Once again I am divulging embarrassing information about myself so that you or your loved ones will not suffer making the same mistake. The information is embarrassing because I am an idiot and that fact will not be easily hidden when you hear what I've done. And please don't assume that because I am passing along what I have learned that I assume you do dumb things too. But maybe you know someone who tends to idiocy as I do and you can pass this along to him or her.
I wear contacts. You know, the disposable kind that you are supposed to change every two weeks--or whatever (I actually don't even know what they recommend because I don't pay any attention--are you sensing where this is going?). So I have been having some trouble with my eyes lately. Just the general "can't see very well, eyes are irritated and red all the time" kind of thing. Normally at this point in my life as a contact wearer I would switch out my contacts for new ones. However, my prescription has expired and I don't have any left in my house. Let me assure you that I know that the proper response to this is, "I need to make an eye appointment so that I can get some new contacts." My actual response was, "I'll just make these work. They are okay. Really."
Not really. I finally went to the eye doctor yesterday because my right eye was knife-stabbingly painful whenever it was exposed to light (basically every time I opened it). So I spent last Monday in mild discomfort, Monday night and Tuesday wanting to poke my own eye out of my head, and finally--once the pain began to subside--called to make an appointment on Wednesday. (I have to say that part of the foot-dragging on my part was due to my fear that the eye trouble was diabetes related. Thankfully, that isn't the case.) So it was Thursday when I went to receive an exam (or three) and a mild tongue-lashing from my eye doctor. She was actually very nice (it was a first-time visit to her by me) and explained that my situation is very serious and that neither eye is "very happy." My right eye has a Corneal Ulcer and my left eye is severely irritated. What could cause this you ask? EXTENDED CONTACT USE. Yes. This is my fault. It was avoidable and unnecessary. The solution: 1) No Contacts!!!! 2) Aggressive anti-biotic drops in my right eye. 3) Get new glasses today. Right now. Do not delay (did I mention the part where my glasses broke about 6 months ago and I haven't replaced them yet--resulting in the fact that I wore the aforementioned contacts even more than I would have had I owned a pair of glasses). 4) Pray that the scarring isn't too serious and that this is the end of my eye troubles. (Okay, that last one is my own personal prescription.)
So let this be a lesson to those of you out there who may take the sense of sight for granted. You are playing with fire by not changing those contacts. As my doctor said, "You are at a risk for infection and other problems by wearing contacts at all. But your risk goes up exponentially when you don't change them as often as you should." I am now sporting new glasses that Eric says are "dramatic." (And for which I will have to get a new accurate prescription for once my eyes clear up!) I don't know when or if I will wear contacts again. I spent the last few days feeling temporarily blinded and it wasn't much fun. Don't be an idiot! Take the time to see clearly. Now--on to the next problem I've been ignoring. How to choose?