14 July 2011

Eye Tunes

Piercing EyesNow that the daylight hours are growing shorter, my bicycle commute to work is inching further and further away from sunrise. In a month, I'll have to use the headlamp again in the mornings. Even though our daytime highs will be the hottest of the year.

When I commuted in darkness in winter and spring, I didn't need sunglasses in the dark. The bugs aren't active then. It's too cold!

Bighorn EyesI found out the hard way last week I can't pull that in summer.

I thought I could go goggleless for 15 minutes one morning. The sun would be up soon, and then I'd stop just long enough to put on the sunglasses.

Not a mile from home, a seemingly microscopic bug - probably a gnat - took up residence in my right eye. Dang it. I didn't pull over. I tried to rub it gently out of my now teary and stinging eye with my sweaty bicycle-gloved fingers while steering with the other hand. I thought I had successfully evicted the uninvited guest.

By the time I got off work, my eye was pretty sore. By bedtime, it was unbearable. We decided to take a closer look, and sure enough, body parts had been left behind. Although I was unable to identify them. We successfully removed the severed appendages, we made use of "get the red out," and I took pain reliever. A few minutes later, I was gone for the night.

mountain goat eyesNext morning, my right eye looked as if a golf ball had been embedded beneath my lids. And glued shut. Once again, we cleaned up the mess, and I put a bag of cold water over my eyes.

My annual physical had previously been scheduled for the following night, after work. I really didn't want to try to get in twice and have to pay for two office visits. But I would call if we didn't get the swelling down.

An hour later, I decided I was well enough to go to work. All day long, co-workers thought something horrible had happened. They thought I had been crying. Both eyes were horribly bloodshot. Seems the left eye had sympathy for the right eye and decided misery loves company. I had no pain, so I thought I was just getting over bug guts in my eye socket.

The following night, I asked my doctor if he could check my eye while he was doing the rest of the stuff, most of which I don't really care for, but I know it has to be done.

heron eyes"Good thing you told me about this," he concluded a few minutes later, after a thorough examination and a bit of eye stain beneath a snazzy blacklight. "If we hadn't checked this tonight, I think you would have been screaming by Monday morning."

Ten days of antibiotics. Learning how to put eye drops in my own eye without a mirror and without a third hand. Learning not to sit up too quickly after the self-treatment so said drops don't immediately spill down my cheek, requiring me to do it all over again. Six times per day. For ten days.

About 15 years ago, I learned the hard way my teeth need to be checked as soon as possible after I take a sunset line drive in the mouth during a competitive co-ed softball game. Teeth don't look as white when blood you didn't see after the botched catch slowly oozes inside the injured enamel. Six of them. Root canals. Owie.

egret eyesI also learned softball are NOT soft.

This time, I learned it's worth the extra effort to put the clear lenses in the sunglasses before I ride in twilight. Even if only for a few minutes. I will never ride without eye protection in summer again.

I'm certain there's a lesson in there somewhere about rubbing eyes with grimy, perspiration-soaked, fingerless bicycle gloves, but I can't guarantee I've learned that one. Sometimes my fingers are on autopilot.

I also learned my eyesight is worth a heck of a lot more than an extra visit to the doctor. Eye Tunes 101 was a successful education for me, and no permanent damage is done. Literally, thank Heaven.

Now if I could just teach the bugs to stay out of my mouth when I ride...

squirrel eyes


  1. I LOVE the last one :D.

  2. Sorry to hear about your eyes. And - yes - an important lesson. Your eyesight is definitely worth protecting. Good thing you did go to the doctor when you did!!!

  3. Owie... That's all I can say.

  4. Oh no! A scratched cornea, maybe? I've done that at least once and found it the most painful thing in the world. I hope it feels better soon, and glad you learned your lesson!

    And BTW, what's good for the human (wearing eye protection on a moving vehicle) is good for your dog. Any dog who insists on putting their head out of the window should have protection too.

    OK, end of soapbox. ;-)

  5. Ouchie! I am happy that you did see a doc & got treatment. isn't it amazing what something tiny can do to you! If I knew of a good bug deterrent I'd be rich, they seek my blood! but as for the mouth... keep it closed??(LOL) do you have a face guard to attach to your helmet? Get better quick! ~Faythe

  6. Ow, ow, ow. I've struggled with recurrent iritis in years past so I know how nasty eye pain can be. And it's so hard not to put your fingers in your eye when you feel like you need to.

    Glad the drops are doing the trick. As for bugs down the throat, just think of it as a little extra protein. :)

  7. Ai,ai,ai... I hope your eyes are better! Kisses

  8. Oh my. I'm glad that you're doing better. I've learned my "eye lessons" through my dogs. Believe it or not, I've taken various of my dogs to a canine opthamologist on about ten occasions. I learned that it's best to be very proactive about eyes.

    The oddest thing has happened. One of my previous dogs lost the ability to make tears due to a side effect from a drug. We had to put drops into her eyes every half hour or so for the last couple of years of her life. Now, my eyes are "exceptionally dry" and the usual drug for it hasn't worked. My skills in putting lubricating eye drops into my dog's eyes have paid off - I'm really good at putting the drops in my own eyes many many times per day!

    I love the photos in this post. Exceptional!

  9. It's hard to chew bugs with eyelids- I know, I've tried. I wear contacts, so I'm pretty relentless about the M-Frame Oakleys and wearing 'em no matter what.

    You got a serious case of Hurt going on. I sure hope your eyes are feeling better; this post is certainly the silver lining in the the clouds of antibiotic drops.

  10. hope the eye is doing well. You brought back a memory or two.


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