well I did it. I have acheived that long hard goal Ive been working towards for so long and got myself Lasik Vision Correction. and I must say that it is the BEST money I have ever spent. I had a great trip to Canada, great experience, and a great outcome. I have wanted this for so long and I feel SOOO much better about myself now.. this has totally helped my self esteem and self confidence in so many ways. I finally dont feel like an ugly geek all the time anymore. between losing all the weight and losing the glasses, I actually am happy with my looks, and today I went to have my Drivers License renewed since its going to expire in a few days, and they are now removing the "corrective lenses" mark form the card. This was just such a cool feeling,.. so simple, but so sweet. It took a long time to get me here, but finally made this long awaited trip. years of research, waiting, and saving, have finally lead me to here. Lasik MD, in Montreal Canada. (www.lasikmd.ca)
. if you ever consider Lasik, give them consideration.
6:30AM Thursday the 2nd of October I headed out. picked up my buddy, and we were on the road by 7:30 or so. we only stopped three times the whole way, for about ten minutes a time, and not including that 30 minutes worth of stopping time, we made it to montreal in just 4 hours and 30 minutes. one stop was at the duty free store.. no tax and dirt cheap prices on stuff.. these are right on the border. we had no problems going over in to Canada, they didnt even ask for a license. so we get to the Hotel, waste some time in the restaurant while they prepare the room, and then we check in. room was nice. we parked the SHO in the lot in the back, came to $100 american for 8 days which isnt too bad.. Allen chipped in $35 for that, which was greatly appreciated. so then it was time for my pre-op check.
first they sit you infront of exam equipment like youve never seen before. one machine you look in to, has a picture of a road and a hot air balloon. its fuzzy. it then does somethig and the image becomes clear, with no input from you. it somehow knows by studying your eye, what will make the image clear. then you sit infront of another machine that has these spirals and lights inside, and it takes a photo of your eye. sort of an infrared looking image when its printed out. you then go and have more of a standard exam, with the "1 or 2" questions of whats clearer. this is to confirm all previous test results and ensure your vision has been stable since the last pair of glasses or contacts. My vision has not changed in many many years, so I was actually a better case for lasik than many people who are approved. they also check to make sure your tissues are all thick enough to allow for proper correction, since this is what gets reshaped. after an hour of these checks, I was told that I was good to go.
the next day was the big day. you go in, you have 1 last prescription check, and then you meet with a counciler. they go over the procedure with you, which I had researched intensly anyway so I knew all about it. you pay the rest of your money, get a kit of all the stuff youll need for the week after the surgery, ask any last questions you may have, and then you go in to the waiting area. after about 2 minutes the surgeon comes out and asks you in. you go in, remove your damn glasses for the last time, and lay down on the operating surface. a machine moves you under the equipment, you see a red and green light, and they put some drops in your eyes. they tape your eye lids open and put some kind of ring inside your lids to keep it wide, and they tape a small patch over the other eye. they then bring up a circular device thats used to make the flap. the flap is a circle cut in your outer eyes surface which ends up resembling a contact lense, except that they dont cut it all the way out, they leave a hinge so its always attached. for $50 per eye more, I opted for the newer Zero Compression technology, which allows them to make a bigger flap and correct a larger area of your eye. The flap when done, naturally sticks back where it belongs, and stays in place with the same type of force thats holds a contact in. it begins healing immediately, and within 3 to 6 months would absolutely require surgical tools to remove again. So he puts the device on your eye, turns on the suction, and your vision goes black for about 15 seconds. this is due to the pressure on your eye. note that this pressure was not painful, and it was the only thing I felt the whole time. the flap is cut, the pressure goes away, and your vision returns. you then see him lift the flap with tweezers and lay it back out of the way. you are asked to stare directly in to the blinking red light. the laser turns on and you see some lightning type electrical pulses inside the red dot. you hear zapping sounds and you smell the tissue being burned away. about 30 seconds at the most Id say, and it shuts off. he rubs some stuff on your eye, puts the flap back, he removes the ring, the tape, and the patch from the other eye. Im quite serious when I say that 90 seconds was about all it took for the first eye. the machine moves you over slightly, they then patch the eye thats done, and repeat the procedure on the other eye. in another 90 seconds, you have the patches removed, and you sit up seeing clearly. a little cloudy, as if you just woke up and put your glasses on, or had been swiming in chlorinated water, and put your glasses on. you can see, but its cloudy... every minute of every hour from that point on, it just gets better and better, clearer and clearer. he puts you infront of some high powered lenses so he can see the treated area and ensure nothing is wrong. In my case, for the first day, he put in some large clear contacts to ensure the larger flap didnt move from my eye lids. you then wait about an hour in the waiting room, and they check you one more time before you leave. I went back to the hotel, did my necisary drops, and taped my clear goggles on for bed. you only have to do that for the first week to ensure you dont rub your eyes in your sleep. they also give you some wrap around sunglasses for the first few days to keep direct wind and sunlight out of a possible sensitive area. I went back the next day, they removed the clear contacts, and made sure there was no infections, and I made the appointment to come back for the 1 week check. I went for the 1 week check, and there was no infection, no inflamations, and everything was healing nicely. I have been confirmed to have better than 20/20 vision in both eyes.
I bought a 1 year insurance plan that will get me free retreatments in both eyes if I have any regression of vision in 12 months. I could have gotten the 3 or 5 year, but they didnt see any need for it. with no insurance, retreatments are half the normal cost. In the end, the surgery cost me $640 per eye total ($590 for the lasik, and $50 for the zero compression flap) the 1 year insurance cost me an extra $130 which covers both eyes. In my eyes (hehehe) this is a much better investment than $500 in glasses and/or contacts every year. Its cool in the waiting room too, after you have your surgery, right by the exit theres a big glass bin that is FILLED with glasses... you just toss them in as you leave. I kept mine though cause I may put sunglass lenses in the frams since they are the nearly unbreakable very expensive twisty frames. I love Lasik MD. They have changed my life. I visited my old eye place after I got home just to say hi,.. he couldnt wait to sit me down and start slapping lenses on my face to see if he could find any improvement to be made... after a number of lenses and many "1 or 2"'s, he just stood back and said "Wow, they did a good job."
if you are wondering why I went to Canada, Ill explain. Better Technology... Canada gets it first. theres no FDA holding it back. They get it years and years before we do. This also means newer equipment. They have all the new stuff.. much of the equipment in the US is technology that was finally approved and is refurbished from places that have moved on, like Canada. This also equates to more experience. In the Lasik field, Canada has up to 10 years on the US in experience. Their doctors are often the doctors that train the other doctors around the world. price also was a factor. up to two thirds off the US price. My final cost for both eyes, with all that I paid for, was less than $1500.
Had a nice time as a bit of a vacation mixed in with this trip of important purpose. durring the 8 day stay, we did a lot of walking around the city of Montreal, found some cool places like the Pepsi Forum futuristic mall. we ate at some cool places like Mr. Sub, where the cheese is long rectangles so they only need 1 piece for the entire sub. We also found a pizza place that was right near the hotel, and the guy would put seeds around the edge of the pizza, so that the crust, once done with the pizza, became like a piece of italian bread. for a couple of the days, our friend Brad (Bart) who goes to school in Platsburg, came up and hung out. it was less than an hour bus ride for him, so that was fun. he was able to entertain allen with some of the things I dont participate in.. like bars... we managed to manage our money right down to the last day, lots of 99 cent whoppers and pizzas were purchased near the end, but it was a good time all around.. except for the last night, this poor Korean woman, who had Lasik earler in the day, got a parking ticket. upon returning to her car, it was found her window had since been smashed in and her stuff was stolen. we took her to the police station and helped her fill out the report. we took her to her room, she was staying in the same hotel as us, I put the drops in her eyes since she was so shaken, and put her to bed. we also taped up her window with duct tape which I happened to have, and some plastic bags from the hotel. she was better in the morning, and very thankful that she in the end, made 2 new friends. Weve been keeping in touch since. I think one of the most amazing parts of the trip was how the two of us nursed 2 24packs of dew for 8 days... see I brought those because I knew the dew in Canada had no Caffeine in it.. and boy was it true. we tried some just for kicks, but kick it did not.... we found some other cool stuff though.. like Sprite Ice, which is mint sprite.. I thought it tasted like tooth paste water. we found tropical splash 7up too, and thats pretty good... found a Candy Bar named "Nut Milk" which was pretty much a Mr. GoodBar, even was from Hershey of Canada, but I simply bought a bunch for the name alone.. how can you pass that up? got some other odd candy too, lots of cadburry candy bars, and the Nestle chocolate tastes 10 times better there. got a few gifts for some people, got myself a few things, including a Lasik MD T-Shirt. The trip home was pretty much the same as the one there, with similar stops. However, crossing back in to the US is MUCH harder than going to Canada. they wanted licenses, birth certificates, and they searched the trunk. we were ok and went on our way. One of the stops though, ended up with us meeting a guy with a First Generation SHO. we talked at the gas station for like 20 minutes and took pictures of both our cars next to each other.. it was cool. was a good week, and got home on Friday night, the 10th.
I would absolutely recommend the Lasik procedure, and more specifically this place in Montreal to ANYONE who was interested in living a glasses free life. They were so nice, so clean, so on the ball, and so up to all my expectations. I cant tell you how happy I am to wake up and just see stuff without fumbling around for the glasses. I can see in the rain, I can see in the shower, I can see clearer than ever before. better than the best glasses I have ever had. better than any contact lense. its so clear.. even with contacts, how much clearer they are than glasses.. this blows that away. you can always tell you are looking through SOMETHING, but not anymore. it feels so natural, so right... I feel like me again. this was without the doubt, the best thing I have EVER done for myself.