which is fine, because the next step is where they cut a flap off your cornea.

I had IntraLasik done, which means the flap cutting is done with a laser instead of the standard blade. I highly recommend this option because it is more precise, and let's face it, no one likes the idea of a blade anywhere near an eyeball, especially if it is your own!

One item the doc never mentioned to me but I was glad I had the sedative for - when the real laser gets in and "remodels" your eye, you will smell burning. And yes, that burning is from you. But you'll be on Valium, so everything will be a-okay.

Your eyes are going to feel like they've got sand in them for a few days and there may be a red ring around the white of your eyes from the suction ring - it'll all go away after a few days, just remember to not rub your eyes! You'll probably be ultra-sensitive to light for a while too.

The awesome side of things is that you'll see improved vision pretty much immediately. A week after my surgery, my doc said I had better than 20/20 vision - I don't think I ever had that!

Lasik ain't cheap. It runs about $2,000+ per eye. I saved up for mine and paid it in one sum, but most offices will offer payment plans if you're interested. I don't know if insurances will cover this because mine at the time didn't.

It's been about two years since surgery and I can still see clearly. I probably don't see as crisply as I did that first month or so right after surgery, but keep in mind that though Lasik is permanent, your eyes will still continue to age with use.


Hope this little tidbit helps. Let me know if you've got any Qs - and for any other gals who have also had Lasik done, please add your comments if I've forgotten anything!

(If you're in the ABQ-area, I can't recommend Dr. Bernitsky enough. Yeah, he's the guy on all the billboards, but he was my doc and I found him, his staff and his facility exceedingly professional and helpful).


  1. OMG - ok first off - love the dress can't believe it's F21.

    2nd - I went to get lasik 2 years ago and b/c of my dry eyes they cancelled the surgery the day before. I was devastated!!!! I was unable to get Restasis b/c it's unavailable in Canada -I was seriously crushed. A few months back the clinic was able to get me 30 single vials of Restsis - I have them sitting on my bedside table but haven't opened them to use them yet - I'm so scared they won't work and I'll be upset all over again!

    After you used the Restasis your eyes were fine? Did you have to schedule the surgery while using the drops?

    (sorry, email me if you'd like - I know I'm asking a crazy amount of questions here! :P)

  2. It is so funny that you brought this up because I've been thinking a lot about getting lasik recently. I think I'm going to start researching doctors and such because I can't wait for the day that I wake up and can actually read the clock on the other side of the room.

  3. wow - you are a brave soul. i am blind as a bat, but scared to death of lasik for so many reasons...but, i have dry eyes, too. i'm holding out hope that vision shaping therapy (wear contacts at night to squeeze your eyeballs into submission and then pop 'em out in the a.m.) will finally reach my prescription (8.5,9).....
    and, you look so flippin' cute/chic/got it goin' on in that dress. f21? so hard to believe....

  4. I'm one of those lucky souls that don't need glasses and have pretty close to 20/20 vision. If I did wear glasses though, I'd get lasik in a heartbeat. Thanks for all this info! I know my friend saw your post and she was just talking about lasik the other day.

  5. I just visited the OD and sadly Lasik is not an option for me! There is a new technique out there as well where they implant a contact and it can be surgically replaced whenever needed. I am always freaked out though by those large clamps that keep your eyes open! I'm glad that it was an option that worked for you--I'd love to see my alarm clock in the morning!

    I also can't believe that dress is F21. The yellow and white together look adorable. BTW, after seeing your paisley shirt the other day I picked up a super cute Lands End one today!

  6. wow... so interesting I am so lucky/blessed to have better than 20/20 all on my own. I also have naturally straight teeth= no braces! (hear that horn?? toot toot!) but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel lucky to have strong sight. As queasy as it makes me, I would probably go for lasik if I needed to.

    oh and love the dress, of course!

  7. So I've never had eye problems or needed glasses, but I have to tell you that this outfit is amazing. It seriously does not look like Forever 21! It fits you perfectly, the print is so fun and those shoes...oh, those shoes...I want some!

    You look fantastic!

  8. maybe I need my eyes examined bc that dress looks much more expensive than F21! :)

    I looked high and low in two stores for that dress to no avail. it's great!

  9. Hi curls-and-pearls - no problems about the Qs! Oh no, I'm so sorry about your surgery cancellation! I would've thoughts the docs would know before they would schedule anything with you. My doc prescribed Restasis for me and told me to take Flaxseed Oil pills every day too. He wouldn't schedule the surgery until after my tests came back good, so it took several months of visits and several months of Restasis. The drops did work for me, but they are expensive. Each little vial is only supposed to be good for one day, but there is enough medicine in there for several days. One of the techs told me to just store the vial in a covered place and use it until it's empty to save costs. Hope this helps, and please let me know if I can be of more help!

    Hi Fallon - I think it's so worth it. I'm still thankful every day that I can see unaided.

    Hi Kcookski - I was scared too, but the thought of better vision was stronger than my fear. BTW, I saw you on TV!!!!!

    Aw, Cindi, you lucky duck. Every one else in my immediate family has fine vision except for me. I think I took all their vision problems!

    Oh no, applesandpencilskirts, that's too bad. I did look into the implantable contacts too, and it is also a less expensive and less permanent option should things not go right - but I just couldn't get over the thought of something being implanted in me!

    Aw, Spiffy, you too with the perfect vision. And perfect teeth?! As a gal who was told by her dentist her teeth were too big and had to get adult teeth removed so I could get braces, I am officially jealous.

    Thanks, Melissa! F21 has been coming out with some good stuff lately.

  10. Thanks, Pamela. Considering how much stuff they manage to jam into each F21 store, it's perfectly possible this dress could still be there - that's why I hate going into F21 stores, I can't ever find anything!

  11. I love that you gave such a detailed post of your encounter with the procedure. I am an Ophthalmic technician, I so understand the thousands of tests that must be completed prior to surgery. I am happy to hear you are please with your results.


  12. My b/f had eye surgery a few years ago, and I picked him up from the doctor's office afterwards. He was on valium, and just like you...said everything was okaaay! LOL.

  13. love how that necklace makes the dress look like it has a decadent embellished collar. . glad your surgery went fab. .

    thanks for stopping by & am adding you to the blogroll & google follow :)

  14. That's a great informational post today, thank you!

    p.s. Love, love the dress too! I don't think I own a yellow dress.. Me want one!

  15. I still feel super squeamish about it all, but look forward to the day I have clear vision without glasses. Thanks for the information!

    Love your outfit, I own the same necklace and belt (: I'm still looking for something to pair my new necklace with and this is great inspiration.

  16. Lisa, how the heck do you make F21 pieces look so damn expensive. I'm jealous ;P. Seriously, you look like a million bucks and you even sneaked in a face shot. :)

    I'm even more jealous that you have 20/20 vision! I want Lasik soooo bad, but my vision keeps changing. I keep asking my doctor if I'm going to go blind and of course he laughs and tells me no! I tolerate the laughter from him because I must sound crazy for thinking I'm going to go blind, plus he's a hottie. Ha ha. One I'll get it though. One of my girlfriends and I talk about it all the time. Now is the time for me to stop shopping and save up for Lasik. Wait, did I just say that I'm going to quit shopping. Ha ha.

    Well, I hope you had a great humpday. This week is going by so fast.

    xx Love & Aloha

  17. GORGEOUS dress!! You look so chic!!

  18. I love that dress on everyone who wears it. And the Double Torsade is the perfect accessory.

    Thanks so much for the Lasik tips. I'm considering getting it done -- after I finish up all my periodontic stuff. Ickk...

  19. Fabulous dress!

    I'm so happy to here that you are doing well with your Lasik. I am actually an eye doc who practices at a Lasik center (shhh....I like to keep blogging and work separate). It's amazing to be able to help change people's lives :)

  20. I love that dress!!! I have never worn glasses or anything but once in 2nd grade I faked the eye exam so I could get them but the doc figured it out!

  21. I'm thinking of getting it done next year and reading this still makes me nervous. Were you nervous at all during the procedure or did the Valium made all worries go away?

  22. Your dress is so adorable! It really looks like it came from Anthropologie instead of Forever 21. As for Lasik, I still plan to one day. =0( My eyes are still changing, they are decreasing by .25, really irksome. The doc said that I could go with the surgery but it would increase the chance that my eyes will continue to worsen and having to get contacts/glasses again. This post was really helpful though! What to expect, when I can have the surgery.

  23. That dress looks awesome on you. The color is perfect and I love the way you belted it. That's great that you had lasik and it worked well for you! I bet it must be amazing to wake up and be able to see!


  24. You guys are awesome, thanks, Carmen!

    Alterations Needed, you know how laid back I was that day then!

    Aw, thanks so much, devilishlypleasureable, I'll be visiting you back again soon!

    Thanks, 20 York Street, this is my first and only yellow dress.

    Thanks, Cindy. All thoughts of natural clear vision should power you through the squeamishness!

    Thanks, Sharon. They've got payment plans for the Lasik nowadays! :o)

    Thanks, Collette!

    Thanks, Jamie, I definitely feel all girlie and put-together in this piece.

    Aw, Eek, I should've called you up first then! :o)

    Tricia - WHAT?! Fake needing glasses?! Oh you funny perfect-visioned people ... :o)

    Michelle - the desire to be able to see clearly made all the nerves go away. And the doc and his team inspired confidence in me. And the procedure was completely pain-free. And the Valium helped too, I'm sure.

    Thanks, Hanna. Yeah, my doc told me that a person's vision usually settles in around their mid 20s. Though he also said with Lasik, it's not guarantee a person won't need reading glasses when they get into their 40s and 50s!

    Hi Valerie - Thanks and yes, I am still thankful every day I wake up and can't still see those numbers on my clock - right before I beat it quiet.

  25. Cute outfit! :-)
    Thanks for the info about lasik. I don't have the money to do it anytime soon, but it is definitely something I'd consider eventually and your explanation of the procedure and what to expect really helps make me not so nervous about it.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I've worn glasses/contacts for almost 15 years. I can't even remember what it's like to wake up and see things clearly (I mean that in the lateral sense, lol). I'm sure you can relate to the fact that I've been considering Lasik for years!


  27. I can't believe this is a F21 dress - it looks so expensive. Love it!

  28. Oh wow - that is the perfect belt with this dress, and I love the double torsade necklace with it too - you know I'll be copying this soon! So pretty!

    I too am grateful for my perfect eyesight, especially since everyone else in my family is on the opposite end of the spectrum - most have had Lasik and they rave about it too!

  29. Aw, thanks, Debbie. Hope you have a great long weekend and mini vacay!

    Thanks, Charleston Girl!

    Thanks, Jan. My fam is the exact opposite - everyone else has perfect vision (except for the odd reading glasses here or there) except for me, who needed glasses during junior high!

  30. Love the dress, it looks so expensive!

    And thanks for the Lasik info. I was actually considering it a few years ago but my badminton coach who had it advised me against it. He had no great reason except to say that he doesn't think it's for everyone. Your post makes me want to make an appointment with my opthamologist. Thanks!


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