I know this is a long email but hope you find five minutes to read through it, it’s worth it. Read it whilst drinking tea if possible.
I went to your gig last night at the Brudenell club in Leeds and woke up this morning feeling really disappointed, not because of your…
Fantastic letter to the UHH girls. I’m also a Northern girl, equally horrified at the treatment they received last night. My heart sank when I saw the tweet from the girls implying they’d had a bad time. I also don’t buy what some girls on there are saying - that the band “loved it”. I think they were just being polite.
I honestly do hope Leisha and Cam don’t go home saying “Yorkshire wasn’t the beautiful place we thought it would be”. I agree with you that a lot of those girls weren’t there for the music. Sad, really sad, and embarrassing… but well done for putting those sentiments into words. I agree wholeheartedly.
Hey, sorry for the anonymousness (that's obviously a word) Tumblr scares and confuses me so I tend to just be a silent creeper! Just want to take this opportunity to say that I think you and Claire (it's weird writing her name because she is always Cloogle in my head) are the sweetest couple ever. And it warms my heart to see you both so in love. It gives me hope. Right got to go read HA now!! Give her a big thanks for writing it. It's the greatest thing to come out of our fandom! - L
Aww, hi silent creeper! ;) That’s such a sweet thing to say - thank you. I’m very lucky to have her. I’m so glad you enjoy her work. :)
I know nobody reads my Tumblr, as I don’t actually use it that much, but I just want to thank everyone who reads Claire’s story “Happy Agony” and gives feedback on it. The feedback means the world to her, it honestly does. In fact I’m sure she doesn’t like posting her new chapters just before bedtime (though that’s when it usually ends up happening) because I expect she frets all night in her sleep about the feedback she might be getting.
I’m going to try very hard to be the encouragement she needs to write more often. I know it makes her happy to get her chapters posted, and she doesn’t like keeping people waiting. She just has a hard time with writers’ block, and always seems to find something else to do before she can settle down and concentrate on her writing. I will say now that she has said she wants to get Chapter 21 out pretty soon, which suggests to me that she knows where she’s going with the story, as in the past, the huge gaps have been partially due to not knowing.
Really though, I am so grateful to each and every one of the people who reads her stuff. It means a lot to me to see her smile at the feedback. <3
Omg Happy Agony got updated! HAPPY AGONY GOT UPDATED! PLEASE THANK CLAIRE ON MY BEHALF! Wow I can't begin to describe how happy I am. Something's finally looking up for me :) Now that my prayers have been answered, I'm gonna go read it now. Thank you once again! Have a GREAT, GREAT day! Bye! :D
Aw, I’m so glad you’re happy, and thanks for the message! I don’t use Tumblr much so it’s very exciting when I get messages. :) I’ve decided to make it my personal mission to get C writing more, so I need to practice being encouraging and making time for her to sit down and write. She doesn’t like leaving it so long between updates but she struggles to find the brain space, so like a good wife I am going to try to help her with that. I’m so glad you enjoy the story - she is a great storyteller. She loves getting feedback and it spurs her on to write more. xxx
Happy Agony NEEDS to be updated like RIGHT NOW! I can't do this anymore. I have so much bottled up Faberry/Achele feelings after watching yesterday's episode of Glee and the impending Glee hiatus that I can't deal with it anymore. I need help!
I wrote the following on 6th February but am only just posting it now!
It’s now 16 days since my LASIK surgery (by the way, LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis… fascinating, eh?) and I’m thrilled to say that things have finally started to settle down. I’m still not 100% but it’s improving all the time. Considering I had reached a point during the second week when I was saying “If someone offered me the chance to go back in time and reverse it, I would” — I was that miserable about it — it’s a remarkable turnaround.
In hindsight, I was probably just being impatient, but it’s actually quite terrifying when you realise you can’t adequately and comfortably go about the day-to-day tasks you previously took for granted. When that lasts for days, with no immediate signs of improvement, it gets a bit scary. I genuinely thought I would never be able to comfortably look at a computer screen again, and when you work in IT, and do web design and website management as a side project, as well as being a pretty heavy user of computers generally, that is a pretty frightening prospect.
I’ve now moved onto a different type of eye drops (they’re called FML, or Fluorometholone) for the third and fourth weeks. The taste at the back of my throat after using them is absolutely vile though! I’m no longer using the antibiotics, but am still using the artificial tear supplement as and when I need it. I find I’m needing it less and less but have ordered a bulk load of them to see me through. I think they’re quite handy to have around anyway, especially as post-LASIK you are more prone to getting dry eyes.
I’m not counting my chickens yet as it’s still early days, and your eyesight can fluctuate a bit during the healing period, but in general I am really happy to (literally) see some improvements. My eyesight in low lighting is still not brilliant (especially reading text) but it’s getting there. I’m noticing more floaters than I used to notice, though I expect it’s the same floaters I’m seeing; just my newly-adjusted focusing means I’m seeing more of them. I’m trying to train my brain out of noticing them as there’s no cure. I have always seen them, though… just not quite this many before! I still have some light sensitivity, especially just after using eye drops, but that’s improving. I still need to wear sunglasses on very bright days, particularly when driving. As for the inflammation, there are still a few red patches in both eyes, but that’s also improving. As my eyeballs are still a bit bruised and inflamed, it’s no wonder my eyesight isn’t totally stable yet, I guess.
I’ve just spent a day at work today with hardly any problems when using a PC for 7.5 hours. My eyes are still getting tired in the evenings, which results in an inability to focus quite as well as I’d like, and that is different to pre-LASIK. I used to be able to spend a full day (literally 7am-midnight or later) on the PC during my crazy unemployed times, and would never get dry eyes or find it hard to focus, so it’s taking a while to adjust to the fact that my eyes get tired faster now. But in a way, it’s good for me, because it means I’m taking more breaks.
On the whole, things are getting better, slowly but surely. I hope that in a week’s time, I will be able to say things are even better than they are today. I’m just so relieved that I can finally work at my PC for a full working day and not want to rip my eyeballs out of my skull, or/and sob into my keyboard.
I no longer regret getting LASIK. I’m able to look forward to swimming, to holidays, to going upside down on rollercoasters and being able to see, to not having the fear of losing contact lenses, to being able to go out, get drunk, come home and collapse in a heap without having to fumble in my eye to remove contact lenses, to pressing the cats right into my face without getting smudges on my glasses, to walking into a warm room after being outside in the cold and not have my glasses steam up, to not having to push glasses up my nose, to being able to apply make-up and pluck my eyebrows without squinting… and all of the other benefits. :D
Big news: I had laser eye surgery on Saturday afternoon. I know, right? So, as I’ve always kept written accounts of significant events in my life, and with it being Tuesday evening now, I feel the need to write about it before the details escape me. Here we go.
I’ve been considering it for more than a decade, since back when I wasn’t even wearing contact lenses. I couldn’t afford it then, of course, but did eventually go to the optician and was fitted for contact lenses back in 2005, just before my university graduation. I can’t say that contact lenses ever really suited me. What I mean is that I never really got used to the way they felt, or to putting them in and taking them out again. I found that after about eight hours I would get very irritable and just want to get them out of my eyes. I also felt quite vulnerable, knowing that I was relying on two flimsy bits of plastic suctioned onto my eyeballs to allow me to function normally. I actually found that glasses were more convenient, and slightly more reassuring, because although I didn’t like wearing a plastic frame on my face, at least I could take them off when half asleep and didn’t have to faff around with my clumsy fingers. They were also more substantial than contact lenses and I trusted them more. (Except the time I got a fire door slammed in my face and they bent out of shape so badly that my vision was at a funny angle.) So I wore contact lenses for social events, mainly: parties, weddings, christenings, special family meals, nights out, and that’s about it. Oh, and swimming / aqua aerobics, which never really worked that well, as getting chlorinated water in your eyes when wearing contact lenses is no fun at all. Most opticians will advise against it and will instead suggest prescription goggles, but I don’t like goggles at the best of times. (More about goggles later.)
Over the years, I have requested pamphlets, DVDs, brochures, price lists and other associated bumf from all of the popular laser eye surgery brand names: Optimax, Ultralase, Optical Express, and so on. Every single time I talked myself out of doing it, but it has never left my thoughts completely. Around 2009 or so, I started to consider going to a hospital to have it done (crazy to consider going to an actual hospital to have a hefty bit of surgery done on your eyes, eh?) and looked at the Vision Surgery and Research Centre, which is fairly local to me. I also considered going down to London and having it done at Moorfields Eye Hospital, which is where I expected all the celebs went, but it was never really a serious consideration until recently. I kept changing my mind between having it done and not having it done, having it done locally and having it done in London, having it done at a high-street clinic and having it done at a hospital. Usually my decision would end up as “I’m not doing it. I don’t want to risk it. I’m far too scared.”
Then, in October last year, a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog entry by journalist and author India Knight, in which she described her decision to have laser eye surgery at Moorfields. Something about what she wrote gave me the push I needed to revisit it, and I decided that I liked her way of thinking: don’t do it unless you’re sure, and if you can, go for the best of the best. I did my research, realised that she actually wasn’t lying and that Professor Gartry at Moorfields is pretty much the best choice you can make as someone wanting to have laser eye surgery in the UK, and some time in November rang up and booked myself in for an initial consultation.
The consultation itself, which I went to in December, lasted around two hours for me. It takes place at a little clinic on City Road in London, which is in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location on the opposite side of the road to the main Moorfields Eye Hospital building. The reception staff were lovely, as was Professor Gartry himself and all of the technicians and optometrists I saw on the day. You first have a chat with Professor Gartry, who shakes your hand and asks you why you want the surgery, a bit about your lifestyle and health, and completes some paperwork. You are then sent off to a few different rooms with more lovely members of staff who test your eyesight in various different ways. There’s a standard eye test as you would have in any optician’s, followed by some measurements of the eyes, various eye scans where you have to stare into the distance for ages (I found it difficult not to try to focus!) and then a funny little test where your pupils are dilated with drops. This involves some numbing eye drops, which make your eye sockets feel sort of heavy and like you really want to close your eyes, followed by some drops which apparently sting (but you don’t feel them, as you’ve had the numbing drops!) - these are the drops that dilate your pupils and make your eyes a bit pink. If you look at yourself in the mirror afterwards, even in a bright room, your pupils look HUGE and the whites of your eyes look pink. You also can’t focus and have pretty blurry vision for a few hours after that, so shouldn’t really travel home alone. I found that I lost my near vision and couldn’t read my phone without taking my glasses off and holding my phone really far in front of my face. Very bizarre experience. Anyway, that’s all for the purpose of having these various scans and measurements done. None of it is painful, uncomfortable, weird or scary. It’s all pretty interesting. After that’s all done, you go back in to see Professor Gartry so he can have a look at your eyes as well, and here is where you have the chance to ask him some questions. He told me I was a really good candidate as my prescription hadn’t changed in at least seven years, and was a fairly average prescription of -3.75 and -3.25, with slight astigmatism. So off I went, very pleased to be told I could have it done. I paid £175 for the consultation.
I decided to book in for my surgery immediately. I mean book in immediately, not have the actual surgery immediately. I was told it would cost me £4,155 for both eyes, which is a lot of money; probably more than double what most people pay at Ultralase and so on. We had a separate pot of money stored up and saved for something that we thankfully no longer have to pay for, so decided that as a 30th birthday present to me, we would use some of that money to pay to have my eyes done. I’m fortunate that we had that money set aside as otherwise, I don’t think I would’ve been able to bring myself to do it somewhere cheaper. I was determined that I didn’t want to place my eyesight in the hands of just anyone. I know that others are less worried about that sort of thing, and trust the high-street laser centres, which is totally fine by me. It’s a very personal decision and just as I would never encourage or pressure someone else to have their eyes “fixed”, nor would I encourage them or discourage them in their choice of where to have treatment, how much to pay, and so on. I think the vast majority of people are very happy with the results from the high-street names. It just wasn’t right for me, personally, and I don’t regret my choice at all. Some people spend quadruple that amount on their wedding: we spent less than a grand on ours, so it’s swings and roundabouts, really.
I arrived at Moorfields at 11.30am on Saturday, ready for my surgery at noon, and made my way up to the private wing for refractive laser surgery. There were several other people in the waiting room with me. There was one lady whose husband had his done last March, and she was waiting to have the same. Her appointment was just before mine. I asked her husband how his surgery went, and he said simply: “I can see!” There was another lady in there waiting for her daughter, who had already gone in, and then there were a few others I didn’t speak to. The lady with the husband went in at around 11.45am, and then at around noon, the other lady’s daughter came out with a very blotchy pink face and red eyes, saying “That was weird.” She didn’t seem to be able to see much and I felt a bit scared at that point, as she started fumbling in her bag for a drink, but I calmed myself down by thinking: “At least she’s not blind!” I had knots in my stomach at this point and felt really sick. I just wanted it all to be over.
I was called through at about 12.15pm and seen by a nurse, who showed me five different types of eye drops: 1) anti inflammatory; 2) antibiotic; 3) artificial tears; 4) another type of anti inflammatory (which I don’t have to use for another couple of weeks); and 5) anaesthetic. She explained that I should use 1 drop of each of the first three every hour for the first day, and then every two hours for the first week. In the second week I have to use them four times a day. Then in the third and fourth weeks, I have to use the other anti-inflammatory, and continue with the artificial tears if needed. The anaesthetic was only for if I experienced any pain, which she said was quite unusual and I probably wouldn’t need them at all. I’ve got to say, a lot of what she said went completely over my head as I was so full of fear, but you get it all written down on a sheet and it’s quite easy to understand. It’s good to familiarise yourself with the drugs list beforehand, though (you get a copy of it at your consultation) because trying to read it afterwards may be tricky. ;) You really do need a friend or relative to help you apply your drops, at least for the first few hours after surgery, if my experience is anything to go by.
After I’d had the eye drops talk, I was shown to a seat in the corridor, where I was given blue plastic shoe covers and a hairnet, and told to wait there. The two rooms to my right had the appearance of operating theatres or scanning rooms in a hospital; both had lights on the door saying when you were allowed to open them, presumably because of the lasers working away inside. There was a sign about how you’re not meant to go in if you have a pacemaker, I think. Just as I was planning my escape out of the side door, a nurse came out and asked me to confirm some personal details such as my name, date of birth, and type of treatment I was having (LASIK in both eyes). She then led me into the room ahead, and I was actually quite surprised and a little daunted by the appearance of it: I had been imagining an office with a chair and a machine a bit like the one which blows a puff of air into your eye at the optician’s. But no, it was like a slightly cosier, darker version of an operating theatre. I had been expecting to see Professor Gartry in a suit, but nope: he was wearing green scrubs, gloves and a hair cap. I suppose surgeons do.
I was led to the operating table, which was a bit like the thing you lie on when you have an MRI scan, but had a thin mattress on it. I had to answer a few simple health questions about whether I had asthma or a pacemaker and so on (I have neither) and was then was asked to swing my legs up onto the bed thing and shuffle my head down so that it nestled into the little trough at the end, between two large, scary-looking machines. I was actually pretty terrified at this point. Professor Gartry then took over, and asked me how I was doing. I was honest and said I was petrified, and shaky. He explained that I would be fine, and that it would be really quick, before chucking a load of anaesthetic eye drops into both eyes and fitting a suction cup or ring (not sure what exactly it is) over my left eyeball. This is apparently to hold the eyeball completely still while the first machine is doing its job. I didn’t feel a thing, but it felt a bit unusual having something pinged over your eyeball: not the sort of thing you really experience every day, but it was just pressure: no pain. Seeing the suction cups going in reminded me of when you watch those aeroplane safety videos, and look up to see the breathing apparatus fall down from above your head. Strange but true. It’s weird seeing something being put over your eyeball and not being able to blink.
Professor Gartry is very reassuring, and talks to you throughout. The bed thing pivots, and so he swung me around to my left and positioned one of the two scary machines above my right eye. I kept ridiculously rigid, not even daring to swallow, and his dialogue went something like this: “Okay. Now I need you to keep very still, and look ahead. You’ll see darkness surrounded by small lights. Just keep staring into the distance.” (At this point I was looking up into a long, dark tunnel, almost like a telescope.) “Very good. Now keep very still while the machine does what it needs to do. Very good. You’re a quarter of the way there. Not long now. Excellent. Well done. That’s wonderful. Halfway there. Oh, very good. Well done. Three quarters of the way there. Brilliant. That’s wonderful. And we’re done.” I think he then chucked a load more eye drops into my eye, and then repeated the process with the left eye. Still no pain. The suction cups were popped out.
I had found all of this absolutely fine. I didn’t feel anything, or at least I can’t remember feeling anything. I also wondered where “the smell” came in, as I hadn’t smelt anything unusual (you hear about “the smell of burning”) and in my stupidity, I thought it was all done and finished, and that my vision was fixed. Er, no, not the case… obviously I was having a temporary brain cell shortage, as I had forgotten about the other machine. Professor Gartry then said to his colleague something like “Look at that: zero point zero!” and sounded really impressed. I have no idea what it meant, but I’m guessing it meant perfection, as he sounded pretty pleased. He explained that the difficult bit was over, and had gone brilliantly, which is when I realised that the first machine had a laser which had cut around my cornea, creating a flap with a hinge, which had been folded back ready for the next machine. So no, my eyesight wasn’t yet fixed: instead I’d just had my corneas cut with a laser. At this point my overriding thought was actually, “What the effing hell am I doing here?” followed by “Get over yourself. There’s no going back now. YOU HAVE CORNEAL FLAPS WITH HINGES.” Absolute sheer panic.
So I was pivoted around to the second machine, which corrects your eyesight. This was apparently the “easy” part. Professor Gartry said to me, again in his lovely calming voice: “Your job now is simply to keep very still and focus on that red light.” I think at this point a patch was put over my left eye, and the eyelids of my right eye were taped back so I couldn’t blink: you don’t actually feel the urge to blink, though. It’s strange and slightly hypnotic, like when you go into a trance. It was explained to me that the light would move around, change shape and even disappear completely sometimes, but I would just have to try my best to keep focusing on it and it would be fine. So that’s what I did. I just stared at the red light, and it did indeed move around and blur, and go in and out of focus, and split into starbursts and halos and all sorts. All the while I could hear the laser tapping away in the background, and then came the smell everyone talks about. Apparently it actually isn’t your eye burning: it’s a chemical reaction caused by the laser. Or at least that’s what they tell you to stop you freaking out. It does smell fairly disgusting, like burning flesh, but it lasts such a short period of time that although it’s a bit disturbing when you first smell it, you quickly get over it. It’s not a huge deal. The entire time that I was staring at the red light, I had this weird urge to stare at the green light below it (like when you’re told to do something and immediately want to do the opposite), or to move my head, or to sneeze. I think that’s natural. But I have been reliably informed that although I didn’t move at all, or change my focus, if you do, the laser cuts out instantly. Basically, it can’t go wrong and slice your eye open or anything crazy like that.
When that was all done, Professor Gartry threw a load more eye drops into my now fixed eye, which was actually really refreshing but a little bit strange, because you can see the liquid cascading towards your eyeball but can’t blink. It reminded me of when you’re watching a film or telly programme and the camera lens gets splashed with water, except the lens is YOUR EYE. He then used some sort of tool to smooth out the surface of my eyeball, and presumably iron out any wrinkles in my corneal flap as he replaced it over my eye. That was, admittedly, a bit weird and uncomfortable. It didn’t feel sore, but I didn’t really enjoy it that much, as my eye felt so tired and I just wanted to close it. I could just feel a lot of pressure and it’s always disconcerting to see someone rubbing some sort of tool over your eyeball and not being able to blink it away or even move at all, really. He explained that my right eye was done, and put a patch over it to begin work on my left eye, which was considerably more uncomfortable. He did actually say, “The second eye is always a bit more trouble” and explained that it’s because you just want to close the corrected eye, and it’s hard not to try to close the eye that’s being worked on as well. He wanted me to keep both eyes open, but my right eye was so heavy-feeling. As he taped back my left eyelids, I could feel quite a bit of soreness in the bone above my left eye, and underneath my eyelid at the top, which really started bothering me after a while. I was quite uncomfortable. But it was soon over, and my left eye was “scrubbed” (quite a sore feeling, mainly at the top of my eye). Loads of eye drops chucked in, which ran into my ears and down the back of my neck, and I was done. I sat up. I couldn’t see any difference in my vision. Totally blurry, achy, a bit itchy. Professor Gartry said: “You should be able to see the clock a bit better.” I couldn’t. I lied and said “Oh, yeah.” Fear set in once again. We arranged a 48-hour-post-op follow-up appointment for the Monday morning, I shook his hand, and off I went to see the nurse for more eye drops before I was told I could go.
The next few hours were fairly uncomfortable, I’m not going to lie. We couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm, and it was only 1pm, so we went round to our friend’s house for a few hours. She had the surgery done herself (by Professor Gartry) a month or so ago, so has been there and done that and knew how I’d be feeling. I couldn’t have got to her house by myself, as after about an hour, once the anaesthetic drops wore off, I suddenly realised I was unable to open my eyes at all: they were just too sore. I can only describe it as feeling like I’d squirted lemon juice into both eyes. I was wearing sunglasses, but the light felt way too bright (bearing in mind it was a fairly dull January day) and I just wanted to lie down in a dark room and sleep. Crossing the road was a terrifying experience and I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own. We got to our friend’s house and I just had to sit down, in my sunglasses, and not speak much. She made me a cup of tea and then Claire (wifey) tried to do my first dose of eye drops, which was a difficult task as I could barely open my eyes. I realised that I really needed to use the anaesthetic drops as well, and after I’d had a couple of drops of those, I was able to open my eyes and walk into my friend’s kitchen. I could actually see! My vision was hazy: everything was in soft focus, but I could see more than usual. This was maybe two hours after the operation. I could read my phone, and I could read words on buildings and cars outside that I would’ve had no chance of reading without glasses, prior to the op. My eyes still felt like they were stinging a bit, and were a bit gritty-feeling, but the difference the anaesthetic drops made was incredible.
We made our way back to our hotel after that, and the reception staff kindly agreed to keep my bag of medication in the fridge in their restaurant kitchen. Most of the eye drops have to be kept refrigerated, so we were glad of that. I realised later that day that I’d need Claire to be the one to administer the drops, as I’m just incapable of doing them myself. Luckily, as we work together, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue over the coming weeks. Whenever I tried to do them myself, then ended up running down my cheeks and going absolutely nowhere near my eyes.
We spent the rest of Saturday in our hotel room with the blind shut. I couldn’t watch telly, but checked my phone occasionally and texted a few friends. My eyes stung a lot, and felt like I’d got little bits of grit in them, especially the left one. The top of my left eye was also incredibly achy still, and I had a bit of a headache. Any sources of light had big starbursts coming out from them, and a ghostly haze around them. I felt pretty rough. We ordered something from the bar for dinner, and Claire brought it up to the room as I couldn’t face going anywhere. When I could finally sleep, I had to wear the protective goggles they had given me at the hospital, which were really uncomfortable and kept pinging off my head. These are to stop you rubbing your eyes in the night and dislodging the corneal flap accidentally. I woke several times in the night needing more anaesthetic drops for pain relief, and by morning I had a blister above my left ear from the goggles rubbing. Did I mention I hate goggles? My eyes were also completely stuck together and I looked like I had a really bad case of conjunctivitis: I could finally look at myself in the mirror, and I had pools of blood in my eyes, which are apparently called subconjunctival hemorrhages. Delightful. I looked revolting and didn’t want to go anywhere. My eyes ached a lot and I spent a bit of time crying, telling Claire that I regretted it, that I shouldn’t have done it, that I thought I was going to have a really bad result, and so on. Another friend who had it done recently said she had perfect vision the following morning, and I certainly didn’t. I was really scared.
But I hopped in the shower (wearing swimming goggles, which I don’t recommend) and also managed to clean around my eyes gently with a face wipe. After a couple of doses of eye drops, we went out and managed to visit the Museum of London. We wandered around, me in sunglasses, and I realised how much I could actually see. Everything was still in soft focus but I slowly started to feel happier as the day went on. We met up with some friends and even managed to stay out for after-dinner cocktails, but by that point my eyes were really starting to feel gritty and sore again, and I couldn’t really put up with it for much longer. I had a better night’s sleep that night (Sunday) but still not great, and needed anaesthetic drops later on in the day to help me sleep. All in all, a pretty good day, considering it was only 24-36 hours post-op.
Monday morning was my follow-up consultation with Professor Gartry. I woke up able to see much better than the previous day, and amazingly, all of the soreness and gritty feelings had almost gone. What had previously felt like a piece of grit in my eye now felt like an eyelash, or a speck of dust maybe, and the feeling disappeared once I’d had a dose of eye drops. I could read the very bottom line (the smallest) on Professor Gartry’s chart with no problems whatsoever: he explained that the third from bottom was 20/20 vision, and the second from bottom was R.A.F. standard. He said the bottom row wasn’t really anything quantifiable and we joked about it perhaps being superhero or astronaut vision. He examined my corneal flaps and said they were looking really good, and also said the redness and hazy vision will disappear within a week or so. I was fairly ecstatic at this point. We had a really lovely day of me actually being able to see with no discomfort, and by the end of the day I would say that my vision was better than it ever was with contact lenses, and almost as good as with glasses. Except with glasses, there is always a bit of a reflection, and smudges on the lenses, and the lack of peripheral vision, so it can’t really be compared. So basically, my vision was better than it had ever been before. We booked to see a West End show, Ghost The Musical, and despite the fact that the production has a lot of flashing lights and we were quite far away from the stage, I didn’t have any trouble with my eyes: I could see perfectly, didn’t get a headache, and really enjoyed the show. It wore me out, though, and I was ready for bed (and more of the “artificial tears” eye drops) afterwards.
This morning I woke up with absolutely clear vision and no discomfort at all. I felt great and really happy. We got our train home, and I just kept marveling at how much I could see. This evening we drove to a nearby village to collect our cats from the cattery, and I could drive absolutely fine in the dark. There is still a bit of glare around headlights and streetlamps, but I’m told that will probably disappear soon. All in all, I’m thrilled with the results and am going back to work tomorrow. I wish my eyes didn’t look quite so horrible, but it’s a small price to pay for near-perfect vision.
So there we go. A very long-winded account of a surreal, exciting, fascinating, terrifying and life-changing experience!