Corneal abrasion – two words that have been with me for about 12 years and which reared its very ugly and painful head this past week. Ever since first scratching my eye several years ago, I've had to be careful when waking up, that I don’t open my eye lid too quickly because the abrasion has never totally healed and if I'm not careful and spring my eyes wide open its akin to ripping a band-aid away from an unhealed wound – major ouch!
This has happened on occasion over the years and usually the discomfort settles down by the time I’m dressed and ready for work. Not so much this past Wednesday. With left eye watering, I made the drive into work, hoping that it would ease off. Imagine a pin scratching your eye with every blink, that’s what this feeling is for me. By mid morning it was minimally bearable and I hoped that a good night sleep would give it time to heal up enough to be ‘normal’ – for me. And sure enough when I woke Thursday morning, there was no discomfort and I began to feel very relieved.
Off to the office. If only I didn’t need to use a computer for work! As soon as I logged on and the screen came to life the pain was back in full force.
For those who know me well, they are aware of 2 things: - 1) I don’t run to the doctor and will put up with a lot before making an appointment; and 2) I am extremely squeamish and cowardly when it comes to anything ‘eye’ related.
By 9:00 I had called my eye doctor and secured an appointment for just after lunch, assured they would refer me to an ophthalmologist if needed, but that I would be seeing an intern and that the visit wouldn’t be covered by OHIP. By this point I would have paid anything, been seen by a robot and gone to anyone they recommended.
The intern, Violet, was an absolute angel; very kind, understanding and gentle. She confirmed the abrasion had enlarged and needed to be covered. Says me, “Not like you can put a bandaid on it.”
“Oh but we can.”
That’s when the major apprehension kicked in. At first I voted against the contact lens band-aid, hoping a treatment of drops would suffice. Then my own eye doctor came in just to double check Violet’s diagnosis and plan of treatment. After talking to her I hesitantly agreed to allow her to put in, and then remove, a contact lens after a 24 hour period. Antibiotic drops and other eye drops were prescribed and off I went.
Without going into a lot of detail, let me say the next 24 hours were the most painful I have ever experienced and would not wish it on my worst enemy – while the contact lens did alleviate the scratching sensation, the drops stung like blazes and there were times I wanted to put my head through a wall to stop the pain. I was very anxious to return on Friday to have the lens removed!
Poor Violet, she had a real problem patient on her hands with me when it came to taking that sucker out of my eye. Every ounce of determination was used up to not bolt from that chair and/or be sick to my stomach. Finally, it was out..relief! Until I blinked a couple of times and there it was..the scratching sensation.
Diagnosis...very small improvement in the size of the abrasion – treatment moving forward – another contact lens for 72 hours and back to see them on Monday (tomorrow). Fortunately, this time, the lens was a little smaller and more comfortable and when I worked up the nerve to put in the antibiotic drops, it didn’t sting!!!
So by the very appearance of this blog, it must be apparent that my vision is much improved and there is no discomfort. I will actually be glad to be back to work tomorrow and catch up on Friday’s undone tasks. And at day’s end it will be off the eye doctor once again and hopefully there will be a major healing going on with the scratch and no more contacts will be needed.
I do want to say a big thank you to the team at my optometrist's office - Brisson Leis, Violet, Dr. Thomas-Parel, Dr. Leis, and the staff behind the front counter - for excellent care and concern.
Unfortunately, this whole episode meant a cancellation of a planned meeting with Pam Thursday evening to move ahead with Paul and Dorothy, but ‘eye’m’ sure we’ll soon be back on track!