Susceptible Me

I was going to call this “The post I couldn’t write without crying and throwing up” but that felt way too alarmist.

What happened is, a couple weeks ago, my right eye was feeling really irritated. I took my contacts out but it was really still bugging me, like there was something in it. I asked Drew to look but he didn’t see anything. The next day, I wore my contacts but it bothered me off and on all day. By the end of the day I thought I should call the eye doctor.

WebMD told me I probably had a scratched cornea, which makes sense. B is into roughhousing, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he had hit me in the eye, and H is into naming body parts, and when she points to your eye, she like…REALLY points to your eye. So I wore my glasses to work, and I called the eye doctor to make an appointment for that afternoon.

Driving was rough. It was bright outside, and it felt like everything caused my eye to flood with tears. I tried to wear my sunglasses over my regular glasses. How do glasses-wearing people do this? I was getting really worried that something was wrong. I thought I might end up going blind. I can’t go blind. I wouldn’t be able to read. I know there’s Braille, but do you really think I could figure that out? I gave up on Duolingo Spanish after like a month, and I took that in college.

It was bugging me all day, and I knew the more I thought about it the worse I got. Just like the more I thought about having to go to an eye doctor and hold that eye open so they could look into it…just the thought of it now is making me teary. I think I have really sensitive eyes.

I made it through the day, and then drove up to the appointment. (Actually, I drove to Daly City, walked into the office, and the guy said, “Um, I think you’re supposed to be at the office in Burlingame.” Luckily I had time to get there. But wow.) I saw a new doctor (who I actually loved, and will keep as my regular doctor now) and she asked me to describe what was happening. When I told her, she said, “Is this like the last time you were in, when they pulled a wild eyelash?”

“What?” I said. I had zero recollection of this.

She showed me my chart. Hmm. Well, the last time I was in I was 9 months pregnant with H, so really, anything could have happened and I could have forgotten it.

She checked my eye. “Yup, two wild eyelashes.” She pulled them with tweezers under the microscope. Talk about nervewracking. Then she checked the other eye. “Nothing here, but this guy is growing that way…I can just pull it now so you’re not back in here in three months.” Yes please.

I felt almost immediately better. She gave me some eyedrops because my cornea looked a little irritated, but she seemed very unconcerned about it. She told me to not wear contacts for a week. (I lasted 24 hours.)

As I parked at home, I hoped that the kids had been nice for Drew, because if he’d been having a hellish evening, there was no way I could announce it was just my eyelashes being erratic. I’d have to say I had some kind of medical condition. Luckily, everything was fine. He kindly didn’t laugh at me.

This whole situation made me realize how susceptible I am…the mere suggestion that something was wrong with my eye made me shut down. Suddenly I could think of nothing else. I thought for sure it was seeping blood. Or was infected with mites. Or had fallen out. I know it’s all in my head, but it’s crazy how just because you know that, doesn’t mean you can do anything to change it.

A similar thing happened at work this week. I was exhausted, hadn’t eaten anything nutritious all day, and around 11am a slight headache turned into a splitting headache. I took tylenol but it was becoming all I could think about, and then there was nothing I could do. It expanded into nausea, which I knew was also psychosomatic, but I actually had to throw up in order to convince my stomach the problem was taken care of, and then I had to just get my mind off the headache to make it go away.

Eyeballs and headaches and nausea, oh my.

And in writing about all three of these things, I find myself feeling vaguely queasy and itchy-eyed. Susceptibility is a killer. I’d better not ever volunteer to be hypnotized.


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One response to “Susceptible Me

  1. Doris Langley

    Schyela…one of my daughters, when hearing someone was very sick, would ask me, “Are you born with that or do you catch it?” I’m assuming that for her well-being the better answer was “you are born with it”. That way she didn’t have to worry about catching it. Oh, our weak minds!

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