Warning: If you choose to flip through the photo gallery above, please be warned. The photos include those of an infected eye. This series may be graphic to some readers. Use your discretion.
I seem to be especially susceptible to, well, just about any –itis out there. Since my surgery in November during which I had to have a section of my intestines removed do to diverticulitis (which had caused a hole in the lining), I’ve also had the joy of two sinus infections and pneumonia.
This week, I added two new infections to the list. On Saturday night, after dinner, my eye felt like there was something on its lens. I don’t wear contacts or glasses. I checked the mirror a few times, but couldn’t see anything there that didn’t belong.
I went about my evening occasionally blotting my eye with a tissue. It had become irritated and red. I wondered if I was allergic to something new in the house.
I’d spent my Saturday at my daughter’s and then son’s biddy basketball games. We’d traveled back and forth from the local elementary school twice.
By the time we got back, after lunch, the kids had friends over and played in the house much of the afternoon. I used the time to get the household chores caught up. I did some laundry. I picked up the living room and did some dishes.
For me it was a pretty typical Saturday. I finished the day off making some dinner. We had chicken and rice. There were no unusual ingredients.
As I traced back my day in my mind, I couldn’t come up with anything odd. There were no new cleaning products in the house. I hadn’t switched detergents. The kids were playing with the friends they play with daily and go to school with, so you’d think if they were carrying something I’d have already caught it.
Nothing seemed to add up. By bedtime, my eye was producing a rather unpleasant yellow discharge in addition to being itchy and red. Now I was truly at a loss. As my eyelid and under eye puffiness grew to a now abnormal swelling, I was worried.
‘I’ll go to bed,’ I figured. I’m sure this allergy will be cleared up by morning.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, I could only open one eye. My right eye, in addition to being coated in a disgusting gunk and stuck shut, had also swollen shut. I looked like I’d just exited the ring after 10 rounds with Rocky Balboa.
It was time for yet another exciting trip to the emergency room. By now, I ought to have my own special suite there. Not only do some staff know me by name, but all of my wireless devices are now accustomed to the hospital’s wifi signal.
I was quickly (thank the Lord) escorted to see a doctor who examined my eye, and thankfully got it to open. Well, at least cracked into the gunk. The swollen lid and skin around it made it impossible to open without the aid of fingers.
After some “follow my finger” tricks, a light exam and an eye-chart reading, I was doused in a dye agent to see if my eye had any abrasions. It didn’t.
After the thorough process of elimination, the docs determined I was suffering from two infections. First off, the usual suspect: I had conjunctivitis; better known to mothers everywhere as “pink eye.” Secondly, I seemed to be the unlucky recipient of cellulitis, or the infection of the skin AROUND my eye, as well.
Long story short, two oral antibiotics and a series of eye drops later, and I’m no longer being referred to as Cyclops or Pirate in this house. I won’t lie, writing and editing with one eye for much of the week was not too fun.
After all my illnesses, I’m hoping February brings me a month of good health. Figures, I’d get the shortest month of the year…