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Eye Love San Diego.

Birds have sharp little nails.  For the record.Back at the beginning of May, the Bird took a swipe at my left eyeball with her little birdie talon, ripping off a nice, solid chunk of my cornea and leaving me in some serious pain.  It was a rough couple of days, especially because Chris was away for the week on business, but my family and friends pitched in to help with the baby and to allow me to heal. 

I figured I was done with this issue.

"You may want to be careful about recurrence, Kerri.  With this kind of injury, it does happen."  My eye doctor warned me, handing me a small tube of eye goop stuff.  "This is Muro 128.  Pull down your lower eyelid and smear this in there.  It will help keep your eye coated while you sleep."

(Oh eyeball injuries.  You make me feel old, because if you Google "Muro 128," you'll see that this product is targeted at the 60+ crowd.  Throw in a few tennis balls for my walker and I'm ready for my debut at the bingo hall.)

I used the stuff, but it wasn't enough to protect me from San Diego's desire to blind me.  I don't know if the air conditioning was super-intense, or if the air was beyond dry, or if it was some perfect storm of eye effery, but on Friday morning, I woke up with my eye the size of a baseball and the cornea so ripped and red that you could barely see the blue of my iris.  

"Oh you pesky little whippersnapper," I said.  Verbatim.  Didn't throw in any curse words.  Nope.

I knew the cornea abrasion was back, with a vengeance, but I had no idea how bad it was going to be to manage this condition while traveling.  Something about hotel air and climate control measures taken by conference rooms (plus all that recycled airplane air on the flight from RI to CA) made for a very ripe string-cheesing.  And also impeded healing.  So on Friday, I spent the morning sitting on the floor of my hotel bathroom with the lights off and the air conditioning off, talking with my eye doctor in RI and hoping to have a prescription for numbing drops, anti-inflammatory drops, or a glass eyeball called in. 

In efforts to truncate this tale, I ended up missing the last morning of the Roche Summit.  I also missed the entire ADA Scientific Sessions conference.  I spent early Friday afternoon in the care of my wonderful d-friends and then holed up in my second hotel for the rest of the day.  (It was a nice hotel, too, from what I smelled of it.)  Hours on end of trying to sleep, waking up with that feeling of razorblades in my eye, and trying to reschedule my flight.  The pain was one thing, but the inconvenience of not being able to see made me very nervous.  I couldn't see my meter results, my CGM graph, or the readout on my pump clearly at all, making me paranoid about managing my diabetes.  Total chaos.  I ended up finding a flight to get me out on Saturday afternoon, and it wasn't until Monday morning that I had my vision mostly restored in my left eye.

Oh, but that flight home from CA.  

Like I told a few of my friends already, the airplane travel made my cornea go from "bad" to "holy tumultuous clustereff."  Those little airplane personal fan things that spew out a ton of recycled air onto each passenger?  Completely dried out my eye on the flight from San Diego to my connection in Phoenix, so that I was in so much pain I could barely stand when I had to switch flights in Arizona. 

Thank God for the woman who sat next to me from AZ to RI.  Since I was wearing sunglasses on the plane, cupping my eye, and being escorted by the flight attendants to my seat, I think it was clear that I was damaged goods.

"What happened to your eye?"  she asked, taking out her knitting.

"Corneal abrasion.  Nasty one."

"I have this eye cover - would you like it?"  She pulled out one of those diva sleep mask-looking things and handed it to me.  It was black, and sort of velvety, and smelled as if it hadn't seen the light of day in quite some time.  

But I slapped it right over my eyes with vigor.  "Thank you.  THANK you," I said.  The mask perfectly protected my eye from being accessed by the bursts of cool, dry air.  Once we were in the air, I plugged in my headphones and sat there for five hours straight, in my own, personal sensory deprivation chamber.  And when the flight attendant walked me off the plane at midnight and into the care of my husband, I looked like a sloppy starlet at the end of her game, with my diva mask perched on my forehead and my sunglasses over my eyes, one hand up to shield my eye from the florescent lights of the airport.

"Oh my poor girl," said Chris, taking my carry-on off my shoulder and grabbing my arm.  

"No pictures, dah-link," I replied, so relieved to be home.

Note to all parents of small children:  For the love of God, please cut your child's nails.  Like every day.

Comments

I think the best part was Friday morning when a group of us found ourselves sitting in a hotel room in the dark (with you still in sunglasses) trying to entertain you.

My mom doesn't think you're THAT weird! ;)

This reminds me, I need to trim the cat's claws.. I know a couple people who ended up with the corneal funfunfun that way.

I hope this doesn't become a continued issue :(

Oh my! I'm so sorry. I hope it gets better quickly.

Oh, Kerri! Sounds like quite the ordeal. I can't imagine going through that away from home (but it sounds like it was the traveling that caused it in the first place). At least you had your other family (of the D variety) to take care of you. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

I think we should all throw out our string cheese and wear eye patches as support. b-) Yar!

I'm with Holly - a round of string cheese, on the house!

(I hope your eye patches itself up soon!!)

Sending you & your eyeball BIG HUGS!!!

My eyes hurt just reading this... hope it gets better soon! and doesn't come back.

ohmygosh Kerri...what an ordeal..I 'ditto' all the sentiments stated here..and thank goodness for such wonderful friends who helped you while in San Diego...keeping you close in my prayers for a full recovery!

I am so sorry that this reoccured for you especially away from home. How do you keep your sense of humor through everything?

"I looked like a sloppy starlet at the end of her game, with my diva mask perched on my forehead and my sunglasses over my eyes, one hand up to shield my eye from the florescent lights of the airport..." Sorry about the eye, but it must bring out the writer in you -- that's one great line!

Owie! It still hurts to just read about it! Take care of yourself and wishing you a complete recovery.

So sorry! For the pain, the lousy timing of the re-tear, the inconvenience of it all! Hope you heal well soon.

Hope you get better quickly. Can totally relate to that pain. Sorry you had to go through that.

I use the Refresh (preservative-free) eye drops when my eyes get dry (carry them with me and keep them in the frig in the summer) when I know I'm going to be in a dry-air climate. Like inside the house with the heat in the winter. My corneal specialist suggested it.

Feel better soon!

Oh, I wish there was a picture ! I'm sure you were awesomely diva-ish!! :)

I had a corneal abrasion when I was in my teens, and apparently have some sort of virus that makes my eye swell and run when I'm sick, or exposed to air conditioning. My heart goes out to you because I KNOW whereof you speak! :-(

((((((Kerri)))))) Poor, poor honey! I feel your pain. Or at least I have. I have a condition called epithelial basement membrane dystrophy. Which is a super fancy way of saying that the layers of my cornea will suddenly separate if they get too dry. Man does that hurt like a motha.

I see someone recommend Refresh eyedrops. Those are awesome. Everything by Allergan is good. I've had more than one eye doctor recommend them. I keep a bottle of Refresh Liquigel in my purse & by my computer. I also have vials of Refresh Celluvisc in my nightstand for bad nights.

Sorry, didn't mean to sound like a commercial. Hope the eye gets better soon. Has the doc suggested very short rotations of ice packs for the pain? That helped a lot the last time I had a bad "outbreak" & spent a week in the dark.

Keep us posted!

SOrry to read this and hope you heal soon!

I can't imagine how I'll manage if I were to go through a similar ordeal(I pray to God, never please). Good thing, despite the pain and conspicuous discomfort, you still had your sight. I'm going to take your advice to heart. Not only am
I gonna make nail-trimming a regular activity in my baby's itinerary, but I'm gonna have to have my cat's claws trimmed regularly as well at the salon.

Egads!!! My heart goes out to you and your eye! I'm sorry that you had to go through that pain and miss out on the fun. I agree with one of the above commenters...clearly, eye chaos doesn't damage your gift for writing! Hope you feel back to normal ASAP. :)

The nerves on my butt-cheeks are now standing on end after reading this. It sounds like an awesome conference, but your eyeball ordeal sounded like an absolute nightmare. :( I can't even fathom how much pain you must have been in. I hope you have a fast recovery!!

I had a corneal abrasion right before high school graduation... my pictures show me looking like a pirate in my patch. And now I've had multiple vitrectomies, and I have to say that eye pain is the worst pain in the world. I really hope it doesn't reoccur again, Kerri!

Thanks for sharing that the Muro 128 is for old folks. I wasn't aware of that tidbit. I must use "the goo" every night which is a real mess every morning. They do make it in drop form also though. I will take the mess if it helps me to have fewer issues. There is nothing like that pain. I don't know how you made it home. For me, it is a fetal position with all lights off...

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