You know those days when you are walking along, then out of nowhere you it a patch of ice and fall right on your bum?  That was my day, but my patch of ice was my eye.

Last night my eye began to hurt a bit, so I took out my contacts and decided to give my eyes a break for the night.  As I took my contact out the weirdest thing happened.  My eye hurt worse.  Usually it’s a relief.  But I figured it would still go away with a good night’s rest.  When I woke up instead of feeling better I felt worse.

Here I will insert my biggest rational fear.  I fear spiders, I fear snakes, and I fear other things, but those are all irrational fears.  However, I find this fear perfectly rational.  I fear going blind.  I got my first pair of glasses in first grade.  I realize that children are getting glasses earlier and earlier these days, but in my childhood you didn’t see four-year olds wearing glasses.  I still remember what it felt like to leave the eye doctor’s, look outside and see the world.  Who knew that you could see leaves on trees?  My eyesight continually got worse, and I got new glasses every six months.  I remember loving life every time I left with new glasses.  Reading every sign in sight because for the first time in a long time I could.  The first time I watched Forget Paris, I wondered if I had been as obnoxious as the father-in-law.  Finally in third grade I got contacts to try to stop my eyes from changing.  But my eyes continued to get worse.  I will say with joy that I have had the same prescription for at least the last 6 years.  But before getting to that point I’ve had many times at the doctor’s office being told that if my eyes got too much worse I’d have problems correcting them, fortunately technology always stayed ahead of my eyesight.  I was told I wouldn’t be able to get proper correction for glasses because the lenses would be too thick, but new technology changed the way lenses are made and I’ve never been stuck with Coke bottle lenses.  I do have to stick with smaller frames because the distortion at the edges would be too much for larger frames, but current fashions favor smaller frames.  I’ve always been at the cut off for the contact lenses I’ve needed.  When the strongest they made was a minus eight, that was my prescription, and by the time I needed to upgrade that prescription was available.  Yet, for a long time I seemed to me that my ability to have eyesight corrected to 20/20 was limited.  Someday I would have to give up life as a person who could read the signs.  And with that I would give up my current level of independence.  Even now that my eyes have stopped changing, I have great appreciation for the ability to see.  So an eye problem had to be dealt with immediately.

That posed a problem with one of my irrational fears.  My fear of doctors.  However, a rational fear will win out over an irrational fear when they are pitted against one another.  I had to go to the doctor.

But how to get there if I couldn’t see?  And what to do with my kids while I was at the doctor?  I needed help.  The quickest way for me to get help is to put out an APB on Facebook.  I thought against it for a minute knowing I would worry some people who are geographically unable to help.  My husband included.  He knows how much I hate doctors, so putting out a request for someone to take me to the doctor would catch his interest.  But I could put up one status and find out who was available, or I could start calling.  I went for the easiest route first.  Sure enough moments after posting I got a call from the other side of the world to see if I was okay.  And my wonderful friends in Alaska didn’t fail, while I was one the phone with him, a friend was calling to offer her services.  Can I say here that this was hard for me?  I’ll admit that one thing I like best about my eyesight it that I know how important it is for independence.  I would have to rely on others.  And today was yet another day during this deployment where I couldn’t take care of life all by myself.  I was crying as I wrote the post on Facebook.  Although, I was in so much pain I was crying before I wrote it was well, but while writing a few tears were shed because I had to ask for help.  Not something I ever do well.

The ER was a surprisingly good experience.  I got triaged right away.  Then the ER doctor called up to ophthalmology and got one of the eye doctor’s to see me.  And an orderly took me upstairs.  I have an infection in my cornea.  The doctor thinks with aggressive antibiotics I should be okay.  So for two hours I had to put antibiotic drops in every fifteen minutes, and after that I’ve been putting in drops every half hour.  I will also go back to the doctor tomorrow to make sure it’s working.

So I got to spend the day in my bedroom with my blackout shades pulled.  It’s a beautiful day in Alaska, and my eyes can’t handle light.  Sigh.  But my eye feels much better right now, and I can even see better than I could to start the day.  It might have been relaxing except that my alarm has been constantly going off reminding me to put in my constant drops.  And tonight I will even have to set my alarm for every couple of hours.  But it’s my sight we are talking about so I will totally obey the doctor’s orders to the letter. I’m ever grateful for my children, who have allowed me to take it easy and didn’t complain when I decided that sight was required for cooking and that tonight we would eat cereal for supper.