Last week I gouged myself in the eye with the tip of an eye drop vial. You know the single-dose kind with the twist off top? You’re supposed to throw it away once you’ve used it. Or, if you’re me, you put it in the medicine cabinet because you can get another dose out of it before you trash it, but that’s neither here nor there.
It was morning, I was in my usual sleep-coma, and I groggily tilted back my head and went to put some drops in, and OWW! I couldn’t believe how bad it hurt. But I soldiered through, put some more drops in, and proceeded to put my contact lens in.
Everything was fine… for a while. Later in the day, I noticed my eye felt like it was burning. “Oh god, I have pinkeye,” was my first thought. I kept looking in the mirror but everything looked fine.
That night when I took out my lens, my eye hurt like it had been freshly poked. “Shit,” I thought, “I’m going to have to call the doctor tomorrow.”
I’d been through this before, although it had been a very long time. In the summer of 2003, I woke up one morning and I thought I had a cat hair in my eye. I rinsed and rinsed, held my eyelids open and looked at my eye for a long time but couldn’t find anything.
Back then I had to lay low for about a week while constantly applying lubricating eye drops, antibiotics and ointment to get it to heal. I really didn’t want to have to put my life on hold for a week this time, or have to wear an eyepatch, but I also knew that if I didn’t do something, I might really regret it. Plus, this time it was my ‘good’ eye that was scratched, and I did not want to risk damaging it.
I guess 18 years makes a difference, because this time, the doctor confirmed that I had indeed gouged myself, but she put a bandage contact lens in my eye to help it heal. I did still need to do the antibiotic drops and an anti-inflammatory drop, but I could forego lying in a dark room with cold compresses on my face.
Today I went back for a follow-up, and she took off the bandage lens. She said it’s healing up nicely but that it’s still delicate so I have to be careful not to poke myself in the eye again anytime soon… d’oh!
Here’s hoping I can keep it healing and not cause any further injury. I find it silly that after all the time I’ve worked with glass and always wear my safety glasses to protect my eyes, I go and stab myself with an eye drop vial.