Posts about prk

Can you see clearly

I went for my 3 months post eye surgery review today and am pleased to hear from my ophthalmologist that my vision has stabilized. Currently, it stands at 6/4.5 which is better than the perfect vision that measures at 6/6. People usually termed it as “Eagle Eye” because of the sharpness and the details I can capture.

Anyway, this also concludes the no exercising excuse I’ve been tagged by the aeromedical doctors since surgery. I’ve not workout for almost 4 months and lately, I’ve been feeling lethargic and unmotivated.

Can’t wait to jump into the pool or go for a run to cut the excess fats gained!

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Down with flu

I’m down with flu and fever and I’ll be staying home to recover. I thought I could have recovered after a good night’s sleep but it seems otherwise. It’s not that I enjoy going to work but it’s more of personal pride. I’ve never reported sick and/or took any medical leave (except for my PRK surgery, which was a required rest) since my enlistment into military and today, I broke the record. Hopefully, this would be the first and last time I’m taking medical leave.

On the brighter note, I’ve managed to complete writing and have published a list of entries which was marked as draft since early November. The entries are back dated to Nov 07, 2006. For the convenience of those who wants to catch up on what I’ve wrote, here’s a list of the entries fresh from the oven:

  1. Does public image matters
  2. My classmate’s wedding
  3. FireFox 2 reviewed
  4. Context menu hacks
  5. Stumbling with Chinese
  6. The route to obtaining a driving license
  7. Experiencing gravity effects

Wow, a long list of entries and the effects of snowballing. With this in mind, I’m left with 2 entries to complete as well as any upcoming entries for the month of Dec 06, before a new year arrives!

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Does public image matters

While on my way home from the hospital after my PRK review, I decided to ride a bus over the train as I thought it would be more peaceful during the hour when school’s out and it’s just after lunch time — the bus will be near empty. However, the peaceful environment was ruined after a few stops when there was this large group of students whom boarded the bus. Initially, I thought it was fine since they were young adults and wouldn’t be an issue. Turned out that I was wrong. These group of about forty students behaved like a bunch of primary school kids going out for an excursion.

The first thought that came through my mind was when will they be alighting? I’m still an hour away from my destination and it’ll be a pain in the ass having to bear with these group of students for an unknown duration. I know it may seem that I’m being selfish and unreasonable as I’m taking public transport and should have known for the better that these are expected behaviors. Luckily, the uneventful occurrence lasted for less than 15 minutes and as they alight the bus, I realized that they were actually being led by a few lecturers. To my surprise, they were indeed on an excursion or at least some kind of gathering.

I would have been able to tolerate such behavior if they were individuals but to see that they were in fact being led by lecturers and that it was such a big group, I have reservations over their actions and behavior. This made me wonder if public image for individual or even representing an organization is indeed important? Although it was heartening to see that the school was practicing the concept of “learning out of the classroom”, which our education ministry is actively prompting, it was disappointing to note that the school somewhat did not even have the courtesy and budget to hire a private bus for such purpose. This also makes me wonder what if it happens that there were tourist on the bus at that moment — what will their impression of Singapore and how would they view our society and people?

This may not bother some out there but I felt that public image is certainly important. Not only have the students gave the wrong signal to the public, they have also damaged the school’s image and certainly brought great inconvenience to other passengers.

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Life without glasses

Is simply fantastic! It has been a month since I went for my PRK surgery and the experience is unique and satisfying. During this one month, I realised many benefits of not wearing spectacles and this includes:

  • No worries about glasses fogging up when leaving an air conditioned room/bus to a warmer environment.
  • No more cleaning of glasses and worrying about scratches, fingerprints.
  • Losing of spectacles, damaged etc. and many more.

However, I must admit that I felt a little uncomfortable initially without spectacles as my eyes are small and most of my friends noticed that. Furthermore, I have the habit of feeling for my glasses to make sure they are still properly fitted as well as adjusting it. This caused me to feel for my spectacles every now and then before I realized that I’m no longer wearing one. The only short-term hassle I face for now is the need to apply eye drops every few hours to aid the recovery and avoiding glares.

Nonetheless, no words can describe how amazing this surgery has done to my life. I cannot be more thankful to the doctors whom have made this possible, in particular to Dr. Lim from my air grading course as well as god for his guidance and arrangements.

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In pain

Yesterday, I went for my second eye surgery as mentioned earlier. Everything was fine except that I was tearing badly and in great pain a few hours later after the surgery. I had to constantly pop in painkillers — under doctor’s prescription and spent the rest of the day sleeping to overcome the pain.

As compared to my first surgery, I was more prepared and know what to expect this time round though my body did tensed up while water was being used to clean my eyes. The entire process took slightly longer and I overheard the surgeon saying that my left eye is tough. I wonder what does that means as he took a longer time to prepare my eyes for the process.

Guess that I’ve got to cut down on computer usage as I’m starting to tear every now and then. For now, sleeping is the best medicine to cure the tearing and pain!

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My PRK experience

Now that I’ve gone through the PRK surgery for my right eye, I thought that I would pen down this once in a life time experience, which will serve as a form of wonderful memories for me as well as general information and knowledge for those who are interested in knowing more about it.

To start off, I would briefly explain the differences between Photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) and the commonly known Laser-assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery. Because of my job requirement, I’ve no choice but to opt for only PRK surgery. The PRK surgery is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea using an excimer laser to ablate a small amount of tissue from the front of the eye, just under the eye’s outer layer or epithelium. Due to this procedure, there is generally more pain and visual recovery is slower as compared to LASIK. As for LASIK surgery, basically what happens is that LASIK retains the epithelium from the corneal flap which will be replaced and used to act as a natural bandage, thus creating what we call a ‘flap’. According to my surgeon, there’ve been pilots from the USAF whom have undergone LASIK and encountered post-op injuries while flying missions. What happened was that the ‘flap’ came loose (also known as dislocated corneal flaps), perhaps due to high altitude and air pressure.

Enough of theory explained. Prior to my surgery, I had 2 detailed pre-op screening each lasting for a few hours, which includes very detailed test to check if my eye is suitable for the surgery. They have been cases of unsuitable candidates due to various reasons and this caused them to lose their employment contract. Thus, it was a risk that I took in return for this surgery. I was given some eye drops and was told to use it 2 days before they actual surgery. For the first time, I actually had a taste of what eye drops taste like and boy, it was bitter! Somehow, the chemical travelled through my nostrils and ended up down into my throat.

On the actual day, I was led into this preparation room where the nurse applied anesthetic drops and cleans the exterior of my eye as well as put on the green gown. Then, I waited anxiously in one corner while the surgeons prepared the machine. Before I know, I was lying on the bed while the surgeon began clipping my eyes wide open with some sort of a clipper and washing my eyes with water. Little did I know that the anesthetic drops wasn’t enough and had not completely numbed my eyes and this caused me to flinch. The surgeon had to calm me down and I was kind of embarrassed. And so, various kinds of liquid and chemical were being applied to my eye and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t see a thing. Then slowly, my vision became and I was the laser being projected to my eye. Within 15 seconds, I saw the laser beam being shot into my eye and it slowly turned into a ball of fire. At the same time, I can smell a stench of something being burnt. When the process was over, a bandage contact lens was being placed over my eyes. When I walked out of the laser suite, my right eye seems to have perfect vision. I tried looking around and everything became so clear — just like when I had my glasses on. It was an amazing experience!

I’m thankful to have been given an opportunity to regain perfect vision once again. I thank god for his guidance and arrangement and most importantly, those whom have helped and enabled me to undergo this surgery. As for my left eye surgery this coming Tuesday, I’ll make sure the nurse applies enough anesthetic drops before I actually lie down on the laser suite’s bed to save myself from further embarrassment!

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Spectacles no more

Tomorrow will be the last time I’ll be wearing my prescribed glasses after having worn it for the past seven years. Within these seven years, I’ve purchased 4 glasses in total and of which, only one is metallic frame. I remembered when I was young, I’ve always wanted to wear a spectacle as I thought it will look on me. Reflecting upon, I realized how foolish that was and regretted having to wear spectacles. Not only is it inconvenient but also a hassle as one have to take good care of it to prevent it from accidental damaged.

So, you must be wondering if I’m switching to contact lenses. Sad to say, the answer is no. Although putting on contact lenses will look nicer in terms of appearance, I can never imagine myself placing a thin membrane into my eye. Furthermore, my job does not permit me to wear contact lenses at all. Thus, this leaves me with no other alternative other than undergoing a vision correction surgery using laser technology, or commonly known as photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK).

I must say I was really lucky in being able to qualify for the surgery. My job requires a pair of perfect eyesight and thus, I was being placed into this vision correction program. This also means that I’ll finally be able to do away with spectacles! I must say not many qualify for this surgery as there are stringent requirements and procedures. I’m thankful I’ve been given this once in a lifetime opportunity to correct my vision — back to my pre-spectacle days.

I hope the surgery tomorrow would be a success and with no complications. In every surgery, there’s bound to be some risks involved but the doctor says that it’s 99% safe although there’ll be some temporary side-effects such as poor night vision etc. This also means that I’ll be down with 2 weeks of medical leave and a pair of painful eyes with no computers, television and even reading of books!

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