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That’s right ladies and gents - I have a corneal ulcer. Yesterday, my eyes were super itchy and sensitive to light. They stung so much I would tear up randomly without a Hallmark commercial or 90s power ballad in sight. I just figured I had had my contacts in too long and it would go away when I took them out. The pain was worse this morning so I called through a few ophthalmologists in my insurance directory and found one that would take me at 10:30 am. Score!
I walk in and it is a cataract clinic - everyone in the waiting room is over 80 and with another person who is their primary caregiver. The waiting had a full supply of magazines – probably because none were in large print! So everyone just sat there starring at each other. Wait - I mean staring at me. I was young and one eye was bloodshot and one eye was not.
When I finally got into the back, the tech took advantage of my vulnerable state to begin a lengthy lecture on basic eye hygiene. I could see the glee filling her eyes as she expertly told me everything I had done wrong and then warned me about the “lecture” that was to come. Guess she didn’t realize she was already winning lecture bingo. Then the doctor came in.
Because of its pure comedic value I am going to go through the conversation with the doctor - who by the way looks like Santa Claus – white beard, mustache, spectacles and all. He walks in and we discuss my inappropriate contact use. I get a little lecture and then he rolls up the machine. He takes a look inside my eye and starts to chuckle - yes - bowl full of jello chuckle.
Me: That doesn’t sound good.
Dr. Santa (DS): chuckle chuckle
DS: You have a corneal ulcer. Yep there it is. I can’t believe you don’t also have ulriticitis. Oh - maybe herpes.
ME: WHAT!!!! How the hell did I get herpes in my eye?? I haven’t even had enough action to get it the proper way!
DS: Nope - don’t think it’s herpes. Let me take a look at your right eye too.
DS: You have a dirty contact in your right eye. Shakes head
Me: I thought I took that out
DS: Can I ask you a personal question?
ME: We’ve already discussed herpes, why not?
DS: Did you go to bed drunk last night?
Me: No - just tired.
DS: I’ve never seen this before
more head shaking - At this point I was concerned he was going to injure his neck with all this shaking.
Me: Well, I was really tired and I couldn’t see out of my left eye remember because it was hurt and swollen so I thought I had taken it out.
Lil’ tech: That explains why your vision was blurry
DS: You were wearing your glasses on top of this?!?
Me: Yes, I thought I took it out. (evil death stare to Lil' tech)
Head is still shaking. He's really beginning to look more like a bobble head Santa than a regular, run-of-the-mill mall Santa.
Me: I was really tired and my eye was swollen. I am usually the perfect patient I swear! I take all ten days of medicine even if I feel better sooner. Grr! I can’t believe this. I promise I’ve always been the good patient. Dentists love me! I can get you letters – lots of letters about how I am the perfect patient.
DS: I have never seen this - I saw a guy once that had two contacts in, but he was an idiot. (yes, he said idiot.. out loud) How long have you been wearing contacts?
Me: 13 years
Look of disbelief - probably because at this point I am pouting a little
DS: Alright well, I am going to give you some antibiotic drops and some artificial tears. Keep the eye lubricated. You can put your glasses on.
I put my glasses on
DS: You have nice glasses - why in the world do you wear contacts?
Me: So I can wear even cooler sunglasses
DS head begins to shake again. I thought we had ended this part of the program.
Me: and go swimming, kayaking.
DS: Well, if you had lasik you could do all that.
Me: I am scared of the side effects of lasik
DS: You sleep in you contacts so much that you have an ulcer which carries a much higher risk of going blind. You might want to think about that.
Me: I’ll never sleep in my contacts again.
DS: Alright I need to see you back here Monday
Me: How’s Tuesday? I am busy Monday.
He starts to leave still shaking his head.
Me: Hey! When you retell this story later - will you tell people I was drunk like it was my birthday or something and I got hammered?