My Lasik horror story

After doing the math on the worst possible scenario (because the best scenerio already waved by me like a teenage girl popping gum on the back of a motorcycle wheelie), I calculated that yesterday, Friday, should’ve been the last day of delirious, mind-numbing pain shooting from my eyeball.

Imagine being dragged down a gravel road face down after someone duct-taped your eyeball open. I’m not trying to give you new nightmare ideas or anything. Then, letting it heal a day or two, and doing it two more times.

I was cryiing—ok, bawling like a baby— Thursday night before bed, but I knew that on Friday–Google, the doctors, and some statistic I dug out of an obscure optical journal said that I should have grown another epithelial piece of eyeball, and thus, be able to stop the hysterics.

If I had good hair and a sexy accent, you could mistake all this crying for Jane Austin week on the BBC. I inhaled and sobbed 54 times this morning, and it pretty much broke down like this:

–24 sobs for pain
–10 sobs because it is hopeless that the pain will ever go away
–10 sobs right before I threw up from the pain meds
–10 sobs because it is the last season of 24 and I bet they’re going to kill off Jack Bauer this month and then what will I do with my love crush?

It’s not my intention to scare you to pieces with my Lasik story. There are, after all, the euro, the bailouts, and our bankrupt government that can give you a tummy ache. But for anyone googling “Lasik Horror Story”, I want to give you something to read.

Background
In December 2000, I saw an ad for “buy one, get one free” Lasik surgery, and so I signed up my husband and I for the deal. Because I am a sucker with a capital S, I can’t pass up garage sales, a foreclosure in need of “just a little work”, or “buy one get one free” even if I don’t need the first one.

As things go, of course, he came out with 20/15 and I went from a -5.75 prescription to about -1.75.

No problem, since this was “satisfaction guaranteed” and so I scheduled a touch up. On the morning of my enhancement surgery, the laser broke. (For real.) I told the folks that I wasn’t going to be the first one under the laser after it broke (knowing my luck, and all), so I waited a few extra days.

In the meantime, I found out I was expecting our third child, and so the surgery was put off indefinitely since you can’t have Lasik done while pregnant or nursing. Knowing my track record for reproduction and combining that with the fact nobody really prioritizes optional eye surgery that may result in blindness, death, or bankruptcy—I just didn’t get around to it until last week, which if you’re still following me, is about 10 years later.

Monday, May 3
I woke up with a bad feeling on the morning of the surgery, but Greg said that was because I am always nervous and why don’t I sniff a yankee candle and relax or something. I told him that there is a reason I am always nervous, and hello, did he not remember the doctor that wanted me for research before I was dead? I am special, but not in the way I think I am.

And so it happened. The surgery, which should take a few minutes, took 45 minutes. While it was happening, I knew it was wrong. But I didn’t want to talk and point that out, because what if my talking moved my eyeball somehow and made it worse? (I’m animated when I talk.) Besides, I figured the doctor wouldn’t be late for dinner on purpose — he was probably having quesadellias and would you be late for quesadellias? — and so I didn’t mention it because it might make it worse.

Tuesday, May 4
I kept telling Greg that I was blind and “submit, man, and get me a pain pill” because I like to live it up with some egalitarianism every chance I get. He calmly suggested that we wait and see (!) what the doctor said. He is one of “those” types if you know what I mean, all calm and half-dead about everything. I continued freaking out.

At the office, the doctor explained that I had a “little scratch” and that it’d be better in 24 hours. He patched my eye.

Same day, the afternoon
Still in pain, I went back to the office and saw a different doctor. He explained that I had a 80% cornea abbrasion and that was the cause for my pain, which is slightly different from a “little scratch”.

Now I’m annoyed in addition to being in pain because what, how, why, and when did this all happen? And hello, why am I blind? That’s not usually the point of Lasik.

They got very annoyed when I pointed out the inconsistencies in the explanations I’d received up to this point. Nothing got resolved, except now the pain meds were beginning to flow freely. I even have a personal menu to choose from. You have to make lemonade when life hands you lemons and all that.

Wednesday, May 5
My corneal flap fell off and got stuck in the corner of my eye. In between my sobbing and hicupping from the abbrassion, now the doctor explained that I’d need another surgery. I said nothing but started crying. (again)

Then he said the following:

“What is the big deal. Why are you overreacting?”

The nurse cringed.

There are moments in life that happen in slow motion. This was one of them.

I started out by explaining that I wanted to treat them the same way I would want to be treated if I made a mistake and BLINDED somebody, in addition to scraping off the entire surface of their eyeball. That I may not have went to medical school, but at least I didn’t fail out of Charm School. But that he was making this very difficult for me apply Christian charity when you obfuscate the truth about what happened and how it happened. I am losing patience here, because if you are going to blind and maim me, the least you can do is be HONEST about how it happened and what my recovery will look like.

By then the lawyers and entire staff was huddled into this tiny room as I railed out the doctor while my cornea bounced up and down, especially on the points I knew I had a good score on. The nurses were almost fist pumping me and yelling, “You go girl, it’s your birthday, uh huh!” but they just did it in their heart and nodded every now and then. It was me against the powers that be, but I had the truth and a very vertistile iPhone on my side. What did they have?

Valium.

And what was I going to do? Walk out of the office with my cornea flapping in the wind? So they talked me off the edge, the lawyer left, and I lay down to have my cornea parts put back on. Plus a token epithelial scrape for good measure.

Thursday, May 6
Nothing big at this appointment, except Greg started coming in for the appointments. We got a babysitter, Greg cancelled his trip to Japan, and he got a front row seat for the action. But today, just a bee sting on each eye when he plugged my tear ducts with, uh, tear duct plugs.

Friday, May 7
The cornea flap fell off again. Lucky me, we caught it before it hit the floor. By now the numbing drops weren’t working that great. If you take heroin, eventually you need more and more for a good high (I heard that once), and that’s what was happening with me and my new BFF, the numbing drops.

I felt the pop and puncture of the needle and thread sewing it on. He even messed up on one suture. I know this because I felt him pull out the thread and start over. It wasn’t because I could actually see, of course.

If you see me at church and want to pull the thread hanging from my dress….DON’T DO IT. It might be the string from my eyeball. I punched the nurse with the throw up bucket that tugged me wrong during Labor #4. I’m just saying that I can get out of control and dangerous sometimes.

Monday, May 10
I paid some hot shot cornea specialist $200 for a second opinion that took 10 minutes. I am in the wrong line of work. He said that I probably had a free flap during surgery and that’s how all this went down.

Well, the reason I know this was true is because it corroborates with the files I bumped into when Greg’s iPhone accidentally copied my medical records (that’s what you get for making me wait an hour and nobody is babysitting me) and took screen shots before they could hack it up for some lawsuit they thought I’d be filing. But why not just avoid all the games and tell me the truth? Because I can handle the truth!

I’ve watched too many lawyer shows. It’s complicated and I’m leaving out a lot.

Trust is a great thing, and the doc eventually agreed that they probably shouldn’t have downplayed the seriousness of what happened or hope I wouldn’t find out (like, maybe, would I miss the fact that I’m blind?!) but that they are now doing the right thing. Like I need more drama around here. I have six kids.

The consensus is that it’ll be months before I know how bad the vision will be in my right eye. Just a few days ago, I was able to begin using my other eye without the pain it was causing when my bad eye tracked with it. (You have to read that twice for it to make sense. Congratulations if you understood it the first go around or if you’re even reading this far.) So I’ve got one eye, at least. Some days, I don’t care if I ever regain vision. I just want the pain to stop.

In the meantime, pass the pain pills and don’t sneak up on me on my right side. I’m testy, testy.

75 Responses to “My Lasik horror story”

  1. 1

    Oh Amy, I will be praying for you. That is so hard. Waiting is hard too. I will pray that God just heals it up really quick and you don’t have to wait.

  2. 2
    char

    I am so sorry Amy, it does make one feel better when there is truth!!!!! I hate it when an MD will down play the seriousnes of patients…. I have had patients half dead and the MD will tell the family, oh she will probably be just like she was before the accident….. ummm yeah right …….I try and always be honest with patients, and their families!!!! Love you!!!! take care of your ‘good” eye!!! :)

  3. 3
    Christy

    Wow and yikes! It’s probably too early to say if this will be worth it. My lasik story doesn’t involve horror, but it didn’t end in the perfect vision I was sold on and hoped for. I will pray for your healing.

  4. 4

    Oh Amy… that is a HORRIFYING story! I’m still praying. Right eyes are important. Glad the left is starting to behave.

  5. 5
    Kelly P

    That is absolutely horrific, Amy. I am so so sorry. I’m glad that babysitters exist and Greg can cancel trips. I hope you recover.

  6. 6
    Tracy in Ky

    I will be praying, Amy. What a nightmare.

  7. 7

    Lawyer up, girlfriend. That’s just completely inexcusable.

    Just make sure your out-of-court settlement is stipulated to be paid in gold. ;-)

  8. 8
    Tami

    I’m so sorry. It sounds very familiar to me, the way the so-called dr lied and changed his story. Just be aware that if you signed a consent form (and I know you did) that you are out of luck, unless you end up totally blind in that eye. Ask me how I know. Anyway, one good eye should be enough – that’s what my dr told me. Not that I have one good eye, although one is much better than the other. Your brain will eventually learn to shut off the blurry image from the bad eye, he said. You were smart to copy the medical records! My surgery was unfortunately before the age of the iphone. I did eventually start recording all they told me at each appt, but not until about the second week. I ended up with about 50 pages of notes by the time I quit. Not that it did any good, except in helping me sort it all out – remember that consent form. I really do hope and pray that you will regain your vision to a correctable level, and that your eyes will be comfortable again some day.

  9. 9
    Amy Scott

    Thanks all. It’s really getting old at the two-week mark, and I’m ready to be done with all of it: daily doctor visits, the pain, the loss of income (Greg doesn’t get paid when he doesn’t work), not being able to drive (if I got out of my pj’s, that is).

    Sorry to hear about your case, Tami. Hopefully mine will turn out better.

    I left out several parts, still, and just don’t want to comment on the lawsuit aspect (which Tami is right about with that consent form). I’m a Christian libertarian and just generally disinclined to sue people. I think the main issue is whether or not I was a candidate in the first place with extremely dry eyes, but I guess we’ll wait to see how it turns out. The more I read, the more I think it was too risky in the first place, but I wasn’t told that beforehand.

  10. 10
    Shelby

    Oh, Amy, that’s just horrible. As a Christian libertarin and (currently non-practicing, although still-licensed) RN, I’m not prone to suggesting lawsuits lightly, but it sounds as if you may have grounds. I also hate how it is so hard to get one’s hands on one’s OWN medical records sometimes!! Good for you for getting a copy, even if it’s just digital. I will be praying for you.
    Also, I thought you might be interested in this article: . (It’s about doctor’s actually admitting fault and apologizing.)

  11. 11
    Shelby

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/daily-reports/2007/august/21/dr00047008.aspx?referrer=search

    oops! I guess I didn’t know what I was doing when I tried to post that link–let me try again.

  12. 12
    Jamie

    Praying for you!

  13. 13
    sarah k

    Amy, I am praying for healing. What an awful experience. I’m so sorry.

  14. 14

    I can’t imagine what you and your whole family are going through. I am so sorry, Amy. I will remember you in prayer. Please keep updating so we know how to pray. I feel awful for you.

  15. 15
    Christy

    I remember when I had my lasik that dry eyes were said to make for a bad candidate. I wonder why they didn’t warn you? Oh, let me guess…$$$.

    Still so very sorry and am hoping for the best.

  16. 16
    Joanna

    HOLY COW!!! I’m praying it gets better soon.

  17. 17

    You. Poor. Thing.

    My husband has Lasik last year and ended up with a lot of pain that first night. (And this from a man who sets his own broken bones, so I knew it was serious.) Turns out, he had an eyelash in his eye that was rubbing against the fresh incision. An eyelash! So I can’t imagine what you’re going through.

    Prayers for peace and wisdom and, most of all, healing.

  18. 18

    Oh, my, oh, my! I badly as I’ve wanted to hear this story, I was really hoping it wasn’t as bad as it was sounding. I”m so sorry, Amy. I hope your healing goes quickly and the pain subsides even quicker.

  19. [...] reading here: Amy's Humble Musings » Blog Archive » My Lasik horror story Posted in care, in, lasik | Tags: ache, bailouts, bankrupt, horror-story, intention, lasik, [...]

  20. 20
    Lois

    Thanks for filling us in –even though you’ve abbreviated it to a few minutes’ read, and the pain to our cringes–and I’m so human, I don’t even want to try to imagine it for a second. It’s very sobering. Yeah, I figured there were ramifications with Greg not working (like no pay). I’m adding on a couple things to my prayers…like loads of wisdom and enough $.

  21. 21
    de

    Amy, you’re experiencing everything I feared before my Lasik. I pray that God heals you quickly and totally, and that your surgeons will be held accountable.

  22. 22
    Another Heather

    I am SO sorry! One of my kids scratched my eye pretty badly once and I have a bit of experience with that kind of pain. I will be praying for you.

  23. 23

    That is horrible! Terrible. I hope it heals soon and that you have two good eyes in the end.

  24. 24

    I am praying for you this morning, Amy. I’m so, so sorry you’ve had to go through this. I pray for a 100% recovery of both eyes.

  25. 25

    I have been going through three years of lawyer garbage from the head-on collision I went through when an old guy made a wide right turn into MY lane. I know there must be some honest lawyers out there (I think I have one) but I can tell you that it’s a long haul. I didn’t even pursue any legal action until just before the time limit was up, because I wanted to make sure that I really did have permanent damage that will affect me the rest of my life. I did. Trust me.

    There is a picture of me with my shirt pulled away enough to reveal some of the massive bruising. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, my lawyer tells me that because I am smiling in the picture, the pain couldn’t have been so bad, and I wasn’t so much affected. At least that’s what they’ll claim.

    I was smiling, because I was ALIVE> I could easily have been dead. My son-in-law’s brother was dead after a collision that was no worse than mine. I was euphoric, because I was alive.

    The Christian in me says that I would have been better off to be in the presence of the Lord, and I know that. But the mommy in me says I am still glad to be here, to see my children and grandchildren growing and changing.

    The pain I experience EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. is what convinced me to go ahead and sue. I will likely need physio/massage/chiro the rest of my life, so I think the dummy who wasn’t paying attention needs to be held responsible.

    I also think the dummy who didn’t do his homework and botched up your lasik, then didn’t even admit the truth, needs to be held responsible.

    One more thing: tear duct plugs???

    Ewwwwwww.

    Love ya lots; praying for you.

  26. 26
    Amy Scott

    Shelby, I finally got your link to work. And yes, I got the doctor to apologize, but only after yelling at him for not apologizing, so does that apology count? It didn’t for me.

    We do have a “deal” about me getting seen and not waiting on him. I told him it’s the LEAST he could do if I had to come everyday. He made me wait last Friday for an hour (as was his custom everyday), I chewed him out, and now he’s been very careful to get me in and out. He also spends 30-60 minutes just chatting and looking over my eye everyday. It seems he’s had a huge change of heart this week, and I wonder what happened.

    Thanks for the update on your lawsuit, Janet. I know that’s how these things work, and I worry about getting involved in something like that living in Kentucky when the jurisdiction would be down here in Florida. Maybe he’d just settle, I don’t know.

    Ok, ok, ok, I did talk to an attorney, and his advice was that we couldn’t do anything now, but that we had to finish treatment and see how it all shakes out. (Maybe he didn’t say “shakes out” but he meant it.) I never understood “pain and suffering” awards, but man alive, I do now. I’m just working through my mind about how I want to deal with it, how that fits in with my faith, and the real logistics of where the malpractice lies–is lying malpractice? is an accident malpractice? is just being a jerk malpractice? is doing surgery on someone who never should have had the surgery in the first place malpractice? I’ll figure it out…

  27. 27

    Amy,

    Sympathizing, I truly am. But the pain meds have your wit revved up and so your story just became our family’s read-aloud/entertainment for the day. Sorry! I was strongly considering lasik, too, until now. Praying your pain subsides and healing is complete!

  28. 28
    Robin in New Jersey

    Oh.my.goodness…

    I am so sorry Amy. I will be praying for you.

    Your story is exactly why I will not have this surgery done. Letting someone mess with my eyeballs just scares me and now I know why.

    Again, I am so sorry.

  29. 29
    Laura

    Amy, I am so sorry to hear what a horrible time you’ve had with this experience! I cannot even imagine dealing with all of it – I’m praying that your eyes heal, quickly, your vision is restored – and that God gives you the wisdom to know how to pursue this legally. If you choose to pursue it, you have very right to from a Christian perspective. I’m from a family that doesn’t believe in legal battles – accidents are accidents – but you should at the very least be compensated for the loss of income and the medical expenses you have incurred, not to mention the babysitting expenses and the loss of ability to do your normal job (cooking, cleaning, etc. etc.). I don’t say this lightly – truly, I feel an accident is an accident – but this goes beyond an accident and into malpractice. I experienced a similar situation that went on for several years (not eye surgery – another health related issue), and it has now left me with multiple problems I will battle with for the rest of my life – as well as shortening my life expectancy significantly – and I’m only 33 years old. I didn’t pursue any legal action, thinking that it would get better with time. Unfortunately, time has passed and now I am still stuck dealing with issues on a regular basis, and I have to pay to treat those problems that were caused by doctor negligence in the first place. Malpractice can haunt you for the rest of your life – and the responsible parties should at the very least compensate you for the continuing care you will need to receive in the years to come.

    God bless you for all that you’ve gone through, and for your family as they deal with this “new normal”.

  30. 30
    Ouida Gabriel

    “he’s been very careful to get me in and out. He also spends 30-60 minutes just chatting and looking over my eye everyday. It seems he’s had a huge change of heart this week, and I wonder what happened.”

    Um, does he know you have a blog? You might have scared him ;-)

    Seriously though – I hope that you are on the mend and do get your eyesight back. You are stronger than I would be. If a Dr would have said that to me I think I would have unleashed a line of curse words proving that I am not a educated person. I have never been good at keeping my words in check. You however have your eyeball stitched together, scraped with stitches hanging out and you still manage to control yourself. I envy you Amy Scott.

    Blessings to you ~

    Ouida Gabriel

  31. 31

    My breathing is shallow and I’m not kidding. Reading your post I wanted to cry and I wanted to hit someone. You poor thing! We have had our share of doctor mess-ups as well Amy. The last one (surgery #6) he was late for surgery. Two days prior to surgery he promised he’d slice on the same incision. Slicing any other way would weaken my uterus and we both knew it. We had a VERY CLEAR understanding….. He promised he wouldn’t do that. Long story short – the nurses and helpers were hanging around saying: “Where’s doc?” and I had a spinal that lasted 45 minutes MAX (Don’t even get me started about the time it was wearing off during surgery!). And as far as doctors attitudes – I had one so rude and scary the day before surgery that the nurse could not stop apologizing for him when we left the room. It is a walk in FAITH every time! I/we have prayed for you and will continue and hope your pain is getting better and that your eye totally heals!

    P.S. I thought the plan was for you to move to Kentucky and settle down living the quiet life ;) *Had to throw that in there to get you to giggle a little (if that’s even possible right now). Blessings to you Amy!

    eunice:O)

  32. 32
    Kim

    I love reading your blog and am so very sorry that you have had to deal with this horror. I had a similiar excruiatingly painful situation last month with a staph infection that went on and on and I know that when Mama’s down, it’s no good for nobody. Blessings.

  33. 33
    shelby

    Yeah . . . no! Doesn’t really count as an apology when it’s forced, does it? ugh!

  34. 34

    Amy,
    I tremble at the thought of what you’ve gone through.

    I guess it is your choice whether or not you take legal action.

    I suspect that your doctor now receives your promptly because he does not want you mingling with other patients.

    I feel that you have an obligation to warn potential patients. Have you gone to those “rate my doctor” sites?

  35. 35

    What a bummer, that sounds horrifying. It’s stories like yours that make me nervous to ever have any “work” done, even something as simple as LASIK is supposed to be. I hope it gets better. Praying for you.

  36. 36
    Katie

    From Wikipedia:

    A slipped flap (a corneal flap that detaches from the rest of the cornea) is one of the most common complications. The chances of this are greatest immediately after surgery, so patients typically are advised to go home and sleep to let the flap heal. Patients are usually given sleep goggles or eye shields to wear for several nights to prevent them from dislodging the flap in their sleep. ****A faster operation may decrease the chance of this complication, as there is less time for the flap to dry.***** Didn’t you say the surgery took 45 minutes the first time?

  37. 37
    Sumer

    Good grief! Unbelievable. 6 kids and a mom on pain pills, dad having to cook meals ~ THAT is enough for pain and suffering! My husband was misdiagnosed, he had cancer and the doctor told him it was a virus and gave him antibiotics. He had the kind of cancer that only has one or two symptoms, he had them both. Some Godly, Christian people laughed at us when we considered sueing. After all, the doc professed HIS name~ but to this day, has never apologized. We should have sued, for no other reason than to humble Mr. Bigbritches. We were young, stupid, scared, had four kids under four . . .
    The hubs is fine for now, has been for four years. (After surgery, and 16 weeks of Chemo.)
    Stand your ground, girl!
    Glad Greg can be there to help and that you are not alone in Kentucky!

  38. 38
    Amy Scott

    Didn’t you say the surgery took 45 minutes the first time?

    Yes, if you mean the second time. May 3rd’s surgery was an enhancement surgery, done 10 years after my first Lasik surgery. But yes, it was long because—-speculation here—-the flap which should’ve had a hinge on it, didn’t, and so he pulled the whole thing off and spent time putting it on correctly. That is just a guess, as this is a story that was pieced together over time in the best possible light. Whether I believe it or it makes sense is another matter.

    Thanks all for the encouragement. As for any legal action, I do know that my blog would have to come down and I obviously couldn’t talk about it in public. I don’t want to call out the doctor until my treatment is over. My blog would probably come up first if anyone googled his name. Just trust that I am considering all my options and will try to make the best decision for our family and to represent Christ honorably as well. I am a pit bull by nature, and so I probably don’t need any encouragement to attack. ;)

  39. 39

    i’m really sorry about your eye and pain and all… but you sure know how to tell a great story! i mean, that was hilarious (minus the seriousness and blindness).

    followed a link on over here to you. you entertain me greatly. i’m sure i’ll be back. :)

  40. 40

    YOUare MYMEDICAL HERO!!!!!!!

    after EVERYTHING my sweet sick husband and I have been through i TOTALLY UNDERSTAND what you just said! it has been my understanding that if you haven’t been there you might not get it

    i know that feeling of being led to think you are crazy for asking the right questions when you know something isn’t right ie your blindness and pain and my husband’s symptoms. you knew something was wrong because you couldn’t see, i knew something was wrong when he wasn’t acting right and still seizing. you stood up for yourself and demanded honesty (imagine that) i am very, VERY proud of you.

    YOU GO GIRL!

    p.s. my fist was in the air as i typed this with one hand…

  41. 41
    Pam

    Amy,
    Thanks for sharing your story. And I’m so sorry for all you’re going through. No mother needs that. May God bless and heal you quickly. (And I’m so impressed with your sense of humor in the matter!)
    Blessings!

  42. 42

    I am so sorry you are so miserable. I don’t blame you one bit for being testy. I can’t imagine being in such severe pain for so long. Praying you will heal up quickly.

  43. 43
    Jenn Velez

    I have been following your blog, I think since your last pregnancy. There’s so much I have always wanted to ask, talk about with you ( I have 5 under 8 and I homeschool. I’m
    30 so all I have been doing for a decade is have kids but maybe some other time we’ll get into all that )…But for now I’ve been driven to just leave a response simply to say, I am going to be seriously praying for you. I am so sorry.
    Jenn

  44. 44
    April C.

    Oh Amy, that is awful. Horrible. I cannot even imagine the pain that you are going through and how scary it is to have your eyesight in jeopardy. I will be praying that your eyesight returns at least to what it was before the surgery.

    But girl, you can sure tell a story. Glad to see that your wit is still intact. And the fact that you were able to write this story with one eyeball and loads of medication proves to me that you are superwoman. Unless you dictated it to one of the kids as a typing lesson :-)

  45. 45

    There was a time when I considered Lasik. Considered. The thought of anyone messing with my eyes, even a professional was almost enough to send me into convulsions! Now after hearing your story, I will never be tempted again! Thanks so much!

  46. 46

    Wait. Sorry to comment twice in a row, but that sounded really flippant. I am really sorry for your horrible pain and BLINDNESS (!?). That is one of my worst fears, and I do not think it’s funny, even though you told the story in a quasi-humorous way. (I feel better now.)

  47. 47

    I am SO sorry for your situation! My brother experienced retina detachment in his early 20′s. Surgery to repair it ended up damaging the lense. Lense was taken out to allow scarring to heal and never was able to be put back in. So…he’s blind in one eye and will eventually need a glass eye. Though I know it took some adjusting (and he didn’t have your pain issues), he does quite well with just the 1 eye. Peripheal vision is a bit underperforming, but beyond that, he can do anything. Plus, the way I see it, if the draft were to ever come back, he can’t be drafted! The light at the end of the tunnel, eh? So sorry though and I do hope it works out better for you.

  48. 48
    anon

    I’m really sorry Lasik did not work out so well for you, but I hope things turn around. I wanted to add, for those that are considering it, that Lasik can be a great thing–it was for me and several people I know. I waited for a long time before I had it, and only after a laser was developed to do the flaps, so that the surgeon wasn’t cutting the flaps with a scalpel. Most all of the litigation, at that point (around 2004) was coming from a problem with the surgeon cutting the flaps with a knife/scalpel and screwing it up. The laser cutting the flaps eliminated problems with the scalpel and problems with the surgeon cutting an imperfect flap. Also, it is important to go to a surgeon who screens really well. The other part of litigation comes from people who should have never had surgery to begin with. The size of the pupil, dry eyes, are all factors. My doctor screened out over half to 2/3 of the people who came through the door. He said he didn’t need the business that bad. That’s not to say things can’t happen, but those are two things to look out for. I would also recommend going to a doctor who operates out of a surgical suite and not The Mall. Good luck to you Amy! Hang in there!

  49. 49

    Anon, thanks for sharing these specifics. It is good to know. Usually we just learn from experience, and you gave us the benefit of yours!

  50. 50
    debbie

    Amy, it has been a long time since I have read or commented on your blog (I’m working now outside my home) and I am so sorry to hear of the trials you are going through. My sister scratched her cornea when she was in her twenties just by rubbing some dust out of her eyes and she was in pain for a long, long time, so I can just imagine what you are up against. This was in the days before lasik. The good news is that God delivered her from it. She prayed and was healed. The eye doctor even admitted that he didn’t expect it to heal up ever. (not what he told her, sound familiar?)

    I will be praying for your healing and for wisdom over the lawyer decision. Oh, and strength to be the mom of six kids and missing the use of a eyeball. Not a good situation to be in when you need at least four eyes just to keep track of one or two kids.

    God love ya!

  51. 51
    Debbie

    Amy, No wonder you are crying buckets of tears; I am crying some for you too. The very, very sad thing is that you are probably just one of thousands of women this has happended to. Maybe not all through Lasiks, but other medical fiascos as well. I used to think that those stories I heard about doctors being condescending to women and telling them that their problems were “all in their head” were atrocious and exaggerated. But no more. It took me eight years to get a diagnosis on a medical condition. Doctors are plain scary. It is impossible to find a good one, especially in FL. Please find peace in the knowledge that you are loved and being lifted up in prayer daily.

  52. 52

    OH no! That is terrible. (dramatically and sincerely inserted!) I will so pray for you, Amy! I can’t even imagine! Among all the, “ouches” that I inserted, and the squinting of eyes through your whole post, I did happen to giggle when you wrote, “sniff a yankee candle or something”. I have one of those hubbys that rarely has a pulse on issues! So, I so understand! ;)
    ~I had thought about doing the surgery but every time I think about I read “horror” stories! So, please give a Praise Report soon!
    ~ Just so you know, you have beautiful hair! I remember from our brief meeting at church.
    ~ Lots of prayers coming your way!

  53. 53
    Amy Scott

    Just to update:

    Things are the same. Still no vision, lots of pain. The epithelium, which should have taken about 3 days to heal, has taken at least 13 days. And still…no relief. I went a few days with both eyes closed, since one was patched–the other got sympathetic eye syndrome (or something like that) and wouldn’t open.

    On Monday, I get one stitch out.

  54. 54

    Well, that was gross. Eyeballs are so icky. On the upside, you still have a sense of humor. :)

  55. 55

    I can hardly read this, I am such a queasy person.

    I don’t want to frighten you, but be careful of taking a lot of pain meds. They can be extremely hard on your liver. My husband had a secretary who fell and broke her wrist. In the end (after about two years), she turned yellow and died from liver damage from the pain meds they gave her.

    I think it can be helpful to switch (rotate) pain meds frequently. This gives your liver a break of sorts (if you switch far enough between types), and it also tends to keep them working better as you build up less tolerance, so you don’t have to increase your doses as much.

  56. 56
    Daniel

    Anyone considering Lasik, or for that matter getting contact lenses, should at least be aware of Natural Vision Improvement, also sometimes known as the Bates Method. To find out more just Google those terms (I would provide links, but I don’t want to be seen as a spammer; I just think people should be aware so they can make an informed decision.)

  57. 57
    LA

    I’m praying for you, Amy! My 4-yr-old accidentally took a chunk out of my cornea with his dirty long fingernail a couple months ago and boy it hurt like crazy! I can’t believe you are going through this. Like you I couldn’t even use my other eye either because when it would move it my hurt eye would move along with it which hurt of course. But I only had to deal with the worst of it for about three days. I can’t believe it’s taking so long for your eye to heal! My husband wants to have Lasik and I am not comfortable with it. I just think it is too risky for something that is just an inconvenience (glasses.) I am praying that you find relief soon!

  58. 58

    And to think people still want universal healthcare. Dude. We’ll all be blind in both eyes.

    Oh, wait. I’m supposed to be consoling you.

    Amy! I’M SO SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU!

    (((hugs)))))

    and if I was there, I’d burst out into a spontaneous version of: YOU ARE THE WIND BENEATH MY EYE-FLAP!

    or maybe I’d just bring you some valium and we can pop pain pills and drink sweet tay togeth-uh.

    [wow. this might be the randomest comment i've ever left. which is a long way of saying, i love you so much i'm willing to look like a complete fool on your blog. PLEASE feel well soon. love and hugs. and pain pills. my personal favorite is percocet. :p]

  59. 59

    Hi Amy. My husband just asked why I was laughing, and I said, “Oh, I’m reading about this woman’s experience with a lasik surgery gone wrong.”

    He said, “What’s funny about that?”

    I said, “Well listen to this part…” and read him the paragraph about the thread on your dress. He still didn’t find the humor, and keeps saying, ‘That’s just awful!” And it IS… I’m just amazed that you can still make me laugh with one eye closed.

    I hope that the Lord gives you back your vision in this eye, and cares for you perfectly during this time. Since you’ll probably relate better than I can right now, can I ask you to pray for a boy in my neighborhood? He was a premature twin, and was born blind. His mom said that he has a part of his eyeball which is deteriorating, and ‘caving in’, which is causing him excrusiating pain. He spent Memorial Day weekend, in his room, curled up in a ball. But he won’t complain. His mom said it would be easier if he just cried or complained, so she could comfort him. Anyway… I thought you might like the opportunity to pray for someone else, too.

    Blessings to you.

  60. 60
    Miguel A Simon Fernandez

    As for my family experience (in Spain), one of my uncles had laser surgery done in Spain at one of the most renowned clinics in Oviedo with Dr. Vega. They have the fame but not the scruples and lack ethics. What actually happened is that the laser lost it’s calibration because the Vega doctors refused to have an engineer for calibrating the apparatus. My uncle is a very well known Pharmaceutical company president (Zeltia Pharmamar) and was blinded for much more than a year. Another thing they did is use the same laser for all and I understand that there are different laser technologies for different pathologies.
    My uncle had it fixed in the USA but I can not tell you who did it just now. He had too much cornea taken away. If you want, I can try to reach him and find out who fixed it but I can not promise you succes because relationships are not at all good between us (he’s too damm rich and I’m too damm poor)

  61. 61
    Marjorie

    Saying a prayer for your healing…
    Re: pain med alert earlier post: Pain meds are damaging to your liver if they contain Tylenol (many are a “cocktail” mix of narcotic and Tylenol) and your doctor doesn’t manage/oversee the daily MAXIMUM allowable dose of Tylenol. Good news is that your liver is a self- healing organ and can recover from short term usage, docs just need to keep an eye on liver enzymes if you are near max daily dose. People can use these pain meds for years, if managed properly. Morphine can be a “clean” alternative, less damaging to body, but then you’re desensitized to pain meds needed for surgery — takes so much more if you’re already on something strong. Hope you come out of rhis with best medical care, pain-free, and stress- free for you and your family.

  62. 62
    Amber

    Hello. I happen to have a LASIK horror story as well. Within 4 days i had my consult..pre-op app. and to sign all the consents and go to surgery. The dr i did the pre-op with told me to do PRK because i am a glaucomo suspect in my right eye that lasik isnt good. The day of the surgery(5 minutes before surgery) the surgeon changed it to LASIK. Of course i know my turn is next i didnt care i just was excited to get in and walk out with good vision! Meaning i am only 21 years old, my vision is not that bad but i can not get contacts in my eyes for the life of me. I am in surgery and the surgeron started on my R eye. It was taking a little longer then it should have and out of no where i hear the dr say give me a contact. I didnt ask any questions but i knew it wasnt right. He applied the contact on and took me over the to machine to look into my eye. He went and got 4 other people including one being the dr that said do PRK. They all said yes and shook their heads. I am just balling my eyes out because i cant even keep my eye open! So he says lie back down we need to do surgery to repair your cornea, it was torn. My machine that cuts the flap did not create a suction, he cut my flap anyhow and when he took it off it tore my cornea. So he repaired it and i left confused. The night was horriable. I could not open my eye at all and tears were just pouring out, I could wake up in a puddle of tears on my pillow case. It was very bad. Next day i went to my follow up and nobody really wanted to talk about what happen that it will heal and in 3 months we will try again. WTF?? do you really think after this i want to try again??NO. Long story really short, I went to 3 cornea specialist….the lasik people REFUSED to return my money to the carecredit card i used until i sign a form that says they are not responsibile for any damamges which i refuse to sign and i have been to 3 different lawyers whom say their experts say it is not malpractice. I can not read any street signs. I can not read the blood poressure lines when i am at work taking blood pressure. Its bad. and because of this i have to live like this. I am giving it ONE more shot with another lawyer who does all medical malpractice then i am done. He should have not done lasik without me signing the lasik consents, nor should he have changed it 5 minutes before surgery. I am so frusterated with the whole situation and REALLY feel your pain amy. I know exactly what you went there..and in the end walk away with nothing.

  63. 63
    Amy Scott

    All, Just another note to say thank you for the comment love.

    Amber, that is horrible. I do understand what you’re going through, and I’m very sorry.

    Warmly,
    Amy Scott

  64. 64

    [...] My Lasik Horror Story. This is Amy Scott’s blog — one of my favorite bloggers of all time. A solid Christian [...]

  65. 65

    You may be testy, but you are pretty funny too. When my young husband died suddenly I donated his cornea’s. Then the organ transplant place kept sending me literature asking for donations. I felt like we had donated enough. They finally stopped bothering me. I am sorry about your vision problems and the pain. I too only have one good eye, so I know all about the debt perception thing. I finally got to where I compensated for it.
    Dont waste your money on 3D movies.LOL
    I will pray for your eyes each time I remember you. Take care.

  66. [...] my defense, because even dumb people are entitled to a decent defense, I am half-blind and the auction room was real [...]

  67. 67
    Simon

    Hey Amy,

    I’m writing to commiserate. I too had a messed up Lasik procedure. I figure that, like you, writing about it might help in that sharing with others I might warn others who are considering the procedure and, to be frank, might make myself feel better.

    I had lasik in 2003 when I was 24. I was -1.50 in both eyes and slightly astigmatic. I am now slightly overcorrected in each eye and slightly irregularly astigmatic in both eyes. I also have bad but not disabling night vision and bad but not disabling dry eyes. I have “20/20″ in both eyes (hell… even the ghosting I see when the room is at all dark is 20/20… lol… sigh). For 6 years I have been told that I can have PRK to fix my my problems. As tempting as it has been…. and it has been very tempting, I have resisted. I am very depressed by my problems – especially as they are not serious enough to garnish any sympathy but are serious enough to stop me giving 100% at work or in sports… I am always dealing with tired eyes and my focus is always a bit off. But I soldier on – refusing more surgery… fool me once, fine, twice, I am an idiot.

    I have recently come across Ortho K night lenses and a very interesting contact fitter that I found through an international organization of suffering post-op lasik patients. Ortho K contacts are hard contacts to be worn at night that reshape the cornea and allow your eyes to be normal during the day. Although I see 20/20 my scans show serious higher order abrasions (causing night vision problems and strain) and these lenses can apparently take care of these aberrations on a day by day basis and also deal with my overcorrection and astigmatism. They are difficult to fit, difficult to care for and expensive. Basically, they are the opposite of Lasik – they offer a lifetime of care and restrictions – But I am happily about to try them. For the first time in six years, I might be able to see normally at night and read at night without a headache and to finally not feel constant discomfort in my eyes. On a side note, they are supposed to NOT make the dryness worse, are entirely oxygen permeable and, if effective, will make it very clear to me (finally) and any doctor who I may consider approaching for surgery 10 years from now exactly what my problem is (as the lenses are fixing it).

    Amy, your postings suggest you are a strong person with a vibrant, humerous personality. You also have kids and a husband which is very helpful. But you will break down and become disheartened with your idiotic surgeon. The money you may eventually make in the lawsuit 10 years from now will not make you feel much better. What you need to know is that when you finally realize that there is no surgical magic bullet and you caused this to yourself, that it was not your fault (millions of people have fallen for this scam, including me) and that there are solutions, they are just not surgical.

    Whatever you do, do not operate again unless you have to. The less operations, the better you are. Once you settle that in your mind, explore contact and glasses options – they are available and they are your best bet.

    Best Regards,

    Simon

  68. 68
    Kim

    Hi,
    Sorry for this story. I am sitting here and feeling guilty for all the trouble you’ve gone through and yet laughing out loud and this post. I’m sorry, but you’re hilarious!
    Anyway, I’m so glad you and others have shared your stories because I have been looking forward for Lasik since I was about fourteen years old (six years ago). But now that I’m older and wiser and thank goodness for the Internet because I have read way too many horror stories from Lasik and never want to do it. My eyes are too precious. That being said, I am also sad because my eyes currently are in terrible conditions.
    My left and right eyes right now are at about -11.00. And I have very, very bad astigmatism and my family has a history of glaucoma. And I’ve only just turned twenty. I’ve been wearing contacts daily since the age of thirteen. I wish I hadn’t though because at that age, I was very careless with my contacts and I’m pretty sure my carelessness didn’t help my eye health at all. Anyway, thank you for your stories, and I will just hope and pray for the best (for you and myself!).

  69. [...] headaches, sore throats, body aches, dizziness, and runny noses. And for just me, my eye hurt too. Yes, the botched Lasik eye. (At a dinner party, you can say, “I have this friend, and part of her eyeball fell out of [...]

  70. 70

    So how is it now? I saw the recent post where you linked back to this. I am so sorry you had to go through this! But I have to know–any improvement? Can you see? Aside from being in pain with the sickness, does it still hurt?

  71. 71
    Amy Scott

    Melissa,

    Thanks for asking. I still have a little bit of pain sometimes, and last time it was checked, it was 20/100 uncorrectable. I’d say it’s about the same still.

    Just glad to have two eyes. My non-dominent eye does all the work.

  72. 72
    Elizabeth

    Oh, Amy. Oh, oh, oh my… Many years ago I worked at an eye center when Lasik was first being introduced, so I clearly, clearly understood your story. Will be praying!

  73. 73

    So I have seriously been debating lasik surgery, and have basically decided to do it. Then I find this post. Ugg. I guess I can’t have it done now anyway since I’m still nursing, but this makes me not want to do it. Although my plan is to do the PRK, so there isn’t any flap. We’ll see.

  74. 74

    [...] Fear is something I deal with probably more than the average person. It’s my thing. I’m afraid of childbirth. I’m afraid of public speaking. I’m afraid of losing all my friends. I’m afraid of elective eye surgery. (Here’s why.) [...]

  75. 75
    Jermzy

    :( I really hope your eye got better- it’s nice to see though that someone in such a scary situation can still laugh at themselves. This has effectively convinced me not to get LASIK ever- I think I’ll just stick with contacts. Also there’s no point in my getting LASIK since I depend on color contacts anyways :P


Want to Leave a Reply?