One Friday evening, my symptoms seemed obvious enough: gunk in my eye, redness, excessive tears, matted eyelid when I woke up one morning. Sounds like Pink Eye, right? The dreaded Conjunctivitis. ugh.
I’ve never had Pink Eye, so that night I read up on it and learned about the matted eyelid thing. The next morning when my eyelid was sealed shut, I knew I had to get to the doctor. Luckily for me, there were only 2 other walk-in patients and I was seen soon after arriving. The nurse asked me a few questions and then the doctor asked me the same questions. I told her that I thought I might have Pink Eye. She looked at my eye for about 5 seconds. Then she confirmed my suspicions and told me I was the 5th patient she had seen that morning with the same problem. “It’s going around,” she said. “Is there anything I should do?” I asked. “Yeah, don’t rub your eye.” Then she told me she would prescribe some eye drops. The entire visit was under 5 minutes.
I took the drops and was overly paranoid about spreading it to others even though I was told that I would not be contagious after 24 hours. I was constantly washing my hands, and my skin was wrecked. By Tuesday, I was close to being cleared up. By Saturday of that week, my eye was back to being red. Have I re-infected myself? How do these freakin’ antibiotics work? I changed my towels and pillow case on the advice of a friend, but by Friday of the following week, it returned again. I can’t believe this! I put paper towels in all the bathrooms, I changed my pillowcase, I never touched my eye without a tissue. I continued taking my drops and my eye cleared up again. By Saturday of that week, it was back and the eye drops no longer seemed to have no effect. I had to teach with the corner of my eye looking blood shot. lovely.
Given that everyone and their mother was giving me advice about how to beat this thing and all the first doctor said was “Don’t rub your eye,” I chalked her up to being a quack. And I was irritated. Very irritated. This time, I called to make an appointment with my eye doctor but a medical appointment was not available until a week later. ugh. And I was running out of drops. Little did I know that you don’t typically get refills on antibiotics. What do I know? I rarely have to take medication. So trying to get a new prescription was trouble, until I said I was going to the eye doctor in another couple of days. I went to the pharmacy, and they charged me double the cost of the drops from the first time. Wha? Turns out, kids, that my regular doctor (not Dr. Quack) prescribed me a stronger dose of drops.
Not so, friends. These dang drops did nothing but sting my eye when I used them. The appointment with my eye guy “Dr. House” finally came. And that’s where I learned the real deal. It turns out that I did not repeated re-infect myself. I was never contagious. I could have taken those drops for a year and my eye never would have gotten better. As I said earlier in this post, I’ve never had Pink Eye. That is still the case. I did not have Pink Eye. Dr. Quack misdiagnosed me!
So here I am a week after visiting the eye doctor. I’m taking steroid drops for something called Episcleritis, aka not Pink Eye, not Conjunctivitis. And my eye is looking good. Very little noticeable redness. The paper towels are reserved for the kitchen again and my paranoia has subsided.