If you’ve suffered a corneal abrasion you’ll know it’s rather painful. Fear not if you haven’t, am sure you’ve suffered a nasty scratch before, just imagine that scratch on your eye and your laughing!
There are definitely worse things to suffer and pain is relative. My dad once mentioned a doctor educating a patient on the ‘pain scale’. When asked how painful her symptoms were for a fairly common issue she replied ‘oh easily a 9′ , to which he replied ‘ no, childbirth is 10 so it cannot be a 9′.
But corneal abrasion has been one of the most painful things I’ve suffered. I am guessing it has to be because your eyes are rather important and quite vulnerable. I do question this vulnerability though. For example, once in London at a tube stations, I forget which one, while waiting for my train a voice to my right asked for some spare change. I turned and my gaze fixed on a guy who’s head was a lot smaller than mine. He had no features at all , ears , nose , everything missing, burnt off from some horrific accident. Yet even though all his features were gone he still had eyes shining bright looking very much out of place peeking out from within those folds of scarred tissue. How on earth did they remain intact protected by a mere set of flimsy eyelids when his nose and ears were gone! I gave him a quid.
This Wednesday just gone I awoke with the most agonising sensation in my eyeballs, any light that hit my eyes would make them burn, heavy tears would drip from the left eyeball and even the eye lids would feel like they were scratching away at the soft tissues of both peepers. The situation so bad I could not open either my eyelids and had to feel around the flat to get about.
A lack of vision is more than just a little inconvenient and my recent eye issues affect not just myself but also my flatmates , I couldn’t babysit at 6am , a regular task I’ve been given on a Wednesday morning. Flatmate was late for work which marked her work. On top of that I’ve had to have time off my job , workload starts to build up and sickness leave increases. None of this is good.
So this morning (with an intentional day-off booked) it was straight to an NHS walk-in center , from there the nurse redirected me to a doctor who, lacking the necessary eye drops he’d use for scanning my eye refered me to the cities eye hospital A&E.
At the A&E I was seen after a not unreasonable hour and told I had a reoccuring corneal abrasion. Once you’ve scratched the eye the healed tissue is very sensitive and easily agitated.
Firstly we don’t create tears during sleep , I didn’t know that until today, as we’re asleep our eyes waggle around ( REM – which I was aware of) , when your dehydrated or your in a very dry environment due to central heating you’ll awake, blink and the eyelid will sheer off cells from the dried surface of the eye, ba da bing, feckin sore eyes.
I must admit while the fairly intimidating welsh nurse was questioning me on my lifestyle and factors that could been contributing to my dry eye I felt I was getting a bit of a bollocking.
‘How much sleep are you getting , do you have a family?’
me: ‘well I live with someone who has a baby so I get woken up quite a lot, I get say….around 5-6 hours’
‘Well thats plenty!’
me: ‘Soz!!’ I said (in my head not aloud)
The questioning (bollocking) at A&E was not quite as bad as the preceding wait. The triage system is fair , based upon severity of your condition, but I still began harboring resentment for all the white eyes folk sitting around me while I sat there eyes all bloodshot tearing up from the light sensitivity.
‘WHY DO YOU AL LOOK FINE!’ I thought, but of course people are there with conditions far far worse than mine and less obvious visually.
I read a caravan magazine even though I can’t drive and attempted to read a copy of Heat but even all those scantily clad women could not make up for the gossipy crap they write.
I began to imagine a computer system able to calculate in real-time how long you’d have to wait before being seen , beamed into the visual display of some clever new glasses like google has released. You could go for a walk , leave the premises and get a constant update on how long you have left to wait , calculations based on the average appointment time for patients ahead of yourself and the physical distance between yourself and the hospital. If you veer too far away from the hospital with little hope of getting back in time, after a few warnings your appointment cancelled , a bit like when you drive too far away from a current task on Grand theft auto.
I’d rather that than sitting in a room surrounded by other quiet glum people with no indication of how long you’ll be there.
But I shouldn’t whine, I am thankful for all the care and treatment I have received. Bless our NHS and the hard working overburdened staff who keep it together.
Anyways, I am now off to my fourth an final appointment today.
Be seeing ya!