Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Unpacking the noggin

booth.beauty.1
unpacking

I sometimes feel that settling back into the routine of the studio after Quilt Market is as taxing if not more than preparing to leave, because attaining that settled state is a more elusive goal than the concrete preparations we make to get there. Jeff and I had such a smooth go of traveling there, most especially when compared with one year ago. I think that trip will forever make all subsequent market experiences seem like a breeze.

Though this time we had a unique little emergency that came on slowly, ramped itself into near panic, and then resolved itself quite gracefully. Huh? Yeah. So. After a the smooth beginning to our setup on Day one, I woke up on Day two with a sort of fuzzy spot in my right eye that grew as the day went on. I kept ignoring it as though there must be something in my contact lens and went on about setting up, giving my first school house talk (thank you if you were there!) until soon after in the late afternoon, the fuzzy spot seemed to be growing at a rapid rate and really interfering with my vision. When it didn't subside after removing my contact a few times, I started to get a little anxiety and thought I should head back to the hotel room to give my eyes a good rinsing. It was after all, almost time for me to speak at my second school house which was a shared presentation with my friends Amy, Tula, and Val.

When I got to my room, I took out both contacts, and flushed my eyes with tap water. That sounds harmless enough, but the stinging pain that resulted in my right eye and the immediate swelling reaction that occurred thereafter were far from harmless. Good gosh, enter all explicatives here yourself because I am fresh out of them after that. I have never experienced that kind of pain, and then panic. I couldn't reach Jeff or Pierrette for several minutes (felt like an hour- was prolly more like 7 minutes) and the clock was ticking closer to me needing to appear at my school house. I finally got a hold of Pierrette and let her know she would have to come get the samples from me and do the talk. I simply could not open my right eye at all. I had to pry it open with my hands if I wanted to see through it, and then, I think I only had about 50% of my vision and a halo was forming around everything.

Cut to the chase, the nearest thing we could figure out was a Walgreens clinic that Jeff took me to (which he kindly interrupted his post workout sauna for- I know, what a guy, right?) where I waited through 30 minutes of half-sighted sadness and stinging pain to be told that I have something more serious than an infection, but some other condition that would need either emergency care of at least an optometrist. And there we were in Houston at 5:30 pm.... but Dr.Walgreens found one a few miles away that agreed over the phone to see me before they closed at 6. Well we got there with only a few minutes before closing time, and after answering a few questions for Dr. George Ziebaq he determined that I might have a corneal ulcer (ooooouuuchie!!!) but then after looking at my eye determined I actually had SEVERE corneal abrasion, scratching, etc. and in one spot multiple layers of my eyeball -gone, hence the blindness. Who wants to take their contacts out right now??? I know.

Cutting to the credits, it was caused essentially by my allergies here in Tennessee, which caused my actual eyeballs to swell, which caused my contacts to fit too tightly and essentially act like cookie cutters on my eyes. Those are Dr.George's words. I never would put the phrase cookie cutter into an optometry diagnosis because that is weird and scary, but after he said that I didn't need further explanation, so he is a clever fellow. Thankfully because I caught the situation in a reasonable amount of time, as of my followup appointment the next afternoon, I was 95% healed after a night of rest, strong antibiotic eye drops, other eye drops, and no lights on my eyes. But no contacts either. Which made for a fun time of catching glances and smiles across the trade show floor all the following day. I squinted at everyone. I am sorry if I saw you and I scowled at you. The fact is, I didn't see you at all. I'm sorry. I kept apologizing to Jeff. I knew that it wasn't my fault, but I really thought I had swung a market with no drama. I am finding that regardless of the circumstances I may never be capable of nodrama.

Sigh.

My eyeballs are twinging, just thinking about this all again.

And I was able to get a pair of glasses during our 2nd trip to Dr. Z's office which I thought were really cool. Though I was choosing the frames when my vision was not only incorrect because of no contact lenses but also still slightly impaired from the damage. I therefore did not recognize my new glasses once the frames had my prescription in them and I tried them on. I thought sure that Versace heavy black frames with zebra striped stems were super chic, and at over 400$ allowed myself to be certain. But then there was this whole silver insignia thing on the side of them that I didn't even know was there. Then Jeff got in big trouble because he told me when rudely distracted from reading a magazine in the optometry office that they looked great but he should know that I would never have chosen frames with a silver insignia, because I simply never wear silver and he should know that after all these years and wasn't there a gold insignia pair, or at least an insignia free pair or .... gunmetal insignia? Hffmp. My glasses don't scream Anna, I think that my glasses more scream that I am 74 and live in Miami, and maybe also that my skin is tan and leathery. Which would be cool if that were so. But its not.

Drama. I has it.

Everyone @ market heard this story at least four times. So I thought that you should hear it too. Sorry it wasn't over my 5th post-healed-eyeball whiskey sour though. Its likely more entertaining that way.

back soon with full pix of the booth. smooch. Anna

65 comments:

  1. That's awful! The image of mini cookie cutters on your eyeballs was enough for me. I sure hope you're rested....and can exchange those glasses somehow. Possibly look online, and ship back the funky ones.

    Or simple take metallic gold nail poish and craftily paint over the silver.

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  2. Every Market visit HAS to have drama so that you can remember them from the others - "remember that was the year I scratched my eye and you ended up picking the grandma glasses for me!?!" ;) Otherwise one trip becomes just like the other! Glad you made it home safely.

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  4. oh anna you poor dear!

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  5. That is a really scary story, but you and Jeff handled it beautifully. I hope ther is no residual effect.

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  6. Yipes! My eyes started tearing even reading that! I have the uncontrollable urge to put my glasses on now! So glad you're feeling better!!! Hopefully next year will be drama-free!

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  7. Anna I'm so sorry about your eye but unfortunately I'm laughing too hard to sound sincere. The cookie cutter description did it for me and your story is so well written. I'm squeamish about even the thought of contacts so I'm surprised I found this so funny.

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  8. So, I thought for sure you'd show us a picture of the glasses, no? Next post? I have to see these things.

    Also, I can't imagine what it was like to have any sort of eye trauma. Although I wear contacts myself, I don't even like looking at the little diagram of eyeballs in the optometrist's office while I wait. I am terribly squeamish about eyes, I'm not sure how I manage to put contacts in every morning. I guess I just do it fast?

    Anywho, I'm glad your vision will be restored, It is a huge part of your talent, to be able to see and design all the beautiful things you do, so thank God your eye will heal! Love your blog by the way!

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  9. Anna, you made me laugh and cry! Laughing because you are such a good story teller, and crying because I've felt lately that every big event or fun thing I've excitedly anticipated has been railroaded by baby teeth, sewing machine trouble, or just my own tiredness. Thanks for reminding me that sometimes life happens like that and that it's ok. xx

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  10. The same thing happened to me when I rubbed my contacts in my eye. The ulcer heals and leaves a tiny scar that is not visible to the naked eye. I wear glasses now, because rubbing my eyes with contacts in scares me. You might want to rethink those glasses now.

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  11. Oh gosh, many years ago I had an abrasion on my eye caused by falling asleep with my hard contacts still in my eyes - not good! Pain was almost unbearable! You have my utmost sympathy!

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  12. Holy cow that sounds horrible! Hubs has gotten a few corneal abrasions due to not-wearing-safety-goggles-even-though-smart-wife-told-him-to. Watch out for pink eye afterwards.

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  13. Wow! Glad you were taken care of by that optometrist. My husband almost lost his sight on one of his eyes from a cornea ulcer. He apparently got a piece of wood particle stuck underneath his contact and he ended up scratching it, it was very traumatizing for him....but after a few weeks of medication his vision was back to normal. I'm also as blind as a bat & strongly considering doing laser so I can say goodbye to these sticky contact lenses once and for all.

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  14. Hope your eyeballs heal quickly. I was put on the contact bench after my contacts deprived my eyes of oxygen. I'm sure they're safe, but some people have adverse reactions. I bet your glasses look cute.

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  15. i can just imagine it all... i remember just after getting contacts diving into a pool and not being sure if i lost them or not.... after hours of scratching my eyeballs and having people check in my eye, they were indeed gone.... love the part about the glasses you couldn't see...

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  16. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Thank the Lord there wasn't more damage. I burned my eyeball once (dropped a hot curling iron on it due to loose grip while curling my bangs). Yeah - no fun. Thankfully, the optometrist told me that the eye heals well due to heavy blood flow through it. Like you, some antiobiotics and in my case covering the eye for a day did the trick. And, praise be to God, a follow-up visit revealed a hole in my retina, easily fixed by laser surgery. Wouldn't have known it had I not burned my eye. So the Lord has purposes in all - even the seemingly bad. Though we may not always "see" it. ;-)

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  17. So glad to hear that it wasn't more serious! Good grief that had to be scary...

    As for the glasses, your story is worthless with out pictures. ;)

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  18. Oh, I have so been there. Once in high school I woke up the morning after a bonfire party with REALLY uncomfortable eyes. It was as if I was continuously cutting strong onions, if that makes any sense. I just couldn't keep them open. Well, a visit to emerg revealed that some of the smoke from the bonfire had been trapped under my contacts, and both cornea looked as though someone had taken sandpaper to them. Perfect. Thankfully they healed fairly quickly, but man, those contacts can be trouble makers!

    And I must insist that you show us a picture of the Miami glasses. Your description was just too good!

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  19. Well I for one want to see a photo of the glasses!

    I'm so sorry you had all that drama! Eyes are such a sensitive (physically and mentally!) area!

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  20. I think we need some pics of the glasses! ;) Hope that NEVER happens to you again. Scary!

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  21. merryway7:47 PM

    I am in breathless anticipation for a glimpse of the glasses. Of course it would be best if you were wearing them!

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  22. Oooooo!!! My eyeballs are a hurtin'!!! I had no idea that could happen. Scary for sure. Glad to hear your healing up though. You know you'll have to start drinking Mojitos now so you match your new Miami frames ;)

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  23. I have to jump in too and ask to see the Granny glasses...since you're recovered well this was a funny story and yes, drama, you have it and we love you for it!

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  24. Gracious!
    This was a roller coaster of third person sympathy pain... both for your eye ball, and for new glasses remorse.
    Gosh, I love blogs... especially yours. There is something marvelous about sharing life's drama's. Keep healing, and maybe someone in Florida wants your frames?!

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  25. you must get an award at Market for all the things that happen! I'm so sorry that happened. What a scary moment to be by yourself and have your vision rapidly failing. I think you're amazing for continuing to attend the market in the midst of all of that!

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  26. I was totally impressed by how you managed it all. No vision, big smiles and lots of happy people stopping by to chat with you. You must have some sort of magnetism that makes up for all the drama.

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  27. Welllll, I was at Market and only heard it once. :)
    I'm an unfortunately frequent sufferer of corneal abrasions. When my friend was telling me her version of the story, before she even got to the climax I knew what it was. They are no fun at all.
    I'm sorry it had to happen during Market.
    But thank you for letting me know that you're in no hurry for the Rainbow quilts. ;)
    From what I heard (I missed them) your schoolhouse was amazing, and from what I saw, your booth was too.
    It's still better than last year, right?!

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  28. Shalini2:53 AM

    You are so funny !!! What drama and I hope you are recovering well. I love reading your blog. Do post a photo of the glasses !!

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  29. That was one scary story, you poor thing! Hope your eyes recover completely and don't leave you with any lasting problems

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  30. We need pix of the glasses too!

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  31. I'm really sorry to hear about your eye trauma. You need your eyes, so please take care!! Can't wait to see the pics from the market...I'm always so envious since I'm not able to go.

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  32. A friend of mine had something like this happen, but as a result of his ridiculous antics at a "foam" party, where they basically fill the place with soap suds. Imagine, soap + contacts (which he slept in, plus being a college aged frat member... It was bad.

    Glad to hear you're better now!

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  33. OUCH! Now I'm imagining cookie cutters on eyeballs and I have a full on case of the wiggers.

    In all my years of coping with contacts & allergies, I've not had anything like this happen and I hope that your story reminds me to be careful!

    (Whiskey sours are my drink of choice too... I like to pretend I'm a southerner sometimes, though I'm a Nova Scotian. Cheers)

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  34. I had the same problem in HS. It stunk! I was allergic to the protein cleanser my Dr. gave me and my eye swelled up. It was crazy! Glad you're was fixed so quickly!

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  35. Heard the story from you at Market, but it sounds so much worse now!

    Maybe you could sell the glasses on Ebay - worn only once!

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  36. ouch. just ouch. I hope you heal very quickly and without permanent damage.

    ouch.

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  37. Wow. Thank you for this post. I was supposed to read it. You see, I've worn glasses since I was ten. TEN. I feel glasses add character to a person's appearance. They have, for the most part, never bothered me. I watched my ex go through awful times with his contacts. Then watched my daughter go through similar awful times. Just when I was thinking "maybe..." I read this. Seriously, thank you.
    I hope you are O.K.!
    xo, Cheryl

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  38. Owwweeee!! What a nightmare. But glad you healed quickly!

    ps. this post is not complete without a pic of you modeling your fab new glasses. just saying. :)

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  39. Anna~
    So thankful your eyes are OK! It was great to see you again. And, by the way, I agree with Melissa P... you did a fabulous job being you at Market (even minus the contacts). Oh, and I'm screaming over here about the frames with the silver insignia-- at least they'll remind you of a very interesting trip!
    xxx Achaia

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  40. That sounds awful, AM! I wanted to be at market so badly, but I know I'll get there one day. I want to see your booth in person- and you. Obviously you.

    Thank you for sharing your ordeal with us. I love these booth pics and can't wait to see more!

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  41. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Thanks AM I was considering contacts after years of wearing glasses....guess I just stick with what's safe...minus the zebra stripes. And about bad glasses...my rule wear them one year, by then who knows you may love them! Or not but at least you'll feel better about the $400, then make them into sunglasses!

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  42. Oh my goodness! I'm glad you are on the mend but does seem very dramatic and worrisome. I am very much looking forward to 'AMH Miami' for the tan and leathery :)

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  43. Eeeeek! That is awful. I'm so glad your eye is better. It sucks buying something under pressure, glasses are something you need to think over a while. I keep picturing that old tanned chain-smoking lady from Something About Mary with your Miami reference!

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  44. Oh yikes! I actually had the same thing happen a few years ago, after falling asleep with my contacts in during a flight from London to the US. I know just what kind of agony that is! *hugs* Hope you're good as new soon, thinking good thoughts for you in the meantime!

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  45. aaaarh!, my eyes are far to sensitive to wear contact lenses. i tried them once and my eyes were red and swollen, i thought it might be nice on my wedding day not to wear glasses!. but it was not a good look to have red/pink eyes. never again.
    so i commiserate completely.

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  46. Poor gal, I seem to always have issues with contacts. pain in your eye bally is the worst! Your little assistant at school house did a great job, she was very cute and knowledgeable! Also, your glasses are great and I have a similar story.. bout a black pair of guess glasses with zebra on the side and a gold "G" for guess. When I picked them up the "G" was hot pink...I could have swore it was gold but it was to late...

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  47. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Ugh! Sorry about the eyes...but it is true that at least now you can differentiate between market years- each one has its own crazy story. Glad it ended well!

    LOVE the couch and the booth... thanks for sharing a pic.
    Keep the glasses!! If for no other reason than they will make a good addition to the costume trunk eventually :) Plus they look pretty good and hip and funky retro arty ( which is the other side of old lady chic...keep telling yourself that until you feel like you have your $400 worth of wear out of them) or go for the gold paint suggestion

    -Jen H

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  48. Eye drama. That's the worst kind. So sorry it had to interfere with your event. :(

    ...but, in retrospect, it does make a good story.

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  49. Glad to hear you have mended, missed you at your second school house.

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  50. Anonymous6:26 AM

    I'm glad that Market was successful, in spite of your ordeal. And I can relate so much. I also had a corneal abrasion--with allergy eyes when this Michigander was in TN! (And a similar situation when choosing frames!!)

    Love your designs and following your blog!

    Kalamazoo Sue

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  51. You were so sweet to everyone regardless, it was so exciting to meet you!!! Glad you're making a full recovery and will be churning out more good stuff: )

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  52. Silver or no -- the glasses look great on you! (No tan-leather-like skin in sight either)

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  53. We've got to have a pic of you in those cool glasses!

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  54. Ouch is right. I had one of those ulcers on my eye and it is very painful. Be careful as they can come back. Good luck and take it easy.

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  55. Teehee. I had a similar pair of versace glasses (mine had gold tho' - kinda worse, I gotta say; yet so fabulous when I was alone with no contacts on trying them on). Got Lasik a year ago which has eliminated all possibility of me purchasing grandma glasses again (my grandma loved my versaces, BTW). I was so happy to drop them in the donation box after surgery.

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  56. That happened to me when I was pregnant with my first child in the first trimester. My eyes swelled due to pregnancy--(Like everything else)--I woke up semi-blind, took a cab to the eye doctor, and had to grope my way holding on to the bricks of the building as my sight left completely. I was never able to wear my contacts again. This was in 71, back in the day of hard lenses, and the pain was excruciating, so I feel for you!!!!

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  57. Yikes! First time I have ever read "cookie cutter" and "eye" in the same sentence! I'm glad you are doing well now. How scary to have vision loss!! I had a similar problem when picking out frames a few years ago. They became my "wear at home" pair.

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  58. Wow! What a traumatic eye day... so glad you are 95% better. I, too, find it impossible to pick out frames when I don't have my contacts in. Maybe you could pry off the insignia with one of those little eyeglass tool kits. :)

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