with my damaged eyeball…


You know how my eyeball was hurting and how my vision is suddenly screwed? I thought it might be another TIA or stroke…but it is probably not (thank goodness). I went to my usual eye doctor today–who took a look at my eyeball, and shook his head. He said, “Your cornea is REALLY SCRATCHED. The surface is really bumpy.” (I could sense that what he WANTED to say was, “WHAT THE FUCK? You scratched the fuck out of your eyeball? How the hell are you walking around with your eyeball all scratched up like that?”)




Boring detailed summary of eyeball situation:Β  He thinks that my sudden blurry vision might have been caused by a scratched cornea (caused by a torn contact lens I was wearing). And that when I switched contact lenses, it might have healed in time for last Friday’s emergency visit to another ophthalmologist. And that I tore my contact lens again this past weekend, and scratched my cornea again, just in time for a visit with him.

Back to dialogue…

“How are you wearing this lens?”

Oh Oh? ohhhhh. Uh. “I dunno,” I told him. “I tear my left contact lenses a lot.” (I really do–I have twice as many right contact lenses as I do my left, because my left contact lenses ALWAYS rip).

“What are you doing with your contact lenses?” He is not asking these questions in any sort of offensive way. Part of why I love my eye doctor is his wonderful rapport with patients. I am not being sarcastic–he is really cool.

“Uh. Nothing.”

He nodded. (What he really wanted to say, I could tell was, “SERIOUSLY?!!”)

He put an antibiotic drop in my eyeball. He gave me eye drops. He threw away my contact lens. I have to wear eyeglasses the rest of the week (I groaned and giggled–he said, “Now–there are worse things in life!” I responded, “Yes I know–that’s why I punctuated my groan with a laugh.”) I’m supposed to come back in a few days. At which point he’ll do another exam and give me a new prescription, and uh–he’s going to have someone on his staff watch me put a contact lens in to see what I’m doing to rip them.

[Shift facial expression to something more solemn]…In other news…

I came home to another rejection slip. From AGNI, one of my favorite literary journals. I’ve gotten two of these rejections slips now from them, the ones that say, “This is not our customary rejection slip,” after the whole intro of “Thank you for giving AGNI the opportunity to read your work. We found the writing lively and interesting and enjoyed reading it. After careful consideration, we’ve decided that this manuscript isn’t right for us, but please consider sending other work in the future.”

I once told my Famous Writer friend about this particular rejection letter. She looked at me kindly and smiled, “You know–a rejection is still a rejection.”

And so it is.



Filed under Life, Publishing, Writing

18 responses to “with my damaged eyeball…

  1. Ow ow ow. Scratched corneas KILL. I used to get those all the time when I had contacts, too.

    Stop with the contact lenses! Glasses are sexy. πŸ™‚

    And, sorry about Agni. Maybe this is why I’ve stopped submitting stuff.

  2. I’m sorry too about Agni, but I admire you for submitting work so assiduously. Congratulations!

    And I am *really* relieved to hear the update on your eye. OK scratching the cornea is awful and hurts, but I’m just glad it’s not some other horrible thing. This issue (tearing contact lenses) seems so very fixable.

  3. I love glasses, too. I was so excited when my eyesight got bad enough to wear them! (I know that’s weird). And I’m jealous of your rejection letters because it means you’re getting your stuff out there. Good for you.

  4. my husband actually stopped wearing contacts because he kept getting injured by them. there is nothing wrong with glasses, especially if you can keep your eyes from getting all damaged in the long run and protect your vision for a few years longer.

    recently we visited with doug’s grandmothers… both in their early 90s. one has just about completely lost her hearing. she doesn’t eat out in the dining room of her living facility because she can’t hear all the old biddies around her and thinks they’re badmouthing her… so she chooses isolation physically in addition to being isolated by deafness.

    doug and i had a long talk over which would be worse to lose… sight or hearing. i’m not sure which would kill me faster.

  5. anonwupfan

    Wear glasses: look smarter!

  6. i love wearing glasses but you can’t really work out in them because they keep slipping off and that doesn’t work because you can’t check out the scene…

  7. Vince

    I throw out my contacts when they start to feel uncomfortable. Originally, it would range from 1 to 3 weeks, but when I switched away from multi-purpose solutions to using peroxide-based cleaners I noticed I stretched to over a month. I would not recommend others wear contacts as long as I do, but switching away from multi-purpose solutions, if have not already done so, might help.

  8. heather

    A rejection isn’t still a rejection! Ok, it is, but it’s better than a form letter. Perhaps it’s just enough of a shot in the arm to push you to getting an acceptance, you know?

  9. heather

    Oh, and I’m glad your eye will be ok. πŸ™‚

  10. whew! πŸ™‚
    as for the rejection, ehhh it will pass, it might feel like a kidney stone in the process but it will pass…

  11. Richard

    Dude, you have to get Lasik. The scratched cornea thing is just one more thing in favor of you undergoing Lasik. You won’t regret it.

    It’s been almost 2 years since I got Lasik, and my vision is just as great as it was immediately after the surgery. And I remember that just prior to surgery, the doctor told me that, like you, I had a heavy scarring on my cornea. He asked me how long I had been wearing contact lenses, and I told him like 15 years. I also told him I usually didn’t throw the disposable lenses away after 30 days like I was supposed to, but kept them for like 2 or 3 months or until they ripped. He said that was the reason for all the scratches on my cornea and the scarring.

    Since Lasik, no scratching or scarring or blurry vision.

  12. Susan: Maybe. It will take me awhile to consider wearing glasses 24/7. I went on a frenzy of literary submissions a couple months ago, straight after I turned in my thesis. I just had to, I felt that otherwise the conclusion of my MFA program was sort of–empty.

    Leila: yes–the great part of the whole cornea thing is that it is fixable and resolvable and doesn’t have lasting repercussions!

    bustopher: you LIKE glasses? bleah, I hate that I have to wear glasses.

    christine: yes, I ought to embrace my glasses. But–my vanity looms large. Though heartbreaking, I appreciate your story about your grandmothers…the idea of choosing , as you say, isolation physically in addition to isolation by deafness.

    anonwupfan: okay, okay…I think i need to get some cool glasses. πŸ˜›

    no milk: exactly! the reason I first went to contact lenses was because my glasses would slip down my nose whenever I was in P.E. And they suck when it rains.

    Vince: yep–i think I pretty much do “everything right,” it’s just bad luck. But I’ll find out on Friday when my ophthalmologist’s staff observes me using contact lenses! I’ve been wearing contact lenses for over 25 years.

    heather: onward, to more rejections!

    arirang: yup. πŸ™‚

    Richard: My doctor has already told me that my eyes are so bad, that even if I were to get Lasik, I wouldn’t be able to get fully corrected–hence, I’d still have to wear contacts or eyeglasses. Annnnd my other mistake was watching my husband GET Lasik on the display, and now I way too grossed out to get lasik. I wonder if the heavy scarring on our corneas is totally genetic or something. Maybe you and I are genetically predisposed to jabbing ourselves in the eye….was it your left eye, too?

  13. Richard

    Both eye corneas had heavy scarring for me. I did find that my one of my contact lenses ripped more often than the other (I forget which one), as I, like you, ended up with many more of one eye’s contact lens than the other after initially buying a 6 months’ supply.

    I attribute that to the fact that one of the contact lenses was probably thinner than the other one — my left eye has always been substantially worse than my right eye. Due to that, I would think that the left contact lens might be thicker?

    I would get a second opinion about Lasik. When I had it done, the doctor-surgeon mentioned that he had to do a “big correction” for my left eye, but it wasn’t a problem. Your worst eye may be worse than my left eye was, but I think my left eye was still worse off than your better eye.

    Doctors like to make money, too, and once you get Lasik, you won’t be going back to him for contact lenses, and most people tend to stop going for check-ups unless they really need something. This gives doctors the incentive to pooh-pooh Lasik, particularly if they aren’t Lasik surgeons themselves.

  14. Hang in there! I’ve done that too and it hurts like a mother. Hope you heal pronto.

  15. There are few physical ailments more frustrating than having eye-related problems. Especially for people in the art fields, like you. Rooting and praying for you!!

    I heart AGNI, too. I haven’t submitted any work there yet, but I aspire for the “not our customary rejection.”

  16. Thank you for nice article and If you want to know information about LASIK procedure, laser eye surgery complications, cost, alternatives, online directory of Laser Eye Surgeons that connects prospective patients with a surgeon in their local area. Go to lasikeyesurgeryfaq.com

  17. I had the tendency to scratch my eyes all the time. I ever thought that could be very dangerous for my eye health, until the day my doctor told me that I had detached cornea. So, it is not good to scratch your eyes.

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