Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Unpacking the noggin
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.
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