Ramblings / Stories / Thinking Out Loud

Something In My Eye

Just last Friday I had the opportunity to go to the eye Doctor. You have to know something about me though. I hate Doctors. Well, I could be a little clearer. I suppose someone who has their doctorate in insect mating rituals of the upper Klondikes might be safe. But any Doctor that has a use for needles and syringes is suspect.

It started pretty simply. I had a funny little bump under my eye-lid. Right over where my cornea likes to live. No problem! I’ll just hot compress it a little and it should go away. Really, it just felt a bit like a Stye, just in the wrong place. (Like there is a right place for a Stye!!?) So I hot-compressed it off and on for two days. Upon waking on Friday (the third day) it feels like the sand man had left a large bag of sand on my eye lid. I look in the mirror only to confirm my suspicions. GREAT!! This is Friday and all my home-remedy doctorin’ has failed. The weekend is coming. And the last thing I need is to have my eyelid rotting off of my head come Sunday, just in time for Church. I don’t think the folks at church would take too kindly to funky eyeball stuff. Maybe funky ear stuff, but not eyeball stuff. Besides, how in the world am I going to see my notes with this thing swollen up to the size of a small melon over my eye?

So I have this moment of clarity.

1) This has the potential of getting pretty bad. (did I mention funky eyeball gross?)
2) I cannot fix this. (and I can fix quiet a lot of stuff)
3) The weekend is coming (eye Doctors have a life too)
4) I honestly don’t care how much this is going to cost me. (when money is not an issue, there really is a problem)

5) If I go to the Doctor, I will tell the truth (come on, you know what I mean!)

I gather up my gumption, (which is probably like when ladies of old would gather up their dresses and petticoats about them and then hop up onto a horse: only different) and head off to the eye doctor. I am not as scared as if I were going to a “real” doctor because everyone knows that eye doctors deal with eyes and hence don’t use needles. They give eye exams and sell high-priced, specialized eyeglasses for sports and swimming and all manner of fashion matters. So, We. Are. Good.

I get to the office and fill out the appropriate amount of paper work. Just enough to cause me to focus on writing and not on the melon over my eye. I finish and am called into the “room of devices” Huge eyeglasses on swing arms with buttons and knobs and gears and oh, my…. Dimly lit. Not a single clown poster or small elephant print or anything that one would expect to be in a doctor’s office. Not a typical office at all. We are good! No smell of alcohol. And not a single stethoscope. We are REALLY good!

I meet Dr. Eyeball and after a few pleasantries (and me checking her for hidden doctor paraphernalia) she asks what is the problem. I am going to chalk it up to the fact that the room was dimly lit and she too might have still been quite wowed by all the awesome mechanisms for her to miss the melon on my eye. Referencing “moment of clarity” #5, I do tell her the truth. She invites me to sit in the lounge chair in the middle of the room and has me place my face in the chin/head holder device that she presents from the array of devices on arms. A quick look under my lid and my diagnosis is that I have a Chalazion. That is eye doctor lingo for “big honkin Stye up under my eyelid”.

I am a bit relieved!! I am not going to lose my eyelid. I don’t need a shot. And I got to see all cool manner of device in a non- doctory kind of room. Sweet!! I decide we can still be friends. So Dr. Eyeball says for me to keep my head still while she presses on my eyelid. To my dismay and her satisfaction, my eyelid begins to yield up its contents. Suffice it to say, she used the word “copious” in my chart to describe what transpired.

After some post procedure instructions and a prescription for eye drops, I head home. I soak my eye with warm compresses and then continue to apply pressure as instructed. Within a few minutes I feel something hard begin to press against my cornea. This is not good! Referencing “moment of clarity” #3, the weekend is coming. I can’t just leave this, I have got to finish.

So I go back to Dr. Eyeball. She remembers me and my copious-ness and invites me back into the lounge chair in the middle of the room. This time her assistant is with us. Turning to her assistant, she has her ready a Q-tip. I am thinking, “Ah, soft and fluffy Q-tip. Mmmmm. I like them, they are sooo wonderfully soft and round and gentle. Yay, Q- tip.” Yep that is what I was thinking. As I rest my head in the chin/head holder device, she inspects the afflicted area and spots this calcified hard thing sort of stuck in the opening of my Chalazion. (and when I say “my Chalazion”, I don’t mean it in a possessive way)

I like Dr. Eyeball, she doesn’t play around. She sees the offending particle and calls for the Q-tip. I’m thinking, “go for it!” Which she does. I must say, Q-tips are not quite as soft and fluffy and round and gentle and mmmm, when scrubbed upon an inverted eyelid. Nope, not at all. She makes a comment to herself about it sort of being stubborn and stuck and I tell her to just go for it. I remember her saying in a pleased tone, “wow, you really do trust me”

Well of course!

She has the benefit of perspective (I mean with all those cool devices who wouldn’t?)
She has the benefit of education (to back up what she sees)
She doesn’t want to do me any harm (to the best of her ability)
And, she is not squirming (I am)

Besides, we are still friends. Because even though she pushed a little a lot on my eyelid earlier in the day, she did not hurt me and I like it when I can get better without hurting.

Dr. Eyeball commented again that this was a stubborn little speck and I cheer her on to “go for it” from my chin rest. It probably sounded more like “goorferettt”

That is when I hear it.

Her soft voice quietly calling to her assistant.
“Go get me a needle.”

Instantly, I felt the blood leave my head, my hands start to tingle and go numb, my heart races, I start to hyperventilate, the temperature on the room goes up 200 degrees and I begin to feel myself black-out. Since this kind of phobic response has happened to me before, I was able to gingerly articulate, “oh my gosh I am about to pass out!” I’m thinking they had already picked up on that, since before I knew it: the lounge chair was now in a reclined position, the assistant was fanning me and I had a cold compress on my forehead.

You know, if she would have said, “get me the screw driver” or “get me the chisel” or even “let me pick this out with my fingernail” everything would have been ducky. I really wanted to either lie and tell her I was ok and thanks for all her help (but she would know I was not telling the truth) or I thought about running (but in my condition I probably would not have made it out of the room)

After just a short while my initial body responses diminish and I am laying there on her comfy lounge chair that they laid back for me and I tell her, “ok, let’s do this.” I’m feeling brave, and I’m laying down, so where can I go?

That’s when she tells me…..

1. You’re going to have to sit up.
2. You’re going to have to hold your head in this here chin/head device.
3. You can’t move.

She does her thing, gets out the offending particle and sends me on my way.

I know, sounds anti-climactic, but I have a point to make.

So here’s the thing that really struck me after I thought about it for a bit.

How many times have we allowed people into our life who have the benefit of perspective, education/wisdom, compassion and enough of a relationship with us to help. They push on some toxic area within us and start the process of healing only for it to reveal later a stubborn place that does not yield. Earlier in the process they are our friend. We think of them warmly and happily because they did not hurt us and we like to get better without too much of a cost to ourselves. Now though, we believe that the dynamic has changed. That somehow they are different, especially in light of the pain that we are in. (And we are probably sure it is thier fault!) Running becomes an option. We even think about lying and saying we are all better now, thank you very much!

Here is my proposal.

Don’t run.

Push past your initial responses of fight or flight.

Determine to position yourself into thier watchful, loving, and wise gaze.

Because there is a chance that they see something and know how to get to it better than you do. Or they simply want to walk alongside of you as you journey through this quagmire.

Doesn’t that sound like a better idea? Don’t push those away that might be part of your process of healing. Sure it might get uncomfortable, and even painful. Honestly though, most real healing has a cost.

Don’t be affraid.
You’ll be better for it.
I am!

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