Hi and welcome. I'm sorry for what you're going through.
I hope you're not blaming yourself for choosing LASIK. You had every reason to believe it was a reasonable decision.
You said that your doctors said this:
And yet everything you describe here:
I am dealing with normal dry eye in the normal healing period.
IS NOT NORMAL. PERIOD. The whole reason LASIK shot to popularity in the 90s was because of the pattern of little pain, fast healing and quick visual recovery.
Originally Posted by tommyboy
Everything your doctors said (smooth procedure, good flap, good cornea) may be perfectly true. And clinically, you may have "mild", normal, post-operative dry eye. But it is so obvious from your post that your symptoms were/are anything but normal! and in my opinion, it is insulting for a doctor to tell you you have "normal" post LASIK dry eye when you are experiencing such symptoms, unless they may a point of distinguishing between "signs & symptoms". It is very important for all dry eye patients but especially those with clinically mild-moderate clinical signs (test results) to learn to quantify their symptoms (that is, what you are feeling/seeing) using one of the questionnaires such as OSDI or IDEEL and present them to the doctor because unfortunately too many of them aren't going to help you do that, though any doctor worth his salt in dry eye ought to.
OK I'm done ranting, for now
I lied. I'm not done ranting. SHAME ON YOUR DOCTORS, every one of them who saw you in the first three months, if they did not tell you YOU HAVE REFRACTIVE ERROR causing your blur. LASIK doctors can sometimes be so focused on highlighting your improved UCVA that they fail to acknowledge, or even test for, presence of residual refractive error. (that's uncorrected acuity, i.e. vision without glasses, and prescription remaining after surgery, respectively). One of my biggest pet peeves is that even when the subject comes up often doctors discourage the use of glasses in the first months, for no sound medical reason but just because they don't want you to think the surgery was a failure.
To tell you the truth, wearing glasses again has made a HUGE difference, because for the first three months I thought my right eye was blurry from being dry. It was NOT... it was because I could not see as well as I used to see.
If you're not already, try buffering by using a mild artificial tear or saline 5-10 minutes before applying.
They burn after the Restasis at night (but not in the morning).
Absolutely. I know people who had BAD dry eye initially and got better surprisingly fast. Just, for your sanity's sake, continue to allow for the possibility of the longer course of 'unusual' post lasik healing, otherwise every benchmark (6 months, 9, 12, 15 if applicable, etc) becomes a misery of anticipation.
Is there still hope for me to lick this in the "normal" 6 month healing period?
What is too much? All worry harms us - but knowing that does not help us stop. Be kind to yourself. Your doctors talk about 'normal'. I'll tell you what normal is. Normal is for a person whose eyes burn "most of the time" after a surgery that was supposed to be quick & easy, to be depressed and anxious. I don't think any member here who has been where you are has escaped it. So be kind to yourself, give yourself time, build up the support, if possible rally some support here from people you could get in touch with real time (phone, email etc). Try not to give yourself too much grief over what this means to your family. It's OK for them to see you go through this and come out the other side intact (YOU WILL!) even if it takes awhile.
Am I worrying to much at this point? The anxiety is killing me (and hurting my family as well)
Your doctors are speaking clinically about the flap and epithelium when they say this. They're not talking the language of either the tear film or the tear system in general (including the MGs SAAG refers to), much less the language of pain. In their terms, yes, you'll be healed (you may be now). In our terms, we just don't know. But we hope.
Is it true that after this first winter I will be fully healed as the doctors keep telling me?
Don't read horror stories here. It's truly harmful. If you do read them, make room for a lot of context. Many of them are written by people who are now fine (I mean not necessarily perfect but managing fine, have their lives back). If I can be of any help personally just call.
Lastly - I have been very reluctant to read posts let alone write one. Because, frankly some of the things I read REALLY scare me. But I am at the point were I need to come to terms with this condition. And I do not know where else to go for help.
Speaking of long posts...
The Dry Eye Zone