Sunday, May 16, 2010

The eyes have it

I have had a pretty good weekend--except for a brief visit to the emergency room. On Friday night, the English department had a get-together at a pretty cool wine bar. I had some fantastic conversation with some work friends, a lot of tasty wine, and I just really had a good time. (None of this resulted in an emergency room visit.)

On Saturday, I woke up with what I thought was a speck of something in my eye--perhaps a wayward eyelash or something. (Since I have blond eyelashes I can't see them if they break off.) So I tried flushing my eye a bit, but to no avail. After a few hours of very annoying pain, I decided that I must have a scratched cornea. I did a little research (though I could only see out of one eye--the left one was 100% blurry) and everything online said that I should seek medical attention since a scratched cornea can lead to a bad infection. And have I mentioned how annoying this injury is? Every time I blinked, it felt like something was scarping across my eyeball. Of course I thought of my infamous jalapeƱo seed in the eye adventure.

Anyway, since it was Saturday, my regular doctor's office was not open, so I contemplated whether or not this injury was ER-worthy. While I was not in any life-threatening condition, I also did not want to wait until Monday to get antibiotics. The other thing I had to consider was that my mom was on the way to Chicago to visit for her birthday. We were going to dinner, and she would arrive on the 5:55 train. So at about 3:00, I decided to go to the hospital.

Well, after about 1.5 hours of waiting, I was finally called back to be examined. The doctor put a weird dye on my eyeball that made the scratch in the cornea show up. By the way, the application of the dye involved her curling my eyelid up and inside-out over a small wooden stick so that she could get the eyelid out of the way while she dabbed a dye-soaked paper strip on my eyeball. Such fun. But the dye definitely showed the scratch on my eye.

Anyway, after all of this, the time was about 5:30. I needed to get home to meet my mom, and inexplicably I had left my phone at home. But even more inexplicably, even though I was done with my exam at the ER (I was going to be getting some antibiotics), I had to wait 30 more minutes. The nurse told me she'd "be right back with the paperwork," and then I was left waiting in the room with no idea what was taking so long. I was freaking out because now it was 6:00, my mom would be at my apartment, ringing my buzzer and calling my phone, and probably thinking I was dead on my apartment floor.

Finally at 6:05, I left the hospital and zoomed home, arriving at 6:15. And yes indeed, my mom was worried that I was dead, and she had no way of getting in to my building. But, all was well. My eye hurt a lot, but we went to get some dinner at an amazing Ethiopian restaurant. (I really, really recommend Ethiopian food, by the way.)

And then today my mom and I went to Wrigley Field and watched a great Cubs game. The Cubs have been sucking huge lately, but they won today in a come-from-behind victory. The weather was awesome, and it was great going to the game with my mom, with whom I had not been to a game in years.

My eye has healed very well in two days, and though it is still a little blurry and feels a bit dry, it is on the mend.


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