Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


(Or, Stop that, or you’ll go blind.)

Sometime last week, I had noticed that my left eye appeared to be a bit irritated.

My eyes will occasionally get slightly bloodshot, especially late of an evening. A drop or two of anti-redness eyedrops, and bingo! No more red.

But this was different. The redness was persistent. Nevertheless, I thought little of it until last Saturday, when we arrived in South Florida. By that time, my left eye - the oculus sinistrum, as the Eyeball-Croaker would call it - looked like a golf ball made of lean bacon, and it felt as though someone were shoving icepicks into it.


We ate dinner alfresco that evening - SWMBO and I, accompanied by Aunt Marge - at a place in Hollywood called Argentango. The specialty there is a humongous skirt steak, grilled Argentine-style; I had the junior version, half the size of the original, yet still weighing in at 14 ounces. Buried in chimichurri, it was superb... but I was having a hard time seeing it, owing to the fact that I was wearing my sunglasses despite the sun having gone down.

The next morning, I stopped in at one of those drugstore walk-in clinics, figuring that I had come down with a case of conjunctivitis: the old Pink-Eye, scourge of elementary schools the nation over. And that’s the diagnosis the Doc-in-the-Box arrived at, using her handy-dandy Computer Diagnostickal Questionnaire. A bottle of antibiotic eyedrops, and I was on my way.

Not so fast, podnuh.

After several days of instilling drops every four hours, my left eye still looked like boiled shit... and felt worse. A filmy haze obscured my vision, rendering me useless for the trip home: SWMBO drove the entire 750 miles unassisted. (I don’t call her Iron Woman for nothing!)

First thing today, I went to see my own ophthalmologist. The good news was that, no, I didn’t have conjunctivitis. All of my paranoid anti-contagion measures were unnecessary, because what I have is not contagious.

I’ve got iritis, an inflammation of the iris and its surrounding tissues. Ouch.

All I can say at this point: Eyedrops - and dark glasses - are my friends. And I will be spending a lot of time with my friends over the next few weeks.


DogsDontPurr said...

I once had this crazy old doctor...from "the old-country." (Think "Borat.")He spoke with an accent so thick it was hard to understand him. And although he did practice Western medicine, he was far more likely to recommend some ancient home remedy from "the old-country."

Several years back, I had an eye trouble similar to what you described. I went to my "old-country" doctor. In hushed, conspiratorial tones, he described to me what to do...old family cure, he said. He told me to trust him. If it didn't work, he would prescribe an antibiotic.

Well, amazingly it worked. And to this day, if I have the slightest eye irritation, I do his cure...and I haven't had a full blown problem since.

The cure? So simple: brew some black tea, extra strong (2 or more bags in a cup.) Let it cool. Use the tea bags to swab your closed eyes. If you have time, lay back and rest a few minutes with the tea bags on your eyes. Do this twice a day, with fresh tea each day. You might be suprised, as I was, at how much this helps.

(Of course, if you need antibiotics, by all means, you should take them. I am not anti~antibiotic. But I was amazed at how much the tea helped. If nothing else, it is very soothing.)

Elisson said...

Antibiotics are useless for this sort of thing. What you need is steroids to reduce the inflammation, and eye-dilation drops to keep the iris from getting stuck to the lens (which has already started to happen in my case, giving me a D-shaped pupil. Ecch.)

Tea compresses? Just fine for many afflictions... but not this one.

Kevin Kim said...

Never a pretty thing when Mother Nature makes you look like the Terminator after a run-in with an RPG.

Get well soon!

BobG said...

Hope it gets better soon; an eyepatch doesn't really go with a colander as a fashion accessory.

Jim - PRS said...

Man, that sucks. Hope your peeper (the ocular one) is better real soon.

Bou said...

I have been having eye problems for the last 3 months and this week, it's gotten bad. I'm about to see an opthamologist about it. I have been thinking allergies, but recently, I am wondering if my rosacea is effecting my eyes now.

Iritis... dang that sounds like it HURTS worse than mine do, 100 fold, and mine hurt pretty dang bad. Ouch.

Bou said...

Dude! I just checked! You could have lost your vision in that eye over that one! Sheesh!

Rahel Jaskow said...

Elisson, refua shlema! I hope that this will soon be well behind you, never to return!