Remember how proud I was of that ten mile run a little over a week ago? Well, in my exuberance over the accomplishment, I didn’t even bother mentioning what happened to my eye. Because at that point, it seemed like a non story.
Not so much now.
Here’s what went down. I was whipping through those miles with no trouble at all. At mile eight, which was the point I started yelling to myself, “You’re going to do this! YOU’RE GOING TO DO THIS!” in total disbelief, a bug flew smack into my left eye. Either my shouting attracted him or scared him into veering far, far off course and into depths he had no business falling into, but whatever the reason, I had a bug in my eye. A speck, if you will.
Not wanting to lose my momentum, I rubbed my eye for a while continuing to run, in an attempt to flush the bug out. My eye still felt scratchy, though, so I just held it shut for the last two miles. I was running half blind, y’all! Look at me go! This would be good practice for the week ahead. (Cue ominous music here.)
Friday evening, twenty-four hours after said encounter with the bug, I noticed that my left eye wasn’t looking as good as my right eye. I mentioned it to Wes, who said that it didn’t look that bad and that it would probably be fine the next morning. The next morning, I woke up to a sealed shut eye. Not good. Once I pried it open, I tried washing it out, and the black remnants of my little running friend came out. Eww, eww, eww. It was done, though. The bug was out! It could only get better from this point on, right?
I got my answer the next day when Wes said, “You look like Mad Eye Moody!”
I considered telling him that with his summer haircut he looked a bit like Voldemort.
But, you know, I’m nicer than that.
By the way, when I was looking for that picture, I came across this one…
I mean, is that a bizarre picture or what? I know they’re actors playing those roles and they don’t actually live their lives battling one another with wands, but still. Why are you just standing there smiling, Dumbledore?! The two of them are going to kill Harry! Take them out, take them out!!! Do you feel that way, too? Or is it just me?
Oh, it is just me. Moving along now…
“It’s pink eye,” I told Wes after his loving description of my condition, because if I know anything, I know pink eye. What it feels like, what it looks like, and how to get rid of it. We went by Wal Mart before church to pick up a homeopathic treatment, and I dropped it into my eyes every chance I got.
I went on, full steam ahead, with youth camp preparation and the trip to Falls Creek. People kept mentioning the fact that my eye was red (yes), my eye was swollen (yes), and my eye was watery (yes) so often that I finally consented to go on over to the first aid station where I was told that a doctor on staff could prescribe something. As it turns out, the doctor wasn’t in and wouldn’t be for a while, but the nurses were helpful in telling me that it did indeed look gross (yes, indeed) but that pink eye would clear up without antibiotics. Which, you know, was little comfort since it had started hurting a wee bitty bit. But what can you do? I resolved to just shut up and take it for the rest of the week.
Until my throat and ears began throbbing. To the point that I felt like I had a big, old, swollen, sick head. “Does my eye look any better?,” I asked one of the teenagers, one morning, hoping against hope that I was imagining its increasing gruesomeness. “Oh, I think so!,” he told me, while Wes stood behind him, shaking his head. (I did thank him for lying.) Right before worship, my stomach started giving me trouble, and somehow, this all connected in my head as one related infirmity after another, so I went back to the first aid station and begged them to give me something, anything, because the eye is totally the lamp of the body, and mine was all but snuffed out and sending all the other systems into a tizzy. (I was even weepy about EVERYTHING, which totally means either my endocrine or reproductive system — or BOTH! — was getting attacked by the crazy eye as well! Is nothing sacred to that eye?!) They gave me all the OTC drugs they could (including one to make me drowsy, likely in an effort to shut me up as I sobbed all over them) and told me to go to a doctor first thing in the morning. Before I left, they patched up my left eye, which was likely the most humiliating part of this all. (For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with a lazy eye at the age of three. My parents were observant enough to notice it and took me faithfully to an opthamologist, who put patches on my left eye — the strong eye — to force my right eye to do all the work and grow stronger. I’m thankful now, as an adult, for two equally strong eyes, but even as a rational adult, I winced at the sight of that patch, remembering how it felt to wear them as a little girl. From a lazy eye to a crazy eye, except this time the weaker brother was helping the stronger brother. Kind of makes me tear up just thinking about those guys helping each other. Or maybe that’s just the infection.)
Anyway, Wes made the drive back to Duncan early the next morning to take me to the doctor that diagnosed his strep throat last week. (Yeah, factor that into this, too.) The doctor’s first words when he saw my eye? “Wow, that looks gross.” Yes, we had come all the way to Duncan to hear this. He then went on with more helpful information (whew!), about how it was likely a bacterial infection. Or a viral infection, which would explain why my throat was all red and my ears were about ready to explode. Or it could be strep. Who knows? (Maybe this wasn’t so helpful after all.) No matter the diagnosis, though, because he just wrote prescriptions for all three possibilities, telling me that if they didn’t work, I had a date with the opthamologist to talk about a possible ulcer on my cornea. Oh. My. Word! All this because of a bug! (The best part was when he asked if my vision was affected, and I confidently said, “Not at all!” He took me out to the hallway for an eye test and said, after I was finished, “Perfect vision in your right eye, but the left is so bad that you can’t even legally drive a truck.” I’ve got news for him — I couldn’t drive a truck a week ago when I had perfect vision in both eyes. But his point was well taken despite this.)
I went and got my prescriptions filled while the pharmacist struggled not to stare directly at my oozing, crazy eye as he explained the meds. Oh, yeah, looking at the crazy eye will make you CATCH the CRAZY! (Or not.) He said to go ahead and treat them both because that crazy train could just chug-a-chug-along over to the right eye, infect it as well, and then he’d have to see me again. And clearly this is not what he wanted. Me neither, for that matter.
Anyway, I tearfully (super tearfully, thanks to all the goo already welling up in my crazy eye) told Wes that given the circumstances he would be better off going back on to camp without me. One of my drops had to be kept cold, and as we learned early on at the Ada Trinity cabin, there was NOTHING that stayed cold in there. (Hot, hot, hot.) And I had to medicate every four hours, so I could imagine how appreciative all those teen girls would be with an alarm clock going off routinely throughout the night. He went on, and it was good that he left as I quickly developed a high fever. It just kept getting better and better, y’all!
Until, you know, it actually DID get better. I was praying against an appointment to poke around on my cornea (because nothing about that sounds like fun), so I was more than relieved when my eye started looking less like horrific, diseased death and more like… well, pink eye. (It’s not all good yet, but it’s getting there!)
The moral of the story? Don’t ever run without sunglasses. Even if you’re running in the middle of the night. Trust me, tripping over something in the street and breaking your leg because your dark sunglasses have rendered you sight-impaired can’t be any worse than having a bug spread his wretchedness all over your eye. I would even venture to say that it would be a vacation in comparison! (Okay, so that’s a bit much. But still.)
And if you want a more spiritual moral, since this did involve youth camp and all, here it is. Remove the speck in your own eye. It is biblical, after all.