Pink Eye

by Christopher Paul on April 9, 2006

I have Pink Eye.

It sucks.

All this started last night on my way home from my parents. I was driving to the supermarket to get some groceries when I thought an eyelash fell in my eye or contacts. I blinked a couple of times but nothing worked. It quickly escalated to something more than a slight discomfort to a severe irritation.

Amazingly, I got home without wrecking the car and went to look for tear drops I had purchased earlier in the day and began to wet my eyes and take out my contacts. Neither step worked, however, and things got worse from then on in. I popped the last four Advil I had in the house, wiped the tears from my eyes and tried to go to sleep. Somehow, I did…

For three hours…

and woke up at 3:30am and found myself in extreme pain.

At this point, I get out out of bed and start to look for some old eye drops I had from 8 months ago when I had an infection. My symptoms last night were similar to those I had when I had the infection so I figured that it might have come back and I could begin the recovery. But I couldn’t find the bottle with it being pitch black dark, my good eye in painful tears, and my bad eye (the one I need -6.50 correction in – for those nerds and optometrists out there) barely getting me around my apartment. I soon start to panic.

I started panicking because I realize its Saturday night. And not only could I not find the one thing that could make this better, I couldn’t get in touch with anyone at, now 5:00 in the morning, who could help me. My local 24 hour CVS didn’t fill my original prescription – but I called just to make sure. The pharmacy I did get my drops from was closed and across the river in World Financial Center. My optometrist was closed – wouldn’t be open until 9am Monday, anyway – and doesn’t have an answering service for emergencies. And I don’t have a primary physician to call either (don’t ask. I never found one when I switched insurers). I was facing a sleepless night, a painful day, and another painfully tearful night before I have to go to work – EARLY, I might add.

So faced with this agony, I woke my wife up. I don’t know what she could have done different or better that I had but I needed her wisdom, help, and reassurance that I wasn’t going to be crying the rest of the weekend. She somehow managed to calm me down a little and after I regained my composure I had a bright idea – go to the hospital in town.

The local hospital, from what I can tell, I troubled and run down place. In fact, I think its closing or being taken over by UMDMJ (or is trying to be taken over, anyway). But its close to where I live – closer than I thought, actually. Its one block north and five blocks east; for those of you who know where I live, the one block going north is a long one but the blocks moving east to west are very short. So its practically around the corner. Only the emergency room was open at that time of night but still busy. Not busy enough for me to have to wait long, however, because once my paperwork was filled (which took 45 minutes), I was in waiting for a doctor, diagnosed, and given a prescription in less than 10 minutes. It took me longer to walk to CVS to get my ‘script filled than it did to get my medical issue looked at. If they could fix the paperwork part, I’m sure the hospital could be a thriving medical machine. Although the doctor was a little straight faced (as in no signs of positive emotion) he did what he needed to do and I can’t complain about that.

CVS was easy to deal with. I gave the pharmacist my blue square-ish paper with legible doctor’s writing on it (I know, how rare). And before I could, um… blink (bad pun, I know), I had my drops. I’m not exactly sure what they do but I think they are antibiotics because the ending of the drug name ends in -ycin like many other aminoglycosides. Anyway, so I walk home and by this time, its 7:30. I put in my drops and actually sleep for another 3 hours before my wife wakes me to help her with some housework and to keep me on some kind of sleep schedule.

Hopefully, tomorrow won’t be as bad as today.

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