Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Year After Eye Surgery

Today is the first year anniversary of me getting a new pair of eyes!!!

Well… Sort of!!!

A year ago, apart from quitting my job to travel, I made one of the best decisions of my life – getting my eyesight fixed via Laser Surgery at the AsianEye Institute!

 Read about my experience here.


I wasn’t a candidate for a Lasik surgery because of a few preexisting conditions I had on my eyes… And so Dr. Ang, my Eye Doctor at Asian Eye recommended that I do the Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) surgery instead. PRK just takes longer to heal, but will be better for me in the long run.

I did the surgery, I was in and out in under 7 minutes, and everything went off without a hitch. My recovery time was a little difficult… I was basically incapacitated for a week. I was in pain for the first 3 days or so, but nothing too intolerable.

I had several check-ups after the surgery… A day later, a week later, and a month later. Everything was just fine, and I was healing normally. I was a little concerned only because I had to leave for my round the world trip a day after my last appointment, and my vision wasn’t perfect yet. Technically, the full and complete recovery time for PRK patients is 6 months – meaning I won’t achieve my full and most optimal vision till then… But Dr. Ang assured me that I was going to be fine, so long as I followed instructions (i.e. No swimming or extreme sports before I am healed, and keep lubricating my eyes with the drops)

With Dr. Ang - Best Eye Doctor Ever!


My eyes were healing so gradually throughout the 6 months that I hardly ever noticed that my eyes have gotten so clear! I remember I was in Wales, about 4 months after the surgery, and I was hanging out with my friends one night out in their back yard. It was a clear night and I looked up to admire the stars… There were so many stars out because there’s hardly any light pollution in the area I was in… And then suddenly it hit me… It was the first time I was seeing the stars clearly with my new eyes! I could see everything… EVERYTHING! I didn’t have any contacts on… And I wasn’t wearing my glasses!

I got VERY emotional all of a sudden… you would think I was seeing this...

Honestly… I saw things differently after that night – literally and figuratively. I started noticing how much brighter and beautiful everything is. It just got better and better after that, and even after the 6 month mark, I felt like my eyes were improving everyday.


I think the best way to describe it is… that I feel like for the past 20 years or so, I’ve been living my life in Standard Definition… and after the surgery, my life is now in HD! And sometimes even 3D! It definitely came in handy when I came across beautiful sights like these on my travels...

Cinque Terre, Italy

Gisborne, New Zealand

Athens, Greece

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

If it weren't for my new eyes, I wouldn't have appreciated beauties like these the same...

One thing I have to say though is that my eyesight is not perfect. I don't think I have "perfect vision," but it's definitely the clearest I've ever had since before I started wearing glasses. My right eye is distinctly blunter than the left. It's considerably weaker... but the doctor said they purposely make one eye more dominant than the other... One of them is meant to be sharper, and in my case it's the left one. There are days though, especially when I’m tired when I’d find myself squinting because my eyes would get dry and blurry… and this usually happens at the end of the day, just before it gets dark. My right eye especially would feel really worn out. I don’t use my eye drops that often anymore, but I use them whenever they feel dry, and I usually feel better afterwards.

Having said that --- I still stand by what I said… that having the surgery was one of the best things I ever did for myself. You just don’t realize how much a hassle it is to wear glasses or contact lenses until you’re free of that burden. It has been a part of my daily routine for so many years, that it feels like a huge burden has been lifted when I didn’t have to carry my glasses, my contact lenses, spare lenses, and contact lens solution anywhere I went… Especially on a big trip like this!

My new eyes are a blessing… Everything is illuminated. Everything is beautiful! I still get a little teary-eyed every time I see a sky full of stars... I have Dr. Ang and Asian Eye Institute to thank for this. They made me feel so safe and comfortable. Their facilities are top notch, and they are all such professionals. I could not have asked for better people to take care of something so precious :)

If you or someone you know are struggling with poor eyesight, I wouldn’t wait to take care of it… because you really don’t know what you’re missing. Being able to see very clearly after more than a decade of being in the dark is almost miraculous to me… and if your eyes are as bad, or worse than mine, then do yourself a favor and give yourself the gift of sight. It will be the best investment you’ll ever make on yourself, I promise. :)