July 20, 2009

Like I Got Punched In The Face

I've had this stye on my eye for nearly two months now, right next to my tear duct. It's looked awful and even antibiotic ointment has failed to make it go away. But the worst thing about it is that it made The Wife nag me to go see the doctor. Well, eventually I had enough of that and gave in to her demand. A good date for me and the doctor could not be worked out for many weeks, and in that time the stye subsided but did not go away.

Well, today was, at last, the day appointed for the meeting with the doctor. I told The Wife I'd be fine and she should go to work, even though she offered to go with me. What I figured was, hey, the thing's going away on its own, more or less, and the doctor's going to give me some more ointment and that's it. Boy, was I wrong.

Turns out, after eight weeks, if it hasn't gone away, all the ointment and hoping in the world won't help it. It needs to be expressed. "Expressed" is a fancy way of saying "squeezed and drained not unlike the way a teenager would pop a zit on his chin." Only unlike a zit, styes form within your eyelid so you can't just reach in with some fingernails that have been cleaning grout from bathroom tile and preparing raw pork products all day long or the eyeball itself will get infected.

So the doctor gives me an anasthestic eyedrop. Then some anasthetic goop to smear inside my eyelid. Then a syringe full of a stronger anasthetic. Then another syringe full of a different king of anastheic that isn't quite as strong but is longer-lasting. By this time, half my face is numb, from my eyebrow to my teeth. Then he brings out a series of odd-looking medical tools and tells me to look up, away from where he's doing the work, which involves (in part) flipping my eyelid inside-out right next to the tear duct. I'll say this for him, the anasthetic worked; all I felt was some pressure. But it took him three tries going in to clean out all the disgusting fluid from my eye. Then, he bandaged up my eye with a gigantic white thing that covered half my face, and sent me on my way.

Well, I don't know if I'd had a reaction to one or more of the anasthetics or it was the stress of outpatient surgery, but my heart was racing like I'd just run a marathon. And I felt tired, deeply tired. Driving back to the office was, well, a challenge and I'm not especially proud that I did it at all with an eye under a bandage.

It was very challenging keeping my glasses on my face while I drove and tried to function. The anasthetic wore off and I took off the bandage. I looked and felt like I'd been in a fight; all the muscles and skin around my eye are sore and it hurts to blink. I can feel the hole where the syringe went in even if I can't see it. Eventually, my paralegal came into my office and said, "TL, dude, you're just sitting there. You can do that at home." That made me realize that the procedure had taken more out of me than I'd really anticipated or even had thought about. So I got my prescription for antibiotic eyedrops filled and went home.

Where now, I'm going to read for about an hour and go to sleep because despite going home early, I still feel like I got punched in the eye. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

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