The Staff: Friendly, helpful, and willing to deal with your awkward nervousness as you get your eyes poked and tested.
The Surgery: Simple and painless. The drops make it so you don't feel a thing. The removal of the top layer felt similar to having something cold pressed against your eyelids. After the laser has done its thing (remember to stay focused on it - think "red light" constantly and try to not look away) you will briefly smell burnt hair. But don't worry, that smell is just from your eyeballs....totally normal... seriously. Then, you are whisked away to a recovery room. You will notice that you can see clearly and might think "Huzzah! I beat the recovery period!" (you didn't... you're not a superhuman). But it is comforting to know that it wasn't all in vain.
The Recovery: For the first few days, plan on doing nothing but: sleeping, listening to podcasts/music, and feeling shitty because your friends are having lots of fun around you and you can't see. (*Note, your eyes will probably not feel shitty, just heavy, but your friends will totally not give a fart about your experience and will continue to go on about their awesome days/lives... it's cool though.) The worst pain I felt during the whole thing was on the second evening; when it felt like I had a really bad sinus infection headache (popped two Tylenol and it went away).
Then it becomes the waiting game. Your eyes will go from good, to bad, to super great, to "why is everything at night so BRIGHT... TOO BRIGHT!", and back again.
UPDATE! It's officially been one month after my surgery. Here is what I can't and can do (so far).
Can't: I still can't be in a room with super bright lights for too long or else I will get a headache. I still can't focus on certain things (depends per person... but a general consensus is that computer screens will totally mess with you). I can't read the signage from a building 600+ feet away... but my fingers are crossed that that will be fixed.
Can: I can see without contacts or glasses....obviously. I can constantly freak out thinking I left my contacts in my eyes (only to attempt to take them out... just realizing in the nick of time that I am going for my eyeball). I can annoy my contacts/glasses wearing friends by comparing who has the better eyesight.
My eyes are still going through the motions. From what I have read about other people who had LASEK, it takes at least 3 months before you notice your eyes settling down. Hope this helps - If you are thinking about doing it, in hopes of getting laser vision, then you will be sadly disappointed. However, if you hope to have near perfect or perfect vision, then this is the best opportunity. You should take it. Seriously... stop wasting time! GO!
(Also: two points for anyone who can locate the Cinnamon Bun reference I made).
***** 2 Month Mark *****
Let me start off with I still do not have laser vision... I'm beginning to have my doubts that I will ever get it.
However, my minor headaches and light sensitivity have disappeared almost completely. Barely any halos as well.
I am plagued with dry eye syndrome, but I usually only get it in the mornings.
The feeling can be summed up in three words: sandpaper, painful, blind
Whether your eye is closed or open... the sensation is brutal. Even after a few drops, it takes some time before disappearing. The doctor reassured me that it would go away in a month or two.
I had alarmingly high eye pressure with a set of drops given to me (was told that it contained a steroid) - these drops made my eyes feel like they were heavy, hard, and bursting. I got switched to another type of drops and when I went back for my last check-up, the pressure had decreased by 6 points (yep, I was in the 19's... shouldn't really go higher than 15).
I have noticed my vision has started to stabilize more (it sort of clicked in over the course of 2-3 days). Now I can see better in the "mid-field" (up close was good / far away was great / mid-field area was blurry).
Nighttime vision has gotten a bit better, but it is still blurry.