Health, Lasik, New Mom, Surgery, Uncategorized

That Time I got Lasik Eye Surgery

Sooo yeah, I got lasik eye surgery on August 16, 2019 and honestly, probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m going to use this blog to tell you about my experience, pre, during and post operation.

What prompted me to have surgery?

Believe it or not, my son was the main reason that I decided to have this surgery. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to a crying baby and not being able to see. For those of you who have had perfect vision your whole life, I can’t really describe the feeling, but a certain type of anxiety just takes over you when your entire world is a blur from the second you open your eyes.

I began wearing glasses at a very young age, while I was still in Elementary School. I really don’t remember what it was like to have perfect vision or if I ever had perfect vision at all. All I know is that my mom always said it was because I sat too close to the tv (in her most Dominican accent). It was nerdy and annoying at the time, but I couldn’t see, so I dealt with it. What else was I supposed to do? Throughout the years, it was more common to hear about people trying contacts and so ultimately, I jumped on that bandwagon and instantly felt a little cooler. It was very rare if you saw me in glasses because I got so accustomed to contact life.

Although contacts made me feel better and cooler, it wasn’t a 24 hour deal. At night, I was back to being blind. It was those nights where I had to make a bottle or change a diaper where I said “I can’t do this anymore”. I had Acuvue dailies, which meant that I would put contacts in before going to work, take them out before I went to sleep and left a pair of glasses nearby so I can fend for myself just in case I had to go to the bathroom. Again, when you have a crying baby, you just want to make the bottle and go about your business, but for us super blind mothers, there is that extra step of finding your glasses first.

For those of you who know about prescriptions, I was a -5.50 in each eye. It was pretty bad – my lenses were thick. I took my little blind self and went to a free consultation with TLC Laser Eye Centers in Waltham, MA (I believe they have TLC Laser Centers all over the U.S.). I was recommended by my eye doctor – he had great reviews! I had my appointment on June 20, 2019. They were super nice and engaged in a lot of small talk. I’m guessing to make me feel comfortable, but it actually made me feel nervous. They had me in front of several machines with the goal of letting me know if I was a good candidate for lasik or not.

After about an hour of tests – my results came in and I was pregnant! Just kidding, wanted to make sure you were paying attention. lol. My results came in and I was a good candidate. They stated that my tests were valid for 90 days and if I was going to proceed, I would have to schedule surgery for that time frame, if not I would have to complete the tests again, which I totally wasn’t doing. I was actually traveling to Dominican Republic on July 12 and would have loved to have surgery before then but their spaces were limited so I had to wait.

The cost

The cost of the surgery was about $5700. It sounds like a lot, but the quality is amazing and I didn’t really put a price on being able to see. They said with my insurance, I was able to receive a discount and ended up paying a total of $4600. For the results I received, I would pay this several times over, trust me! People kept asking me why I didn’t go with a Groupon or somewhere else where Lasik was being advertised at half the price, and the simple answer is… I did my research. The doctor I went to had completed over 45,000 surgeries and has 5 star reviews. I sat there and read about 1000 of them with people having nothing but great things to say. The office also uses the newest and most advanced lasers. Also, during my consultation, I was observant and found this office to be super clean, calming and respectful.

The Process

Before

About a month before I had a pre-op appointment where they redid some of the tests to make sure nothing changed. That was smooth sailing. Then fast forward to about 10 days before the surgery, I received very clear instructions saying I couldn’t wear contacts anymore. I was on to glasses 24/7. This was a difficult transition for me, but I survived. The day before surgery, I had to start on drops (I don’t remember the name, but it was every 4 hours). The drops cost $45 and the office sent it directly to my home after I scheduled my surgery. Oh, not to mention no makeup for a week before surgery. No lotion, moisturizer, anything really day of. The day of, they give you a Xanax to calm your nerves – you can decline this, but I sooooo took it. About 30 minutes before, they put you in a calming room with dimmed lights, reclining chairs and soft music. I really felt like I was in a spa. I saw my leg shaking profusely to my leg not moving at all within minutes.

During

Moment of truth. The nurse comes to the calming room and tells you it’s your turn in a super bubbly, cute way. I was not in the mood, because I was too scared. I’m almost positive I rolled my eyes at her. They lay you down on a table and put a little cushiony pillow thing under your knees for comfort. Then they lay your head directly under 1 laser. I say 1 laser, because apparently there were 2 lasers (I didn’t know this until day of). The doctor puts a little clamp into the left eye (it sounds all Serial Killer like, but I promise it was painless and quick). He then puts several numbing drops, waits a few seconds and then you feel the machine closing in on your eye. You feel pressure, but there is no pain – I REPEAT, NO PAIN! He even counted 30 seconds and said “done”. I was a bit confused because I still couldn’t see lol. He repeats the same steps with the right eye. Then they press a little button and the bed I was on shifted under another laser. This was a similar process, but no pressure, it was about a minute each eye. After about 2 minutes under this laser, he says “alright you’re all set”.

The nurse helps me up and I open my eyes. To my shock, I was able to see!!! It was frosty and still a little blurry, but about an 80% improvement to my normal vision. It was crazy. The entire surgery took about 5 minutes. A 5 minute surgery that cost me $4600 gave me the ability to see. The sentence you just read, I have been repeating to everyone and myself since August 16, 2019.

After

You instantly feel like you have a hair in your eye and you want to rub it like crazy, but unfortunately, you can’t. The doctor’s recommendation was to take a nap as soon as I got home and the discomfort will be gone by the time I wake up. I did that and it worked. Best sleep ever. When I woke up I had to start on the same drops as before for 7 days, every 4 hours. I also had to use preservative free tears – this is common for people with dry eyes or people who have had this surgery. I went into an appointment the very next day and a week after, and my vision kept improving. The only minor issue, which is normal for the healing process was seeing halos at night when driving. They said this would go away in about 3 months.

Overall

I would definitely recommend this surgery! Definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. Below you will find a few more of my pros and cons. If you have any questions, comments, etc. Find me on IG @enidcarolyne, follow and send me a DM.

Pros

  • Initially, very welcoming
  • Clean offices
  • Payment is easy – they offer options
  • Quality
  • Great reviews
  • They complete touch ups if needed
  • Quick
  • Painless
  • You’re able to see
  • They do a good job of calming you before surgery
  • Doctor is super nice

Cons

  • I do feel like they could have called more for reminders on how and when to use drops, or a call before surgery – I literally had to remember that my surgery was on that day
  • Pricey
  • For follow-ups, they were never on time for my scheduled appointments, which got annoying

 

Baby, Health, Keto, New Mom, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

How I Lost 20 Pounds on Keto

It’s no secret that I was hella’ pregnant last year and gave birth to my son on January 2nd, 2019, but what I haven’t spoken about is the weight I gained and the difficulties of losing the baby weight. Moms and future moms – this is a touchy subject for all because I know we all have the hopes to snap back to our normal selves and unfortunately, that is not always the reality.

Let me start with pre-baby. I was at the lowest weight I have been in adult life, which was 138 lbs. I say adult life because I was in my prime in high school at 120 lbs. and then college life hit and it was all downhill from there. Like where does our metabolism go? Anyway, I got to this weight from a mix of removing refined sugars, flour and all processed foods from my diet, as well as, light exercise, yoga, etc. In another post I will explain the why behind my drastic change in eating habits, but it was health related.

During pregnancy, I craved a lot of carbs, everything that I wasn’t eating in the past year. I was literally eating like it was the end of the world and would use the excuse “I’m eating for two” or “it’s okay, I’m pregnant”. Well, let me tell you, it was NOT ok. I went in for my last appointment before I gave birth and I weighed 198 lbs. Yes, I gained about 60 lbs. and the sad part was that only 6 lbs of that was my baby boy. If I could go back, I would definitely stick to a healthier lifestyle during my pregnancy.

Now, the only thing that kept me sane was everyone telling me that as long as I breastfed, I would lose the weight quickly, which I have seen from my friends and family members so it was believable. Well, this wasn’t an option for me. Not only did my son not latch, but he had tongue-tie, a condition in which the tissue under the tongue is too short or thick. This stopped him from moving his tongue freely. I ended up pumping and putting the milk in a bottle and feeding, but unfortunately, I could not keep up and by the time we had his surgery on February 4th, he didn’t want to latch at all. I dried up and we transitioned to formula.

I can write a whole blog on the feeling of disappointment for not being able to breastfeed or people shaming mothers who have to use formula, but that’s a whole other story. The point here is that I didn’t lose weight from breastfeeding as I was being told. I did however, lose about 10 pounds instantly from water weight and all that other pregnancy stuff (I’m not an expert).

So, I started doing research and found Keto. There were a lot of articles on both the pros and cons, but I took the “what the hell” approach, what did I have to lose? One thing I knew for sure, you couldn’t go into this diet without meal prepping or planning ahead. Keto is about high fats, mid protein and low carb. To keep me on track I downloaded an app – Carb Manager. The app will tell you how much fat, protein and carbs you should eat, but what I really like is that any food that you put into the app it’ll grade it A, B, C, D, or F in terms of what is Keto friendly or not.  Also note that it tracks net carbs, which are carbs – fiber.

I would meal prep on Sundays and typically would make 6 – 7 lunches and dinners. For breakfast I would make bulletproof coffee, which is how I got a lot of my fats in. Below I will provide an example of a day of eating for me. In the first 2 weeks alone, I lost 10 pounds and was shocked at how much energy I had and how less bloated I looked! It was great. Then the weight loss started slowing down, but still happening so I kept at it. In about 2 months, I had lost 20 pounds. As of today, I weigh 165 and my goal weight is 145 lbs.

This diet has been successful for many people, but you really have to stay committed and organized. Being Dominican, it has been a struggle not eating rice, platanos, beans, and a whole bunch of  other unhealthy things, but I must say that I love the results. Additionally, I have also been intermittent fasting 16:8. For this I have downloaded an app called Zero. I will normally have my last meal before 7PM. Again, I am no health expert, but Keto and fasting have definitely been my best friend.

If you decide to begin this diet, please do your research to see what combination of foods would be best for you. Also, beware of the Keto flu and how you will manage getting all of your vitamins in.

Typical Day:

Breakfast

  • Black Coffee
  • Kerrygold Irish Butter (Unsalted)
  • MCT Oil

Snack

  • Raw almonds
  • String Cheese

Lunch

  • Shredded chicken
  • Buffalo Sauce
  • Cream Cheese
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Broccoli

Dinner

  • Steak
  • Mashed cauliflower with shredded cheese and butter

Other Keto foods I love:

  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Bunless Burgers with cheese and mustard
  • Pork Chops
  • Green veggies
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Fat bombs
  • Cheese wrapped in salami
  • Pork Rinds
  • Beef Jerky
  • Raw Mixed Nuts
  • Steak
  • Seafood
  • Creamy dressings