Monday, May 31, 2010

Pink Eye = No Eye

Perhaps one of the not so pleasant things that can happen to you in life is to go to bed with relatively good vision and wake up in the morning with no vision. Not only do you have no vision but it feels like your eyelids have literally been sewn shut. Such was my first conscious experience with the Pink Eye disease.

Being red/green colorblind, I'm guessing that shades of pink must probably be thrown into that category. My daughter came down with a cold and seemed to have a lot of gunk that was building in her eyes. When she got up in the morning, her eyes weren't matted shut but they looked like morning gunk in the corner of the eye on serious steroids. The stuff seemed about the consistency of glue and a hot rag only seemed to smear it. The only way I could get the stuff off was to reach in with my fingers and pinch/pull it off. I had the stuff all over my fingers, at the time not really knowing what it was but cognizant of the fact that pink eye is highly contageous. I washed my hands well but just knowing made my eyes instantly begin to itch.

As I said, I don't have any memories of pink eye experiences though I'm sure I got it a time or two as a young kid. So I made sure that when I took Little Abbey to daycare, I showed her eyes to Mrs Z and inquired if she thought it was pink eye, fully aware that I may have to go back home with Little Abbey in tow to avoid passing off the disease. Mrs. Z assured me that it wasn't pink eye and so Little Abbey stayed there and I went to work trying not to think about my itching eyes.

Two days later, Little Abbey's eyes were almost back to normal and I had chalked it up as just a weird cold side effect when I woke up one morning and couldn't see. I've made that trip from my bed to the bathroom hundreds if not thousands of times in the dark and with sleep clouded eyes barely open. However, groping blindly for the bathroom door, the hot water handle and a washcloth to soak my eyes enough to loosen the crud so I could at least get them open was a truly humbling experience. I respect all blind people just a little bit more for their ability to cope.

The worst part about all this is that that first blind wakening experience was a Saturday morning meaning I had two more mornings to look forward to before the doctor's office opened. By then, I knew it was pink eye, not because I could see the colors in my eyeballs or because Mrs. Z finally recognized it but because my wife came home and took one look at me from across the room and said, "Oh, you have pink eye." About two weeks later, the gunk has finally cleared up and I have full vision upon waking up. I'm thankful.


Murf said...

2 weeks before the gunk was gone?!? You must've had it bad.

TC said...

Yikes. Two weeks sounds ROUGH.

Kids are so wonderful for sharing everything, aren't they?

sage said...

I remember all too well--my daughter had it and then I got it and it is weird to wake up and not be able to open your eyes! I'm glad you're over it.

R. Sherman said...

I never had it as a kid, but lo, did I come down with it a few years ago, thanks to my youngest.

They never warn you about communicable diseases when you contemplate having kids of your own.


Beau said...

Ouch! No fun at all... I haven't had it before, but allergies induced the same gunk-in-the-eye problem as a kid. I would have to bathe the eyes in warm water before the lids would open. Glad you're feeling better- and maybe you still were able to enjoy a little of your time off!

geri said...

I wonder how pink eye is different from sore eyes. Evan had pink eyes two a couple of times when he was smaller and it seemed connected to having colds. 2 weeks with pink eyes seems torture!

Ed said...

Murf - As with lots of things I catch from my daughter, my size always seems to magnify the effects on me.

TC - They are but I still wouldn't trade the whole package.

Sage - Here's hoping to neither of us ever going through it again.

R. Sherman - Add that to the lengthy list that everyone should be required to take a test on before procreating.

Beau - Fortunately this happened about a month ago so it didn't effect the last ten days. I just kept bumping this post in favor of other ones until now.

Geri - The big difference that I noticed is that when I had it, large portions of my eye were obvious discolored. When LA had it, she didn't have the discoloration and only had the gunk which is similar to what she gets when she has a cold but in much bigger quantities.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Just back from another scuba trip. How bout that, my stepdaughter came down with pink eye yesterday. Lets see how many of us in the house gets it...