Thursday, December 04, 2008

Apparently, you need your cornea

Remember how I was bragging about what a great juggler of OTC medicine I was? I believe I called myself the "Elvis of Advil". I was particularly proud of that phrase because it combined three of my favorite things (apt metaphor, pop culture reference, and assonance; had it also contained peanut butter and no-guilt orgasm, it might have been my favorite thing of all time!)

I didn't quite think through my metaphor: did you know Elvis died!? From drugs!? Well, he did.

And, though I didn't die, there was about an hour last night where I wished I would.

Here's what happened, in order:

1. I got sick on Saturday.

2. To reduce the amount of snot in my sinuses -- at one point enough that Michael Phelps could have used them as a training facility -- I took OTC drying agents like Sudafed.

3. On Monday, due to a particularly rough game of Baby Wrestling, my son knocked off my glasses, snapping one of the lenses out of its frame.

4. Because of this, I took to wearing my contacts.

5. Due to my laziness, I didn't get a chance to head over to the eye-glasses place to get my frames fixed. Also, due to my laziness, I have yet to clean out the attic, write or even begin to write a novel, learn how to cook, finish learning sign language, or any other number of things that I'm sure I'll regret on my deathbed one day.

6. The combination of drying agents and continued contact usage led to a severe drying of my contact. That led to it kind of, well, fusing to my cornea.

7. Because I didn't know that the phrase "fusing to your cornea" could possibly exist in any kind of reasonable universe. I took my contact out at a 1 PM yesterday.

And holy shit. Holy. Shit.

It hurt so bad that I started giving away state secrets in the hope/fear that I was being interrogated and this was all a Vanilla Sky type creation of my brain in order to better deal with the torture. No such luck.

I went to the eye doctor and he told me that I had taken off the top layer of my cornea. With a smile: "Like skinning your knee! Except in your eye!"

He said it would stop hurting after I went to sleep because the cornea can regenerate itself in about 24 hours.

That seemed like a very optimistic assessment to me. How could something as complicated (and as goddamn painful) as your cornea regenerate after 24 hours? I can't even get a cable guy to my house in less than a week. But my eye doctor looks very smart (he has glasses and a white coat), so I trusted him.

He prescribed an antibacterial cream and sent me on my way. He mentioned that maybe I'd want to take some sleep medication to help speed along the process. Well, you don't need to tell me twice to take OTC sleep aids.

Here I am, 12 hours later. My cornea still feels a little raw, but on a pain level, it's at a 1. Before I went to sleep, it was, without hyperbole, a 313,179,993.

Take my advice kids: drying agents and round-the-clock contact use don't mix. Friends don't let friends take Sudafed while also wearing contacts.

(This all begs the question: why did the school system waste my time with an anti-marijuana curriculum when it could have been teaching me real-life skills like not wearing contacts while also taking cold and flu medication?)


Megan said...

Omg Jay, you are so effing funny. What a fantastic start to my day. I have worn contacts for 10 years now and I have never ever fused my contact to my cornea, and I have had many colds, flues, and other deadly illnesses like mono, that require otc meds by the ton. (especially that last one)

Cliche alert: Only a man could do that, that is 100% a man thing.

But I do hope your eye is feeling better, eyes and anything but contacts/contact solution dont mix.

Wayne A. "Tony" Conaway said...

Ow! But it could've been worse: you might have been on the road when this happened. I told you about being sick on the road in Buffalo, NY, didn't I?

Feel better, effendi.