Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One Step Closer to a Pirate Eye-Patch...

Some people fear the dentist... they've obviously never been to an opthamologist.

As I am always harping on family members to go to the doctor and get anything that may be bothering them checked out, or to be sure they schedule "preventative maintenance" visits on a yearly basis, I realized that I was a big hypocrite since I hadn't been to the eye doctor in four years. The last time I went, I was written a prescription for glasses and when I went to get it filled, the guy working at the glasses store said, and I quote: "Girlfriend, these are the same thing as +1.25 readers that you can get at Walgreens for $10! Don't buy these here!" Ever since then, I HAVE been buying my reading glasses at Walgreens and have had no problems.

Lately, however, I was noticing "floaties" in my eyes all the time, so I figured I better get things looked at sooner rather than later. Therefore, a few weeks ago, I went to see the opthamalogist. Making my way to the office that morning, I relived the horror of the last time I had a FULL eye check-up. That was about 6.5 years ago. I fainted in the doctor's office.

You may be thinking, "What? WHY?"

Here is a secret about your blogger-friend e... she has been known to faint. And it happened that time because they dilated my eyes. I realize that this really isn't that gross of a procedure (they simply put drops in your eyes!) - but it FEELS nasty! When you blink, it feels like you have about 5 more layers of eyeball that your lid has to stretch over, so I started getting all queasy and then that was it for me. Hence, when I went to the eye doctor four years ago, I told them about my previous fainting spell and they chose to do all parts of the exam without dilation. They didn't want to deal with me and my issues!

This time, however, I knew I should go through with the dilation since I really wanted to be sure nothing was wrong. I ate breakfast that morning (I'm more likely to faint if I'm hungry), and was trying to pump myself up on the bus ride to the appointment. "I can do this! This is nothing! I will not faint!"

One trick I have learned that helps to keep me from fainting is to TELL someone near me that I am prone to fainting and then ask them to talk to me about a whole bunch of random stuff in order to keep my mind off of whatever is causing me to feel ill. So that is what I did this time, I told the assistant that I passed out the last time I got my eyes dilated, and that if she just talked to me about something else, I should be OK. She chose to ask me about my dog, so I chatted away and remained conscious.

However, this time, there was a different horror to survive... the opthamologist himself, who was some sort of sadistic madman. After I told him about problems that some of my family members have had with their eyes, he decided that he needed to be extremely thorough in making sure that I wasn't following in their path. To do so, he decided that he must torture me. Now, I haven't seen "Saw" or "Hostel" or any of those types of movies, but I have a feeling I experienced some sort of re-enactment, courtesy of Dr. Pain. He took the longest Q-tip I've ever seen in my life and pushed it down so hard right under my left eye, that I was absolutely positive that my eyeball was going to pop out. It wasn't soft, even, it felt like it was just the end of a wooden stick. I was squirming and wincing and let out a few verbal hints that I was in pain, but he was intent on what he was doing. And he kept doing it over and over and over - poke, poke, poke, poke, poke! I was finally about to say something because I could take no more of it and honestly feared that I was going to lose my eye, but he stopped. He said that there was some "peripheral detachment," but that it wasn't a big deal and may have been that way for years. I could keep wearing my Walgreens glasses and didn't need to come back for 4 years. Another 4 years, yahoo!

I caught my reflection in a mirror as I left the doctor's office, and I looked like a beat-up alien. I had red indentations all under my left eye from the Q-Tip Torture Device, and both of my pupils resembled huge black saucers. It is a damn scary thing to look at yourself when your eyes are nothing but enormous black circles. I put on my sunglasses and decided to walk to my office because I needed time to recuperate. I couldn't read my Treo or my laptop screen for a few hours, but that was the extent of the after-effects. I was proud of myself for not only NOT fainting, but also for simply surviving.

Unfortunately, I was reminded of this awful experience yesterday, when I visited my dermatologist for my yearly skin cancer check. As I have been SPF 70 Girl for a few years now, he was pleased that none of my moles looked suspicious, and he said I didn't have to come back for 2 years! However, I'm paranoid enough that I will still go annually, despite his assurances.

As we were wrapping up the visit, I casually mentioned some white bumps that appeared under my eye and on my eyelid in the past year. He said that they were milia - small keratin-filled cysts. It seems as though one of my many eye products has been clogging up pores in that area, so I need to check them out and toss the ones that aren't noncomedogenic. Apparently, he could easily remove these bumps. I had to decide on the spot, so I told him to go ahead.

He got out some long tool and punctured my skin with a teeny needle and then started trying to get the little cysts out by pushing down under my eye. Deja vu! This time, I at least didn't feel like my eye was going to pop out, but I did feel like my cheekbone was going to shatter. He realized it, however, and said, "Hmmm, I forgot to mention that I really have to apply a lot of pressure to do this." Before I had decided to let him do this, I asked him if I was going to have a giant gaping hole in my face, and he laughed, "Yes, huge, a truck could drive in it." Well... I know now that he was not joking! I have THREE holes in my face (there were only two bumps, so I don't know what's going on there), and my upper cheek is still all swelled up a day later. He stuck a band-aid over the marks as I walked out and said, "There may be some bruising, but you should be fine soon." Well, when I took the band-aid off last night, to my horror I found the three bloody scabby wounds and then a yellowish bruise. It looks like I got a smack-down. GREAT. He had also said, "You can just put a little powder over it and no one will know." Well, guess what, I'm not one for putting make-up over cuts!!! I'm vain but I'm not that vain - I don't want it to get infected! D'ah. So, I just put make-up everywhere else and thanked my lucky stars for: the fact that my sunglasses mostly cover the spots up; the fact that I have no meetings today and therefore really don't need to see anyone; and the fact that I recently got some layers cut in my hair, so the marks can kind of be hidden under my hair if I arrange it just so.

Thank God he said deemed the bump on my browbone "in too sensitive of an area" to mess with, or else I am sure I wouldn't be able to see today. If these cuts don't heal soon, I am conjuring my inner pirate and getting an eye patch!

- e


Anonymous said...

Hey e whutafxup? i was told that u were gon post ur thots on the deathly hallows book ive been waitiing like ever for u to post a write-up so can u plz plz plz get to it thx

Anonymous said...

Very funny story e. Feel sorry for you but still made me laugh, I've always known no good can come from seeing medical people!

Wanders said...

e - You poor lady. Heal quickly. How did you not faint at the dermatologists? I just blogged about getting my first pair of reading glasses (aka getting old).

Pirate e: That's a whole 'nother blog.