Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ulcers Aren't Just for Stomachs.

I will admit that I don't change my contacts as often as I should. I used to even use the same solution for three or four days before I would change it. About a year ago, I made the commitment to change it every day. And I have been very good in honoring that commitment. I still need to work on changing the contacts though. When I first started wearing contacts, I was told that I should change them every two weeks. I thought that was nonsense. They certainly last much longer than that. I was recently told by an opthamologist that it can really be a month. Well, I usually keep mine for about two months, sometimes longer. I change them as soon as they start to get uncomfortable and dry.

Well, this pair started to get old so I change them. The new ones were doing just fine until Saturday when I went running. I came into the house and thought that someone had burn something because the room was all cloudy. I didn't smell anything though. Then i thought that the temperature difference made my contacts foggy like what happens with glasses. That wasn't it either. I thought maybe it was the contact, but it seemed to go away so I didn't worry about it. That evening my right eye just seemed a little different than the other, but nothing too unusual. By Sunday, I carried some generic eye drops with me because my eye just didn't seem quite right. It was a little more sensitive to light, and it felt like it was swollen. It looked just fine though. It had gotten cloudy again, too. When I got home from church I changed contacts, thinking that maybe I had gotten some lotion on the one. It was then that I realized that it wasn't my contact that was cloudy, it was my eye. I took my contact out only to find that it hurt worse without the contact on. I tried to take a nap to see if the pain would subside, but it just kept getting worse and worse.

I like to think that I tolerate pain pretty well. I can carry on with most pain or sickness as if I were perfectly healthy. But this was unbearable. It was pure torture. Finally I called my mom to ask her advice. She said that if I was in that much pain that I should go to the emergency room. In disbelief that anyone there could do anything, she suggested I call my opthamologist. I got a hold of the on call doctor and he immediately called in a prescription to the closest pharmacy for some eye drops. He thought that maybe I had an ulcer on my cornea. For the first time in my life, I broke the Sabbath. I thought that it was the only way that it would get better. I value my eyesight more than any other sense, so I thought it was necessary.

Well, the drops didn't make an immediate difference. The pain continued to get worse. But thinking that eventually would get better, I went up to a friend's house to have dinner and play games. I probably shouldn't have gone. It ended up being quite a hassle. The good thing was that I was with two Priesthood holders, and they gave me a blessing. The bad thing was that I couldn't see well enough to drive home. Thank goodness for willing friends. My friend drove me home in my car and then rode back with his roommate.

After a good night's sleep, I woke up 99% better. The pain went from extreme suffering to mild discomfort. I made my way to the opthamologist, and he said that my eye was inflamed and my blood vessels were prominent, but that I didn't have a ulcer.

Now, I thought that ulcers were specifically for stomachs, but I was wrong. By definition an ulcer is a "sore on the skin or a mucous membrane, accompanied by the disintegration of tissue, the formation of pus, etc." It didn't get to the pussy stage, but I think my cornea tissue was quite effected.

So, it was quite a learning experience. I know better about contact lens wear and what to do if it happens again. Boy, how I appreciate my sight!

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