Patient Story: Tara

November 14, 2012

Hello everyone, I would like to introduce you to Tara. She is a pediatric nurse and was recently crowned Mrs. Oregon! Tara lives an active lifestyle and needs her vision to keep up with her, so she decided to get LASIK at Restore Vision Centers…But that is only part of the story, so I played 20 questions (well not quite 20) with Tara to bring you the LASIK experience through her eyes.

Hobbies: Trying new, fun workout classes, testing fun Portland restaurants, traveling, and doing hair and makeup for friends' special events.

How long have you been thinking about LASIK? Since college. When I danced for University of Portland, I didn't like to worry about getting makeup in my contacts or having scratchy eyes.

It was hard not to have reliable vision. Nothing is worse than a contact acting up before a performance or, better yet, during an exam in nursing school.

What held you back? I had to wait for my eyes to stop changing prescriptions at my eye appointments. I also was nervous that it was going to hurt.

What made you decide to move forward? Was there one moment? I decided to move forward when I signed up to run the Hood to Coast race. It is a long race lasting more than 24 hours with little to no sleep. The thought of having to run at random times of the night, in unpredictable climates and with contacts sounded bad. I also couldn't see myself wearing my glasses while running. How uncomfortable! I decided that because I was taking a huge athletic step by agreeing to run the Hood to Coast race that I would also finally get LASIK surgery.

Why did you choose Restore Vision Centers? It was recommended to me by another nurse who had had LASIK done.

What was the LASIK experience like for you? I loved all the staff. I had all my questions answered from day one. It made the decision so easy.

The preparation was the hardest part because I was not allowed to wear contacts for two weeks before surgery. (I really didn't like my glasses, so I was exercising blindly.) I was surprised at how fast the procedure was! I felt like I lay down; they handed me a soft pillow to hold, and I looked at a couple of lights while my vision went in and out.

It didn't hurt; in fact, I didn't really feel anything. I put on my shades, sat in the lobby and had a snack. My husband picked me up, and I went home and took a really long nap. I woke up once and my eyes were sore and dry. I fell back to sleep, and when I woke up again, I didn't have any pain. I could see pretty well; perhaps my vision was a little fuzzy. The next day I could see almost perfectly.

How was your recovery? My recovery was good. It involved a lot of artificial tears for the first week, and then I used less and less over the next few months. I didn't have any redness or pain, and my vision just kept getting better and better.

What is your favorite thing about having gotten LASIK? Every night I think, I better go take out my contacts and go to bed — but I don't have contacts anymore!

I love that when I wake up I open my eyes and I can see my clock! I am so happy about not having to wear contacts. Even elements in nature look crisper than when I was wearing contacts.

How has LASIK influenced work or hobbies? I work at a hospital where the air is dry. I had a really hard time with my contacts feeling scratchy, and glasses were extremely uncomfortable after a 12-hour shift. Now, I don't worry about my eyes and can just focus on my work. Also, working out is so much easier when I'm not worrying about dry, scratchy contacts. I no longer worry that one may fall out during a run or become scratched. I feel safer knowing I can see all my surroundings better, too.

Would you recommend it? Highly!

What is your advice for someone considering LASIK? It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. If you are considering doing it, just go have a consult. The staff will answer all your questions, and you will walk away wondering how soon you can have it done! I highly recommend it.

How long has it been since you have gotten LASIK? About six months.

Do you love your vision? How is it? My vision is amazing! My husband used to tease me, saying that he has better eyes (20/20) than I do. Now I have better eyes (20/15) than he does — ha-ha!

Anything else you want to share? I loved that fuzzy pillow you had me hold during surgery. As a pediatric nurse, I appreciate the use of objects that distract and comfort during stressful times. It was a nice touch!