LIFE-CHANGING ‘I’ve put laser surgery off for 25 years but now that it’s done, I’ve no regrets’
Primary teacher Sarah Brophy found the PPE far too restrictive, so finally plucked up the courage to get surgery.
When Sarah Brophy finally got back to work two months ago, she realised she needed to do something she has been putting off for decades.
The primary school teacher was thrust back onto the frontline after five-and-a-half months of homeschooling and summer holidays, and found herself managing a classroom of kids while wearing her obligatory PPE.
Regularly throughout the day, she would have to remove her fogged-up glasses and found the multiple layers hindered her ability to spend as much time with her kids as she needed.
“A surgery that I had always considered too expensive or too painful or too risky for something purely aesthetic, had become a day-to-day necessity and felt far from aesthetic,” the 40-year-old Dubliner told Magazine+.
“I found I had started holding my breath, or breathing in an unnatural fashion, in an effort to prevent the glasses fogging while wearing the mask. This, needless to say, compounded my asthma and left me gasping and exhausted. It was definitely time for something to change.
“The Wellington Clinic had come recommended to me from a few friends, and Mr Cummings’ reputation led me straight to the Beacon Hall clinic.
“The first consultation really put my mind at ease when the nurses, optometrist and consultant were extremely mindful about Covid recommendations and social distancing, while still examining me with a plethora of state-of-the-art scanners and machines.
“I was lucky enough to be a ‘perfect candidate’ for either Lasik or Lasek surgery. Better yet, it was recommended that I only needed one eye treated. As my current level of sight was exactly what would be needed going forward for reading, the suggested procedure would leave me with one eye for reading (to prevent the need for reading glasses in coming years) and one for distance.
“I couldn’t believe it! I was assured my brain would become accustomed to the two types of vision within a matter of weeks.
“When the day of the surgery arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t needed in the clinic until 3.30pm — so a full day’s work could be completed first — and that I would be finished by 6pm.
“In the clinic, scans were repeated to ensure the health of my eye, and other preoperative Covid and other related checks were completed.
“I was given a Valium to help me relax for the surgery, and while I felt calm and ready to enter the operating room when the time came, I was fully aware and in control. I was also shown two short videos to prepare me for the operating theatre and the follow-up care that would be needed at home.
“The actual procedure itself was painless and quick. I couldn’t believe it when he told me I was done. Nine seconds of laser. That’s all it was — and as soon as I sat up, I could see the difference. The change was instant.
“Mr Cummings did a few checks and within a few minutes, I was allowed home.”
As with all laser surgery, Sarah was told not to drive for a day or two afterwards and to take it easy, but other than that, life got back to normal. “I could immediately see a difference in my vision. They gave me an eye patch to wear at night, so that I didn’t rub my eye in my sleep, and I am still using eye drops from time to time, but I genuinely cannot believe how much it has improved.
“In school, I can breathe properly behind the face mask and there have been no side effects of any sort.
“The post-op care at the Wellington Clinic has been incredible too. Two days after the surgery, I noticed a red spot on my eye and got a fright. It was a Sunday morning, so the clinic was closed. I sent a text to the emergency number and within seconds, Mr Cummings himself was on the phone to me explaining what the spot was, and saying I shouldn’t worry. I know why people are nervous about the procedure, but my only regret is that I didn’t get it done sooner.
“I would highly recommend the Wellington Clinic to anyone who is thinking about it. At least have the initial consultation, because they will answer any questions you have and alleviate any worries.”
- See www.wellingtoneyeclinic.ie for more information