sick day

It’s been a challenging last few days, to tell you the truth.

About four months ago, I started having eye pain. I am far-sided—very far-sided—and have worn contacts since I was 12 or 13. Usually, I have no problem with my contacts—I take them out at night and do everything I’m supposed to—but suddenly my eyes were red and glassy. My right eye was worse than my left.

Two months later, I saw a doctor.

He said I had contact-caused micro-wounds on my right eye—both eyes, actually—and told me no contacts for two weeks. He gave me an antibiotic drop for the daytime and a moisturizing ointment to use at night.

I did as I was told. And I got better.

Or so I thought.

Two weeks ago, the pain began again. This time it was worse than ever. I stopped wearing my contacts and increased the moisture to my eyes. To no effect. Over the weekend, I talked to an ophthalmologist friend from home, and, following his advice, left work early on Monday to go back to the doctor. Bad news. I had another, bigger wound on my right eye, this time right in the center. If it made it all the way through the epithelium or scarred, I could suffer vision loss—for life.

I was scared. But I was more scared because, even after receiving medication, my eye didn’t seem to be getting any better. With every blink, shooting pain seared across my eye, and it was worse at night, when my eye lacked the oxygen it needed to heal. I talked to my ophthalmologist friend again, and he, too, was worried. The treatment I was receiving here was not the same as would have been prescribed at home.

Nothing here is the same as it is at home.

I saw the doctor again yesterday, and I will see him again tomorrow. And, even though it is impossible to take time off here (we have no subs), I took today off. Part of my treatment now is a goopy, gooey, blurry ointment that feels like cement and looks like snot; I am supposed to apply this every few hours. A lot of fun that’s going to be tomorrow when I have to go back to work. (I work with 9- to 13-year-olds.)

But what can I do?

What else can I really do?

5 thoughts

  1. How is the eye today? Any progress? What is the medicine you’re on and does the doctor there say you are improving? Keep us posted… Ron

    • Hey Dr. Evans,

      The eye is doing better, thank goodness! I’m still on Vigamox and a lubricant. He also had me on a cream or ointment that he said was for a viral infection, which would help to keep my eye moist. I don’t know if it helped much, but… I will see him again next Friday. I don’t plan to try to wear my contacts again for several months, though, or maybe not until I come home.

      Thanks again.

  2. I suffer from severe dry eyes and there’s no cure, treatment, oinment or medication that can help. There’s literally no tears when the doctor did a litmus paper test on them. He said my eyes are so dry, they hit the pain threshold sometimes and then I start to tear (glands above the tear ducts) profusely. I dunno how to best describe it but the doctor said vit D and some sun may help. I hope you find a remedy for yours. We have only one pair of eyes so please take off whenever you need to (in future). Best of luck! :D

    • Thanks so much, Sam! And thanks for taking the time to look back at my old work. I didn’t really start writing this blog until after I left Hong Kong, but the few posts I did write… Well, sometimes it’s neat to look back at how I felt at the time… Dry eyes are terrible, and I don’t know what causes them! So frustrating. I’m so sorry that you deal with it, too, and even in Singapore where it’s humid! It’s very dry here… Thanks so much. And I will definitely take care of my eyes and get on the road—hopefully in the next year! I’ll keep you posted. :) Take care of your eyes, too!

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