Disclaimer: this post is super lengthy and it has nothing to do with food. The Whiting Clinic LASIK + Eye Care did not endorse me to write this review. This entry was written solely based on the purpose that I wanted to document my LASIK journey and serve as a review of my experience with the Whiting Clinic. All opinions are 100% my own.
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As long as I can remember, my eyesight has been bad. I like to blame it on genetics – both my parents are nearsighted, and everyone in our family has worse vision in their right eye than their left. My sister, that lucky duck, is the only one who still has perfect vision up to this day.
My first memory of having to wear corrective lenses goes way back to fourth grade. My dad took me to an optometrist, where I picked out a plastic, thick framed, ombre pink/transparent pair of glasses which I absolutely hated. Throughout the years, I’ve had multiple pairs of glasses varying in prescription, and they slowly became a part of me in which I’ve relied dependently to make the world a clearer place to see.
Over the years, I ended up with astigmatism along with my nearsightedness. I decided to get contacts when I was in high school after I joined the lacrosse team, and ever since then, putting in contacts became part of my daily routine.
Those at work all know I’m an extreme eye-wuss. Or as we call it, I’m one of those that “don’t do eyeballs”. Any sort of patient who comes in with any sort of eye problem automatically grosses me out. Whether it’s a bulging eyeball, a busted eyeball, a bloody eyeball, cherry eyes – you name it, I hate it. If there’s something wrong with the eye, you’ll see me running out the door. There has been times where I had to give eyedrops to patients with eye issues, and I had to ask other people to come do treatments for me because I just can’t do it. Nooooo thank you.
Some people ask me how I can put in and take out contacts if I have such a phobia to eyes – I tell them that I was lucky enough to have gotten contacts at a younger age, before I developed this weird eye phobia. Because there’s one thing I know for sure – If I had this eye phobia back then, I sure wouldn’t be able to bear the idea of my finger coming at my eyeball to put in contacts every morning, or the thought of picking at my eyeball to take my contacts out at the end of the day.
I’ve actually thought about getting LASIK for years but simply didn’t have to guts to bring myself to it. My reasoning? I only have one pair of eyes. What if something goes wrong during the procedure and I go blind forever?
I have since learned that going blind during a LASIK procedure is basically impossible, and that you’re more likely to get an infection from your contacts than LASIK. However, prior to gaining all this knowledge, reading all about how the procedure is done and the possible side effects and complications sure didn’t ease any of my skepticism. Plus, there are so many LASIK providers out there – who do I trust with my eyes????
A former coworker of mine, who also can’t stand all-things-eyeball-related, went to Dr. Whiting for her LASIK procedure a few years back… and she survived. A few other coworkers, including herself, kept telling me, “if Erika can do it, you can do it too.” She raved on how great of an experience she had – from the entire staff to the actual procedure itself, she had no complaints whatsoever. A few other friends also went to Dr. Whiting for their procedure and every single one of them recommended the place to me.
Upon further research that I conducted myself, I discovered that Dr. Whiting has done 100,000+ LASIK procedures and is considered one of the nation’s top LASIK surgeons. He’s the official LASIK provider for the Minnesota Wild hockey team, has done LASIK for many sports radio personalities (which is what sold Brian in the end), and other local “celebrities” as well. I figured if so many professionals trust him with their eyes, I should to able to, too.
So, I scheduled my free LASIK consultation, and by the end of the 90-minute appointment, I was sold.
Well, my heart was sold. But my analytical brain insisted that having a blade come towards your eyeball and cut a flap on your cornea was not a good idea at all. It was just a consultation, but I was nervous. They say the appointment on procedure day would last about 90 minutes, but only takes about 30 seconds per eye. I remember asking, “so what happens during the rest of the 89 minutes of the appointment?!” I think Dr. Loomis sensed my anxiety because at one point he asked me why I was so nervous considering that it was only a consult exam… I remember I kept asking him if it was an actual blade that was going to cut my cornea open. Instead of trying to explain to me (apparently my brain was refusing to comprehend what he was saying), he went into the procedure room and took a blade off the machine that was just used on another patient.
You guys, it was an actual blade. Like a scalpel blade with an extremely sharp edge to it. I’m pretty sure I felt a slight wave of nausea. Apparently he’s never had to show the actual blade to anyone, but he decided he would for me just because I was so “curious”. I then was very tempted to ask him if there was any way I could keep the blade used on my eyes for my scrapbook, but decided that probably would’ve been a little too weird..
The days leading up to the procedure was nerve wracking. I’m not going to lie – I freaked out and had major anxiety the entire two weeks leading up to my procedure date. Every time I thought about it, I wanted to puke. The morning of the procedure definitely wasn’t any better either. They offered me either Benadryl or Valium to ease my anxiety… I would’ve taken the entire bottle of Valium if they would’ve let me. It relaxed me a little, but didn’t quite give me the sedative effect I was hoping for. I was not groggy and it definitely did not mess with my memory at all – it relaxed my muscles, but I was well aware of what was going on the entire time.
Pre-op.. not sure if that’s a nervous smile or if it’s the Valium talking…
Like I expected, the actual procedure only took less than a minute per eye – it was over before I knew it. I can go into detail of everything I remember, but I think I’ll spare you guys the play-by-plays. During my consult exam, they did mention that I would only feel “pressure” during the procedure. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical when they used that word. Coming from the medical field (I used to work in a human ER), I knew doctors would sometimes substitute the word “pain” with “pressure”. Patients are generally more receptive to something if they’re told “you’ll feel a little pressure” as opposed to “oh yeah this will probably be a little painful”.
I was glad that I indeed only felt pressure on my eye during the procedure. They numbed both my eyes up very well so the entire procedure was not painful at all. The whole time I felt like I was in a hypnotic-like state. I followed the technicians and Dr. Whiting’s instructions like my body just moved on command without my brain actually processing the information and telling my body what to do. From walking into the procedure room and laying underneath the cool, space-ship like laser machine, to seeing Dr. Whiting put on his sterile gloves (along with the “smack!” that goes with putting sterile gloves on) and throughout the entire procedure, I was under the magic spell of Valium and I felt like things were just happening around me before my brain even had a chance to process everything.
I got to go home that day with some fashionable shades that I wore around the house that weekend as well as to bed for the next week.
Having a snuggle buddy always helps.
Lubricating eye drops will be my best friend for the next three months and the hardest part for me so far is remembering that I shouldn’t be rubbing my eyes. But it sure is nice not having to wear glasses or contacts! Some days I still have to remind myself that the reason things are crystal clear is because I got LASIK, not because I have contacts in.
Since I have worked in the medical field for the past 6 years, I had high expectations of my entire LASIK experience (especially since so many of my friends recommended their facility to me). I’m pleased the say that my overall experience at the Whiting Clinic has exceeded all my expectations and then some.
Their entire staff are well-trained, polite, caring, and professional. We probably encountered close to 10 different people during our consult exam, on procedure day, and during my 1-day post-op check-up appointment, and every single one of them were fantastic. Everyone there is so friendly and does their best to put you at ease. Dr. Whiting has exceptional bedside manners and also has a very calming demeanor (which helped immensely to ease my anxiety). The facility is modern, clean, spacious, well-lit, with plenty of refreshments provided for both patients and family members (coffee and chocolate never hurts). They truly make it a customized experience for each and every patient – you get to choose the music you want in the background during your procedure and the mood lighting in the procedure room to help you relax. You also get to choose whether or not you want the curtain open for others to view your procedure from the huge glass window. From start to finish, every single little detail is tailored to each patient – I was impressed and extremely happy with both how I was treated and my results of my LASIK thus far.
After my experience at the Whiting Clinic and knowing how a LASIK procedure actually is done, my current self would absolutely tell the Amy from two years ago that it’s definitely not as bad as I thought it was. And if (for some unfortunate reason) I had to do it again, I totally would in a heartbeat. It’s only been a little under a month since my procedure, but I have no regrets about my decision and I would absolutely put my trust in the fantastic staff at the Whiting Clinic to take care of my eyes from here on forward.
↓ I can guarantee you that this will never be me. Bye-bye glasses, forever and ever. I will never miss you.