I can see clearly now…

So there we sat from 7 am (left home at 6 am to avoid traffic and arrived an hour early – Just how my OCD boyfriend Jon likes it). The whole way there I took photos of myself wearing specs, like some kind of Kardashian.  It was the last day I’d ever need them, hopefully, so I wanted to make sure I’d remember myself.

The Eye Hospital was boring.  The staff quiet, and the corridors wide.  So when I challenged Jon to a wheelchair dice down the passage and he declined with his nose in the air, I was heavily saddened.  The eye doc, Dr C Novis (ignore his surname, he was anything but) was incredible.  Best bedside manner I’ve experienced since the lovely doctor Wee, from Kiera’s birth).  He was charming, kind, explained all his actions and made me relax.  He also calls me by my first name, which I really prefer to being a random Mrs as most doctors tend to do.

Jon sat with me the whole time, thank goodness.  He was my saviour, I love him for it.  I think if he hadn’t been there I would’ve freaked out completely.  You see, the whole thing didn’t go down as smoothly as I expected to.  Don’t get me wrong, yesterday’s LASIK eye surgery went well.  But it was scary as hell!

I didn’t factor that part in when preparing for the whole thing.  I kind of imagined it would be like a prolonged eye test, where they do a pressure thing for a few minutes.  But it was a lot scarier than that.  First of all, you’re awake through the whole thing.  Even though I knew that, I didn’t really think about it, you know?  Being awake while someone is literally sticking things into your eyeballs is not, as one would imagine, pleasant.  The clamps alone are horrifying.  The laser kind of feels like a cookie-cutter making twists into the eye.  You feel all the pressure and movements, but the numbing eye drops they administer takes away any pain.  Having a machine less than 20 cm above one’s head is claustrophobic and the lights are so bright it hurts your brain.  But, having said that, the surgery itself was over in less than ten minutes.  Just as I thought I was going to have a proper anxiety attack (because that’s my hobby these days) it was over.

Dr. Novis helped sit me up, clamped on two fly-goggles to protect my eyeballs from my fingers and ushered me back to the day ward.  There we sat for about an hour to wait for my post-op exam, which I passed with flying colours apparently.  But for the rest of the day I had to close my eyes and wasn’t allowed to open them.  Which obviously meant that everyone around me was pulling faces or staring, I just know it.  And here’s my proof:

Liar, liar, pants on fire.


By the way, this is how awesome I looked with the fly goggles.  Had to hold Jon back last night as we got into bed.  Dead sexy.

Anyway, after post-op check, the doc said I was free to go.  As we walked out of the ward, he had his hand over my shoulder the whole time, and I loved him for it.  A doctor’s bedside manner goes so far in a patients reassurance.  I felt completely safe and well looked after the whole time.  I definitely recommend him for anyone else looking to do this.

I am so glad I did this.  So glad!  My eyesight is still a bit blurry, but I’m typing this from my office without any glasses on.  Am wearing my shades though, because the glare from the lights are a bit revolting.

I’ve had a huge response on Twitter and Facebook, thank you to everyone who sent messages, well wishes and asked questions.  I thought I’d respond here because it’d save me some time.

Doctor Novis’ details, for anyone looking:
Dr. C. Novis – 011 815 1117
23 Sunnyside Ave, Westdene, Benoni

Was it painful?
No!  It’s not exactly pleasant, but I’ve felt no pain at all.  Just a bit of discomfort now and then, but once I use the eye drops that goes away too.  The blurriness is a bit irritating, but it’s already better today.

Did the medical aid cover it?
No. Unfortunately LASIK is considered cosmetic. I paid R400 for the initial assessment with the doc, and then R14 000 cash for the actual op, including hospital fees, for both eyes. Sounds like a lot, but it’s a fraction of any other quotes I got in the JHB North areas. Benoni is where it’s at, people.

Will you need to wear glasses again?
Hopefully not, but there’s a chance my eyesight may deteriorate eventually, so I may need to do a touch up one day.

How long did the whole thing take?
The doc arrived at 8 am, saw me at 09:30ish, operated just after 10:00 am and let me go home at 12:30ish. So take the day off, you’ll need it to recuperate in the afternoon, trust me.

How long will it take for you to heal properly?
It helps to rest the eyes. I see a significant improvement every time I open my eyes after I’ve rested them for a few hours. The doc said it can take up to 2 months for your eyesight to settle properly, but I could tell immediately after the operation that my sight had improved.

How do you feel?
I feel great! A bit of blurriness here and there, and the fluctuating eyesight is a bit odd, but overall I’m great. I’m at work today!


  1. Ankia says:

    Glad it all went well. I’ve never had any issues since I’ve had it done. I just didn’t get cool fly goggles. Those days they just put eye patches over with bandage. I feel somewhat cheated lol!

  2. Cathryn says:

    Thanks so much for writing about this – the fact that you did it THE NEXT DAY speaks volumes! Sending on to Husband as he’s thinking about getting his eyes FRIKKIN LAZERBEAMED too 🙂

  3. Kerry says:

    Wow! When I had it done in 1996, I had to take the week off work, and I couldn’t face going anywhere outside a darkened room for at least four days. Well done! And yes, it is the most amazing thing, being able to open your eyes and just. see.

    • Shebee says:

      Kerry it amazes me how much further the tech has gotten in just a few years. I had a friend who did it 5 years ago and was also man down for a few days.

  4. Mandy says:

    Wow Sheens – thanks so much for sharing this with us!! I would love to do it but I don’t think I would even qualify!! Hope your eyes heal super quick!! Lots of love Mands

  5. Angel says:

    Those fly bubbles are the shit! I can see you wearing them with little bees embellishing the edges!
    I am SO excited for you that all went well and that you can already see an improvement! So wow!

  6. Flarkus says:

    I took the day off after the op too and was seeing “mostly normally” within about a month or so after the op. I was almost addicted to the little bottles of “liquid tears” which I kept refridgerated. After about 6 months I still felt my eyes were becoming even stronger and it was a thrill to be able to read text on signs 50m+ away. Enjoy the crystal clear vision!

  7. Louisa says:

    I’m so glad it went well! There is no way that I could do that kind of thing while awake – I can’t even put eye drops in my own eye never mind let someone else into it with a laser.

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