While rushing to get ready for work Wednesday, shifted from peering in one bathroom cupboard to look in another and opened the door right into my eye.
The pain was blinding and blobs of blood immediately welled up in the white of my eye, which didn’t seem a good sign.
Held a cool cloth on it for a while, sat down a couple times to avoid passing out and considered my options.
A year since I moved here and there’s still no family doctors taking new patients, so it was either the hospital or nothing. With a busy day ahead, I opted to ignore my predicament unless it demanded further attention.
After all, I wasn’t sure it was all that serious and rationalized that lots of people had experienced worse eye injuries and survived.
Figuring that reading on a computer all day would irritate the sore eye, I stopped at a pharmacy to buy an eye patch and arrived at work looking like a pirate. Felt embarrassed explaining what I’d done but people were quick to laugh and share their own clumsy mishaps.
One explained a gash on his forehead came from hitting the shower stall handle while trying to clean the glass walls with a squeegie.
Another told of being craned by the trunk of the car, one described the pain of an entire toenail flipping up (and having to flip it back down again) and the best was someone who’d tweaked his back to such a degree while vacuuming that he became incapacitated and had to call an ambulance to get him off the floor.
After the laughs, one expressed concern and asked if I’d like him to find out if his eye doctor could see me.
My eye was throbbing by this point — felt like millions of eyelashes were stabbing into it — and I began to reconsider whether choosing to ignore it was the best remedy. Might there be lasting damage?
Was amazed when the office so quickly agreed to fit me in and was glad I’d gone as the doctor explained the blood in my white was only bruising beside the actual injury — I’d slashed open 20 per cent of my cornea across my iris and pupil.
To try to get the wound to close, instead of the expected blob of gauze and tape stuck to my face, I got the modern version of a patch — a contact lens that would offer protection over the cut to aid healing.
I returned the following morning and was pleased to learn both sides of the cut had joined, so the doc removed the contact and sent me off with drops to stave off infection.
What started out as an ugly situation ended up resolving itself quite well, but the incident has me mulling, again, the lack of family doctors here.
I wonder how many other people have touted an injury they should have sought medical attention for but didn’t when faced with the same hospital-or-nothing scenario.
Sure, a walk-in clinic is an option, but if you’ve got a demanding day and aren’t sure of the seriousness of your injury, it’s hard to decide if it’s worth missing hours of work for.
I suppose I should just be grateful the situation worked out in my favour.