Thursday, December 16, 2004

I got to wear an eyepatch yesterday, for a few hours. I didn't get to say "Arrrr!" unfortunately, as I just went straight home after getting it firmly taped to my face at the end of my doctor's appointment. (Warning: If medical stories make you hurl, stop reading. I left out most of the truly gross stuff, though)

See, for at least 2 months I have had a small clogged oil gland in my left lower eyelid, and this required action. After listening to the doctor present my three options (1. do nothing some more, 2. get a shot of steroids in hopes that it might shrink it, 3. get all scalpely on its ass.) I hemmed and hawed and finally chose the middle one; not too cold, not too hot.

The doctor went away to see another patient, while the nurse came in and gave me THREE different types of numbing unguents; some balm for the outer part of my eyelid, a different kind for the inside of the eyelid, and then this crazy, thick, gluey stuff that she glopped onto the eye itself. This stuck my eyelashes together, and made blinking a huge chore; it felt like my eyelid was doing some resistance training. Though I was now down 50 percent in the sight department, they gave me the "don't sue us if we blind you" consent form to read. The nurse encouraged me not to sign if I had questions, so I didn't sign. I asked questions. How could getting a simple shot cause depigmentation? Or adrenal problems? Hemmorrhaging I could see, but subcutaneous fat necrosis? The doctor said all of those things were very rare, though the nurse said that she had seen, in her 30-year career, a couple of instances when the doctor accidentally hit an artery and the patient had to "be taken next door" and I was thinking, what, to the pediatrician down the hall? Big deal! And then I remembered that we were across the street from the hospital. Oh. THAT next door.

Anyway, they had me put my head in the little head-and-chin holster they use when they want to bring that little blue halo light right against your eye, and then they did the procedure. And even after being slathered with the stupid numbing crap, it hurt. It hurt like you might think it would hurt if someone was pushing a needle into your lower eyelid. What was almost worse is that I couldn't close my eye, which means I had to watch (I trained my eyes skyward, but I could still see everything). Shudder. When it was all over, the doctor suddenly switched gears on me, saying that he "actually injected a little numbing medication along with the steroid, so I think I'm going to open up a little incision to help it along, using another needle." Wha - WHAT? Uh, okay. So I put my head back into the holster, and he used a needle to, well, make a little opening. "What are you doing?" I kept asking, and he would sort of tell me in a way like he didn't really want to tell me. And even after the needle stuff he wasn't quite satisfied, and said "Nurse, get me a small curette?" and I asked hopefully, "Is a curette one of those little glass wicking things?" (no, that's a pipette) and he said "It's a tiny spoon, like the size a mouse would use."

Wow, I hope that means we are going to have tea with Mr. and Mrs. Wiskertons now! Will Sir Hopsalot and Lady Featherbreast be joining us? When I shot him a horrified look, he said, "You don't need to know these things, really, it will just make it sound worse than it is." I said, "Don't sugarcoat it for me! I know what that thing is used for!" and he said, "Oh really, what?" And I said (stop reading now, I mean it), "For ... for scooping."

And that's when I started to feel dizzy. I let him poke at me one time with the curette and I started feeling all fuzzy and tingly and I said "Wait!" and he said "We're done!" and I sat back in the chair. Whew.

He was right, it was too much information. Sometimes asking a lot of questions at the doctor's makes me feel less helpless, but this time.... Sometimes it's good to not think about what is actually happening.

My eyelid looks fabulous today, by the way.

No comments: