When I went to bed on Thursday night, my right eye was kind of achey. I thought it was just the strain of the manufacturing inventory control textbook I’m proofreading for a Lund University professor. (Yes, it’s as mind-numbingly boring as it sounds and on top of that contains lots of algebraic equations.) I’d spent a couple hours working on it and I’m always really tired by the end of the week anyway, so I didn’t really think that much about it.
On Friday morning the eye was a bit bloodshot and irritated, but nothing alarming. And then about mid-morning my colleagues started asking me what had happened to it. So I checked it out in a mirror and sure enough, it looked like hell. The lower lid was swollen to the point of looking like I had a blister on my eyeball, which was kind of scary.
No one could see anything in my eye, but one of my colleagues tracked down some eye-wash from a first aid kit and I tried to flush it out anyway. I’d had my haircut the evening before and I suppose it was possible that a tiny piece of hair had gotten under the lower lid, but I wasn’t sure that was the problem since I never felt anything in the eye until it starting getting weird on me.
So now my colleagues are thinking I need to see an eye doctor, but it’s Friday afternoon by this point and tryng to see a doctor, let alone any kind of specialist, on a Friday afternoon in this country is damn pretty much impossible unless you want to go to the emergency room of a local hospital. So I’m dialing every resource I can think of and Dr. Darling is making calls for me from home, and neither one of us is having any luck.
And then Dr. Darling remembered that our Greek friend Dimitrius is a medical student planning to specialize in opthamology. I called him thinking he could at least let me know if I should leave work to go to the emergency room. He didn’t think my symptoms sounded especially alarming, but he recommended that I stop in at the Eye Clinic at the university hospital when I get back to Malmö. They have "emergency hours" on Fridays until 5:30 p.m. and he was going to be shadowing the doctor on call that evening.
So I left work early enough to drop the latest proofed chapters of the book off to the professor in Lund and then high-tailed it to the Eye Clinic, where the staff appeared to be waiting for me. I waited just a few minutes before being examined by the Dr., who had Dimi take a look at my inflammation as well. He said I’d definitely had something in my eye that trigged what he suspected was an allergic reaction, and that it would probably go away on it’s own in a couple of days by he would give me some cortisone drops to help reduce the swelling and keep me relatively comfortable in the meantime. The clinic didn’t even charge me for the visit. (God it’s great having a friend who is a doctor.)
So I’ve been on the cortisone for over 24 hours now and my eye is definitely improving, but it still looks pretty awful and doesn’t feel all that great. I took today off from the proofreading project in order to give it a really good rest, which means tomorrow will be really fun. NOT. But hey, at least I still have my sight.
In the meantime, Dr. Darling also has a weird ailment that’s SO weird I’m not even allowed to blog about it. (Actually, I think it’s probably a very common thing but as a biologist she knows just enough about bacteria, viruses and immunology to scare herself really good.)