My new eyes


Not a lot of training to report on for last week, with the Marathon on the Sauturday I was keen on not pushing it too hard, although judging on the 5km run  on Monday pushing too hard wasn’t going to be a problem as my legs were so heavy it was more of a fast trot than a run. Following that run I completed another 5km on the Wednesday which although a bit quicker was not any easier on the legs, with the left leg having a particuarly sore achillis. Due to this I decided to avoid running for the rest of the week, and as I will detail below I won’t be running for another week either.

About a month ago I went for an Ultralase consultation to see if there was anything that could be done about my short sightedness, being -9.5 in one eye and -8.5 in the other (read blind) I had got to the point where having to use contact lenses anytime I wanted to do sport, and wearing glasses at such a perscription effectivly distorted the world around me had become to much 0f a pain. As the consultation was free I figured what I have I got to lose, if anything it would be the most indepth eye test I would ever have.

So, the consultaton went fine and after lots of different tests (vision, night vision, eye health to name a few) I was told that there was a good chance I could be bought back to 20/20 v ision (which if I am honest I was really surprised at). Given my perscription I was told there was only a couple of dates available due to the surgon who would be required, with the date I opted for being yesterday.

My appointment was booked for 11:30 in Hammersmith so I was up fairly early to get the train up, I went with my mum as Verity was at home with the twins and the advice was to have someone with you to help you home after (I later found this to be very accurate advice). Upon arrival at Ultralase I was greeted and asked to wait for someone to see me, promptly a lady came down and asked me to go upstairs for a further scan on my left eye, they wanted to double check somthing from the previous scan. At this point I was thinking that I was about to be told ‘sorry Mr Clark, i’m afraid we won’t be able to do the surgery’. Thankfully this was not the case and it was all good.

I was then bought back into the waiting room and about  5mins later was asked to go with the nurse to meet the surgon who would be carrying out the treatment. A nice guy, he ran through what happens in the treatment and what I would be likely to experience. After signing to say I was happy I then went to another room with the nurse where she ran through the aftercare regime and what to do and what not to do.

After this I was asked but a surgery hat on and some plastic overshoes and was led into the treatment room. If your sqeamish about your eyes don’t read this bit 🙂

I was asked to lay down and was told that the first part would be to add some anithestic drops in my eye (the nurse had done this before as well but I am guessing they are just being extra careful). After that I on eye was covered in a protective shield, the other eye then having a suction cup put over it, the idea being the pressure stops the eye from moving when the laser is used to cut the top layer. The bed was then swung to the left and a laser was used to generate bubbles under the cornia to create a flap which could be flipped back to allow the laser through. I couldn’t feel anything at all, and because of the pressure on my eye I couldn’t see anything either. Once the flap was cut the other eye was then done and I was swung back to under the laser, then the surgon flipped the flap up on the right eye. Although I couldn’t feel it I could tell what he was doing due to the blurry instrament in my vision and as the flap was lifted the vision getting even more blurry. The laser was then started and I was told there would be the smell of the gas from the laser as it started working, but I do wonder if they just say that as the actual smell is your eye being burnt away 🙂

This was where it got really weird, as I couldd actually see my vision improving as the laser did its thing, which took for each eye all of about  2minutes!! The total time I was in the centre was about an hour and a half.

Getting home was fun, with sunglasses on and my mum leading me home I could only keep my eyes open for about 2 minutes at a time and was having to be guided along the roads, had I been on my own I would probably be in Scotland by now.

So, the results, as I type this I can see pretty much clearly, some slight blurring at distance but this is normal and the eyes should continue to improve as they heal. Because of the flaps I have to have antibiotic drops and anti inflammatory drops, and can’t run for a week (due to the sweat going into the eyes) so am going to have a week of stretching, then run on the Saturday to get back into it.

Now I don’t have to worry about contacts or glasses, 2013’s challenges will probably take the vein of multi-day mountain marathons.

In summary, it was pretty amazing for the first time in 21 years being able to wake up and see normally!!

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