Generally speaking, I consider myself to be pretty spry for my age and condition. Although nowhere near the peak I was in even just ten years ago (yes, I’m bragging), I still consider myself quite capable of keeping up in most instances. Even when it involves trying to keep up with my toddler. At the best of times, Alexander is a rolling, destructive ball of energy that annihilates everything in his path. Although I often spend some cuddle time with him while watching cartoons or something, rolling around on the floor while wrestling at my age doesn’t come quite as easily as it used to.
Yesterday, Nathan was otherwise occupied and Alexander was done his potty boot-camp for the morning (whole other story). As a result, I agreed to sit on the floor and help him build something with his mega-blocks. In true toddler style, he violently toppled something large we had just built. In true boyish-style, we wound up wrestling each other on the floor. Now for those of you who don’t know, Alex is built like my father. For a three-year old, he’s got a fair amount of mass and he isn’t as easy to wrestle with as one may think. At one point, I was on the floor and he was hovering above me (because I was holding him there) and he took a swipe at my face.
This resulted in a searing blast of pain in my face that didn’t seem to make sense. I set him down and felt across my face, thinking his fingernails had cut my cheek or something. Finding no blood, I went to the bathroom and checked my face, only to see my eyeball looking like a vampire’s eye out of a bad 1980’s horror flick… instead of cutting my cheek, Alex’s fingernail apparently scraped across the surface of my eyeball, causing a corneal abrasion.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that I’m unshaven and generally look like shit, one can clearly see that my eye is completely bloodshot and watering heavily. What you don’t see, is the searing stinging sensation, the sensitivity to light and the fact that every time I close my eye, the eyelid drags across the abrasion and increases the pain, ten-fold. Despite the fact I get eye injections every eight weeks, I have to admit that this five seconds of rough housing has caused an amount of discomfort almost comparable to those injections. Pair that with the fact that it seems to have affected my left nostril as well, causing it to leak like a rusted faucet that can’t be stopped. Because I don’t experience enough pain in my life…
So what exactly happens during a corneal abrasion? Simply defined, it’s a scratch on the surface of one’s eye. No fuckin’ shit, right? But it can happen from just about anything from being poked in the eye, scratched or getting something caught under the eyelid like dirt or sand. According to WebMD, the injury is “actually on your cornea. That’s the clear layer that covers the iris, the coloured part of your eye. It also shields the pupil – the black circle in the middle of your eye.” It will result in steady pain, a scratchy sensation on the eye, blurred vision and sensitivity and pain in from the light.
Luckily, my optometrist is a freakin’ rockstar and works on Saturdays. Despite not having an appointment, she was able to fit me in only a couple of hours after the incident. She confirmed the abrasion and prescribed an antibiotic called Tobramycin, which I have to take four times a day in conjunction with lubricating drops to help keep things from drying out. It apparently only takes two or three days to heal but in the meantime, I would have much preferred some of the numbing drops the optometrist used during the examination but apparently, not only do those NOT help heal the eye but you’re not supposed to use it extensively. Fuck.
All of this is to say that injuries can happen in an eye blink (see what I did there?). Now, I get to go to work tomorrow and awkwardly try and explain to my employees that no, I don’t have pink eye; it’s a corneal abrasion. It would almost be easier to just send out a quick email blast in the morning to explain once so nobody has to ask afterwards. hopefully, this will pass in the next couple of days. Sleeping last night was brutal. First, my eyelid would stick. When I’d open my eye, it would create a new blast of pain. For one of our primary senses and despite the period of time that humans have had to evolve, our eyes sure are weak as shit. ☯️