Way back in the long-ago month of January I developed this.... thing. Right on my eye. Well, on the lower right eyelid. It started out as this small little bump. Not painful. Not annoying. Hardly even noticeable, really. I showed it to some various folks and I got a bunch of different home-doctor diagnoses...
"It's a stye. You should rub some silver on it."
"It's a eyelid zit. It'll go away."
"It's an ingrown hair."
Well... I didn't try silver. I didn't really do anything. I just stopped wearing contacts, started wearing my glasses for the first time since I was 16, and went about my business. I went to San Antonio. I did a show. I went to Denver.
Progressively, the "thing" got worse. It went from being barely noticeable, looking more like an irritation than anything else, to being this bulbous, throbbing pustule. It was so bad at one point that my boss asked if it was obscuring my vision. He wasn't kidding at all.
In late February I decided I was tired of looking at it, and went to the doctor. He took about .5 seconds to diagnose me as having a Chalazion, not a stye. You can see the difference by clicking on the link. The comforting thing was that he seemed less than concerned, and gave me a 2 week cycle of tetracycline and told me it would just go away....
It did not.
In fact, during the week in Denver, it got significantly worse, going so far as to crack and bleed a little. It annoyed me enough, and grossed out my hosts enough, to prompt me to schedule another appointment with the doctor.
I went on Monday, and in another .5 seconds he was all "Yep... that's gonna have to be lanced."
I was all about it, and basically leaned back and started swabbing the area my own self, but he just sort of chuckled and said "Oh... in the old days I would have been able to do that for you, but nowadays there are specialists. You'll have to schedule in with one of them."
So I did. For yesterday at 8 AM.
Let me tell you a little about my experience.
I got to the office (an hour North of home and an hour and a half north of work) and they get me back almost immediately. I barely had a chance to read about all of those CRAZY INVENTIONS in Readers Digest. (Someday I'm going to have to write a post about Readers Digest, because that is one magazine I don't fucking get.) Anyway, they take me back to the first room where they (for the 3rd time in 6 weeks) test my eyesight. Even if I couldn't see it, by now I know what the line says. Then some random doctor comes in and looks at the fucking thing AGAIN, and lo-and-behold, much to my surprise, agrees that the GIANT EFFING BLOB on my eye needs to be removed. Then she goes away. That was weird to me, because she didn't actually do anything at all. She just agreed with Doctor #1 and left.
After a little bit, I finally meet this "Specialist" who I will say was very, very nice. He comes in and is all asking me about my job and talking to me about the weather and all kinds of random shit. As he's chit-chatting away, he leans me back in this chair and swabs around the thing. Then, casual as can be, he says.... "Okay. I'm going to give you some numbing medication so that we can perform the procedure. You'll feel a little pinch."
Then he proceeds to stab my eye with a big effing needle. Four times. To call it a "little pinch" is a little like calling getting your ballsack caught in your zipper a "little pinch". Not to be crude about it, but that bitch HURT. The 4th of 4 needs went literally right into the corner of my eye. The whole time he's all "oooh.. sorry... sorry... What kind of people do you fly?"
If the guy weren't so damned friendly about the whole thing I may have wanted to murder him.
So then he gives me a swab of gauze and tells me to hold it on there for a minute or so before removing it. I do, and when I remove it, I see one of those things that is probably harmless and normal, but really freaks you the hell out. The gauze is just SOAKED with blood. Like someone had shot me. That didn't make my tummy flies stop their fluttering, that's for sure. I'm not squeamish about blood, and I'm not really a baby when it comes to pain, but something about bleeding from my eye got to me.
So after a while, my eye did start to numb-up something fierce. It was kind of an odd feeling, because the numbness was extremely localized. The top lid was totally fine, and the space just below the lid was fine. When I blinked, it felt like my upper lid would just fall into an abyss.
They walked me into the "Minor" room, where they perform minor procedures, and sat me down in the chair. I made the terrible, terrible mistake of looking to my right where the "tools" of my little "minor" surgery were waiting. Tongs. Q-Tips. X-Acto. I wish I were joking. I should NEVER have looked at that.
So Friendly Doctor walks in again and is still chit-chatting away, and he leans me back again and grabs on to my lid with the aforementioned tongs. I close my eyes. Then I hear the worse sound I've ever heard. The sound of an x-acto blade cutting my eyelid open. I could FUCKING HEAR IT. It was nauseating. Sadly, it got worse.
After he sliced me open like a dude at a gang initiation, I felt this weird pressure. Not unlike the pressure I felt after my surgery when the doctor pulled the drainage tube out of my chest. Not pain, but something possibly worse than pain. Just a gross, icky pressure.
Oh... and whatever it is that he's doing (I can't feel it specifically enough to figure it out) is rocking my whole head from side to side. I can also feel the pressure change intensity. I realized what it was after about a minute. He was scooping around in my open eyelid cavity with the damned Q-tip.
This went on for 10 minutes if it was a second. At one point I felt so close to vomiting from the sickening movement of the whole thing that I took a deep inhalation of breath. This actually caused him to interrupt his delightful conversation with the nurse about what her son's plans for Spring Break were. He was all "You alright?"
I was all.. "*gulp* yeah... just feel a good deal of pressure *gulp*".
"Yeah...you'll get that. If you start feeling pain, let me know. We can fix that. "
My brain shot to the needle in my eye and I shut my damned mouth. Soon enough he finishes up, and gives me an ointment, and shakes my hand and sends me on my way.
Overall, not so bad really.
I have 2 favorite moments from the experience.
1) As I'm immediately making my 90 minute drive from there to my office, I offhandedly look in the rear view mirror. Blood is streaming down my face, like I'm one of those creepy statues of the Virgin Mary.
2) I went to a gathering of theatre folks last night, and my buddy Nate seriously tells me "Your eye's looking better." I've thought a lot about this comment, and have come to the conclusion that the "thing" that haunted my poor right eye for 2 months must have been pretty fucking bad, because here's what my eye looked like last night:
Oh... one last thing... I was most disappointed that I didn't get to wear an eye-patch. Even just for a day.