Monday, July 21, 2008

All Eyes On Me

My eye really hurts. OK, that makes it sound kind of silly and/or pathetic. Let me try again.
My eye is BURNING WITH THE INTENSITY OF TEN THOUSAND FIRES OF HELL. And you know that's bad because I went to Catholic school all the way through high school. We parochial school kids are guilted into taking our hell fires veeeery seriously.
Anyway, I've been having issues with my eyes since spring started here. I don't know what it is about the city (OK, yes I do, lots more pollution), but my eyes have been so much more susceptible to injury. At first I had one eye that was scratched so I went to a walk-in (or wait-five-hours-during-work-only-to-have-us-tell-you-we-don't-know-what-to-do) clinic, where they suggested I might have dry eye syndrome. Which apparently half the population now has, but really I just think the docs are in cahoots with the eye care companies...and all drug companies for that matter. Which is why we are all sick, all the time, and MUST take medicine. For everything. You know, so the pharmaceutical industry's growth doesn't slow down or anything. (WOW, that sounded bitter. I didn't mean to, I promise. I just have family in the healthcare industry so that makes me an expert, right? OK, moving on).
So, thinking I have dry eyes, I go to buy some (expensive) drops. Which work just fine for a while. Until this weekend, when my eyes start feeling really scratchy again. I tried to keep my contacts out for the most part, but I was not about to wear my glasses to the bar. And going without is just NOT an option, because my vision is closer to that of a bat than a normal human being. Whenever I compare levels of blindness with people (what? you don't do that?), I am always victorious. "I don't know... my eyes are pretty bad... I'm like negative four..." HA! I STILL WIN! Negative EIGHT, baby! Which, in all other cases, is not something to cheer about. But I like this game, because it's the one thing at which I can pretty much never lose.
Right. So where was I? OK, I didn't want to wear my glasses to the bar, or the gym, or anywhere really, so I sucked it up and dealt with a little redness and slight irritation. Until today. I popped them in before I headed to the gym this morning and I felt fine. Then on the way to work (as I realized I hadn't brought my glasses or a contact case with me), I felt like I had to blink nonstop so that my eyes wouldn't tear up. Which made me look like I was on speed or had some very, very nervous tic.
At work, all hell broke loose and I kept putting the drops in because my whites were now bright red. Bad idea. The more I put the drops in, the more my eyes stung. I was too panicked about my eyes to think about that whole "cause and effect" thing, so it wasn't until about 2PM that I realized that the drops were only making everything worse. All day I was rubbing, and wiping, and squeezing my eyes shut, only to have my vision in my left all blurred with tears streaming down my face. Which, you know, is ideal when my job is to stare at a computer screen and write all day. I could hardly keep my eyes open and I had to keep looking away from the screen, except that hardly helped thanks to the fluorescent lighting in the office. So I sort of looked like I'd been crying/snorting something illegal and I kept whining about how much my eyes hurt. And I was annoyed because I looked really cute today! Besides my face.
When I finally got home to take out my contacts, I got a gooooood look in the mirror. Not only were my eyes red and puffy and weirdly dilated, but I had wiped off all the coverup from under the left eye and had smeared my mascara down in its place, creating a charming black eye effect. So I looked like I was on crack and like my dealer had beaten me up for shorting him. Oh, plus I fell down our ONE step coming out of the bathroom last night, so I kind of even felt like I had been roughed up. And by 'fell,' I mean I slipped and slammed into the door, the jamb, the step, and the opposite wall of the hallway. And then I landed on my back on our tile floor, where my roommate found me and proceeded to stifle a laugh while asking me if I wanted some ice... or a stiff drink. No, I'm just going to lie here until I figure out where my dignity went. Thanks though.

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