a whole new look on life... [my lasik story] - WilloLovesYou.com

a whole new look on life… [my lasik story]



The day before Thanksgiving (last Wednesday), I got Lasik Eye Surgery!! I didn’t tell too many people about it, mostly because I was nervous myself! However, Thanksgiving was a great opportunity to simply tell clients I was going to be away in order for me to have a few days of healing before having to jump back into work, so now I will spill it to you all:

I CAN SEE!!!!!!

I have worn glasses since I was in 4th grade and contacts since I was in 7th. For as long as I can remember I haven’t been able to see past a few inches in front of my face w/o the help of contacts or glasses. Reading in bed or putting on makeup without my contacts or glasses, the book or mirror would literally have to be 2 inches in front of me or it was blurry. (-6, -6 in contact speak if you’re familiar)

I’ve been wanting this done for a long time and first went for a consultation almost a year ago. However, finding out the cost I had to decide: Surgery or Powerbook? And as you know, the Powerbook won 🙂 But here it is a year later, and I just didn’t want to wait any more, so I made it happen (with a little help from my wonderful momma, too! xoxo)

Results: It’s absolutely AMAZING. I feel like I’m in a dream that I’ll wake up from any minute… I just honestly feel like it’s a MIRACLE they can do this and I truly can’t believe after years of having the world so blurry, that now w/o the help of anything in or on my eyes, I can go asleep seeing across the room before I shut my eyes – and wake up and see everything clear as day. I am overjoyed!!!


After consulting with a few surgeons in the area, I went to Dr. Scott Hyver in Daly City. It worked out perfectly since he is a short 15 minutes away from my house!

Dr. Hyver’s staff is SO KNOWLEDGEABLE! I was immediately so impressed with their professionalism, their breadth of information about my options and the risks, etc. Especially compared to the people over at Dr. Ella Faktorovich’s office, who if you’re at all looking around in the Bay area, you’re bound to run into her name all over the place. I had consulted with their office last year and really thought I was going to go with them – however, in speaking with them further, their consultant not only came off as *incredibly under-educated* when it came to being able to answer my questions, but I’ve concluded from their prices and consulting approach that they are extremely greedy, rude and are not as conservative (read: safe) in terms of their patient approach (I’ll discuss this more later). Needless to say, I was beyond relieved to find Dr. Hyver’s office and my consultation with him and his staff only reaffirmed their expertise.

Much to my surprise, however, upon my initial consultation with them the shape of my cornea on my left eye kept testing as abnormal, and therefore Dr. Hyver recommended we do PRK on that eye. I was nervous about this, but I read up a ton about it, asked a lot of questions and was prepared to go that route. Especially since I knew Dr. Hyver was recommending that because it was safer and not as risky under the conditions. I’d even called my Mom’s Lasik eye Doctor in Denver, CO and he assured me PRK is still considered a very excellent procedure, and that he himself had that done on his eyes for the same reason – and that he was really glad to hear the Doctor I was considering was taking that conservative approach, as it’s most definitely safer for eyes that test abnormal in any way.

The deal w/ PRK is that it just doesn’t have the instant satisfaction that Lasik does, and the recovery time is a bit longer and more uncomfortable. But Dr. Hyver and his staff said it was going to be way better than those who have to have PRK in both eyes, because my right eye would have the Lasik I would still be fairly good to go right away and would have to wait about 1-6 months for the PRK eye to catch up and be 100%.

Great news though!! The day we went in for my surgery, they tested me again – and lo & behold that eye wasn’t testing as abnormal anymore!

See, we’d done a number of tests the first day and basically they look for symmetry on the eye (a circle 8, if you look at the eye maps), but it kept coming up as abnormal because there was no circle 8 on that eye. But they said it could have been from my eyes being dry or just from my having worn contacts so long, etc. But all of a sudden the circle 8 was there on the day of the surgery! They said if it was truly deformed it wouldn’t change like that, so maybe because I’d taken out my contacts and only worn my glasses for a whole week before my surgery and had already been prepping my eyes with moisturizing drops (by Dr. Hyver’s request/recommendation – things like this are what I’m talking about when I say I respected his safe patient approach) it was testing normal and therefore safe to do Lasik! woohooo!!

Rick was there with me (ready to drive me home post surgery) and we read through a bunch of instructions, waivers, etc. But NOTHING could have prepared me for the actual procedure. It was really quite scary I gotta say!! The second eye went fast and w/o a hitch, but my first eye took a little while longer than we’d all have liked because I couldn’t follow the dot. Every time it started moving all weird (almost like double vision) and when I tried to follow it, he would say that I wasn’t following it. It was really stressful!! But he said nothing was going wrong, we would just have to stop & start and therefore it would take a little longer. Inside I was bawling my eyes out and wishing it would just get over with and somebody would just hold me and tell me it was all going to be ok. But thankfully the left eye went off w/o a hitch and all of a sudden we were done! YAY!!!

The next few minutes were a bit of a blur, I put their funny glasses on and was marched into another room. The assistant (who was also my counselor and I really connected w/ her so I was sooo glad she was there with me!) was so thrilled for me, but I couldn’t muster up any excitement except that I was just so glad it was over! I wanted to keep my eyes closed, but even opening them a little looking through the glasses, I could already tell that I could see so much better.

I walked out to Rick, and a waiting room full of people. A stressed out pre-surgery girl asked why I was crying, but it was mostly that you are tearing like crazy afterwards, so it’s uncontrollable. Rick was asking me if I was ok, and I just kept saying how intense it was, but pulled it together enough to reassure the four-eyed group that I could actually see all of them! They all clapped and we thanked the people at the front desk and left.

As soon as we walked out the front door, on the way to the car I just started sobbing. It was soo intense and I was feeling kinda woosy from the whole experience and I just was praying this feeling would go away. Rick was soo good at taking care of me and I just put my head down and closed my eyes the whole way home. My head felt very heavy and my eyes felt soooo tired. Like one of those dreams where you can’t open them no matter how hard you try. But when I would open them just a little to see where we were at on the road, I could see. However I was in no mood to be excited about it at the time.. I just wanted to get home and stop moving (closing my eyes for the trip and the whole fresh experience in my mind was making me a little ill). Thankfully we got home in no time and I got inside, took off my clothes and crawled into bed with my new fandangled dont-touch-your-eyes -while-sleeping eye mask (that kinda look like some crazy snowboarding goggles or something 🙂

Rick was awesome and while I tried to fight off my icky feeling, he covered up the window near me (eyes sensitive to light), and put on a music mix for some background music, since I quickly realized lying there in silence, thinking about how uncomfortable my eyes felt wasn’t helping at all. The music was wonderful!! And soon I dozed off into a more peaceful wonderland and woke up about 2 hours later feeling WAY better!!!!! I was sooo thrilled to be feeling better, but most of all – I COULD SEE!!!!!! I had Rick come crawl in bed with me and I read everything on my walls and bookshelves to him. It is SUCH. A. MIRACLE!!! I can’t believe it.

That night I watched a movie and I felt fine!! The next day we went in for my follow up and everything was lookin good! Better than 20/20!! I hugged Dr. Hyver and got very teary as I tried to quickly tell him how miraculous it was to me.

Thanksgiving day we went over to another couple’s house who live in North Beach, so they have amazing views of the Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and TransAmerica building all from their roof. Even though it was a cloudy day, it was so neat to go up there and be able to see everything so clearly and know for the FIRST time in my entire life I was looking at that view w/o my contacts. WOW!

Since then they’re doing good, but very, very dry… which is common for the first week ++ after this surgery. My eyes are still healing so the clarity and such will even be shifting over the next couple days and weeks while they completely heal – but already I can see just as well as I did with my contacts and I’m sooooo thrilled I could just cry! 🙂 🙂 It’s amazing.

So there ya go. That’s what I did for Thanksgiving and I’m very, very thankful! 🙂


I am adding these links to this post on 2/18/05, and since I have gotten it done, I have received several emails from people who are about to get Lasik (most with Dr. Hyver) and have found my site via Google.

If you have made your appointment to get it done – Congratulations!!! I had a great experience at Scott Hyver’s office and overall it was worth every penny. It still blows me away every. single. day. that I can see without contacts or glasses!!! Truly a miracle.

I was really impressed with Dr. Hyver because he does take a conservative approach.. he’s not just there to get people through the door with lasik no matter what – he wants to make sure you get the best procedure for *your* eyes. Which was comforting to me – especially after the runaround with Dr. Faktorovich’s office where it seemed they could have cared less & just wanted the $7K!

Dr. Hyver himself is a busy man around there, and I like that he was kinda all business. There to answer my questions – and not trying to play the cheesy doctor trying to make everyone love him. His staff, his surgeries and his knowledge all speak for themself.

All of my follow ups went well. His staff was so nice and helpful every step of the way. I had some concerns with the blurriness due to dryness afterwards, but they were all really comforting and helpful the entire time.. and I never felt like my phone calls were a problem, etc.

2 Months later: My eyes are doing great! I still use ointment at night, only because I figure I’ll use up these tubes I have – and it helps my eyes stay much more moist the entire next day. I’m not having to put rewetting drops in as much hardly at all. Maybe just a couple times a day while I’m working on the computer or driving a long distance. And I don’t use the thicker ones anymore (Refresh Celluvisc or Endura), like I did at first since they last a lot longer (which I needed because I was needing to constantly moisturize). I’m just using the basic Refresh Plus drops now.

As I posted before, I think the biggest tip I can give people for the healing process, is to not be surprised if you find yourself spending quite a bit on the rewetting drops. It adds up… but overall if I’ve spent maybe $200 on drops, it’s been incredibly worth it to make sure my eyes are healing up right and feeling comfortable.

If you find this post & it’s helped you, let me know. And better yet, come back & post after your surgery. You’ll be totally amazed. 🙂

LIMITED TIME OFFER: I just got something in the mail – should any of you be googling & finding/reading this – Scott Hyver’s office just sent me a coupon for $250 off for me to give to someone I know. Email me if you want it: willo at willolovesyou.com – it says it’s good till June 10, 2005.

UPDATE: Just say that I sent you! They should give you a friend referral rate!

UPDATE March, 2011:
You can read this update in the comments below, but I’m here to report that now, 7.5 years later, I just got glasses & contacts again. Mind you, I’m only -.75 now, as compared to -6, so I really don’t need them, it just helps for seeing signs & making out faces further away. And, I have absolutely NO REGRETS in getting the procedure. It is truly miraculous & totally worth all those years of 20/20 vision, not to mention that still to this day I don’t have to wear them (especially on the computer & such), it just helps me see things far away a bit more crystal clear. Anywhooooo… considering I just got a comment about it, I thought I’d add it in here, in case anyone else reading wanted to know. Want to see my cute new glasses? 🙂

Leave a Reply 14 comments

eoin - November 27, 2004 Reply

Congrats Willo. You’ve convinced me to do that sometime next year, as I am -2, -4 ( and wow! How blind were you? My -4 eye is hopeless).

It is great that it worked out for you. Take care of those eyes for the next week or so. Not too much work. 🙂

willo - November 27, 2004 Reply

no way! I was waay worse than you – I was -6, -6!! Which they actually say is average! Go get a test and do some research on the surgeons around you.. I highly recommend it! 🙂

Carl - November 28, 2004 Reply

Congrats! I’m still scared to death of it, but I’ve always had this plan of going back to California and having it done at Stanford or something.

The doctors here don’t seem to really inspire a lot of confidence in me. Everytime I pass by an office that does it, I think of Minority Report. Yuck.

But thanks for the explanation… it’s a little less of a mystery to me!

Joe - November 28, 2004 Reply

Congrats Willo!!

I’m SOOO happy for you!

When you come down here this x-mas you can see me better than ever! :p

Trina - November 28, 2004 Reply

congrats, Willo! That’s such great and exciting news! Take good care of yourself over the next week or so. Take it easy on your eyes! Very happy for you!

Paris - November 29, 2004 Reply

Glad to hear all went well. CONGRATS!!!

Kyle - July 27, 2005 Reply

Hi Willo,

I was looking for some information on a good Bay Area lasik doctor and found your page (thankfully). Took your advice and went to Dr. Hyver and couldn’t be happier. The whole process with them was professional and reassuring.

Unfortunately I wasn’t a good candidate for lasik so had to get PRK. Your fears were well founded… PRK sucks. The first 3 days after the procedure were incredibly painful but I was well prepared with numbing drops, painkillers and the knowledge that this was normal and I wasn’t going blind.

Now it’s been 5 days and I can already see at least as well as I could with contacts and it’s great… and should get better!

Thanks a lot for the solid recommendation. 😉

(L -6.5, R -6.5)

willo - July 27, 2005 Reply

that’s awesome, kyle! glad to hear you’re recovering well and that you had such a good experience! it’s pretty amazing, that’s for sure! 🙂

I’m celebrating 8 months free of contacts and it still doesn’t cease to amaze me every day!

Robin - November 21, 2005 Reply

I have an appointment with Dr. Hyver next Tuesday. My eye doctor and close friend referred me to him because as you said, he does a good job and is more conservative than other docs. I am very scared but very tired of contacts…
I’m sure your limited offer is over about the coupon but if you get another one my surgery is scheduled for January…:)
Thanks for the information, I already feel better about meeting him,

willo - November 21, 2005 Reply

Hi Robin! I think that the friend referral discount is greater than my coupon anyway. Best wishes!

Lawrence - January 7, 2007 Reply

Hi Willo:

I found your blog doing a google search for lasik surgery. I have contemplated seeing Dr. Hyver for the wavefront lasik surgery but wanted to find out from you how much your surgery costed from him?
Please advise.


willo - June 15, 2007 Reply

Just say that I sent you! They should give you a friend referral!

Dorothy - March 13, 2011 Reply

I am about to undergo lasik in about five days, I was wondering how is your vision now? Have you had to start to wear contacts or corrective glasses?

    Willo O'Brien - March 24, 2011 Reply

    Hi Dorothy,

    Apologies for my late reply. I’m assuming you’ve already gotten the surgery? If so, I trust that it went smoothly and you’re in total bliss that you can SEE!! It’s pretty miraculous!

    That said, I regret to inform you that now – 8 years after getting surgery – my eyesight has started to get bad again. But it’s not that bad. I don’t *need* contacts or glasses, but I just got them recently, for seeing far away, making out faces in crowds & seeing signs while driving, etc. (I don’t need them while doing computer work or being on my phone… which truth be told is probably the culprit for how my eyes got bad again!)

    Everyone’s different though! I had pretty bad vision, and I do not have one regret getting Lasik. For me, it was such an incredible gift to get 20/20 vision for all those years. And even now to not have it be that bad, to where I still don’t *have* to use contacts or glasses, it’s still paying off.

    Hope that helps. Please update me on your procedure & experience!

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