I was trying to convince myself, or rather, the coward or saboteur in me was trying to convince my good self that, actually, I’ve got used to it being there now. I might miss it if it was gone. What am I going to fiddle about with when I’m in thinking mode or trying to look interested? Then I remembered how irritating the thing is as well. How when the light catches it in a certain way, it looks a twat. I also realised how I wouldn’t miss people asking me what it was, and having to incessantly repeat myself. That was the people who dared ask, the others would just stare, then look away when you noticed they were staring at it, wondering what it was.
I hadn’t forgotten about it, more so put it to bed way down in my things not to think about pile, but a letter arrived ages ago from the Friarage hospital telling me the date of my operation appointment. The day that I was finally going to get rid of this weird little pea, blob, blobble, out of the inside of my eye. The day had finally arrived… that day was today.
I have a real anxiety complex when it comes to hospitals. The green walls with sick looking people lining the corridors. A considerable reminder that one-day, you too will be old, if you’re lucky, or unlucky in some cases. Actually, I felt like a bit of a fraud when I got in there today. I took my position in line. I didn’t look like I needed to be in there at all compared to a lot of people. As soon as I sat down, my name was called and I was back on my feet again, heading towards the consultation room. I never expect anything but having to wait in such places, I was really shocked to be called so soon. I felt a little bit sly sliding past a lot of people of advancing years, who looked like they’d been waiting decades.
I’ve been wondering about my eyesight for a while, my refusal to wear glasses always stops me from going to the optician. I know once you clap a set of foreign lenses in front of the ones you were given, it’s all downhill and see you in six months for a checkup and some nice new glasses. My first consultation was having my eyes tested, so two jobs for the price of one, hurray! Very chirpy to pass the test with flying colours and read the titchy writing back to front like I’d written it myself. No glasses for me!
I was asked to go and sit back outside after this, when again, no sooner had I planted my backside, my name was called again. This time I was sent into see the consultant, Dr James. Without further dawdle, my head was clamped into this vintage looking contraption, where the Doctor proceeded to poke and prod at my eye. Unclamped, the Doctor sat back in his chair, smiled and said he thought it was a one off. By this I think he meant that I wasn’t about to get eye sockets that resembled a bag of marbles. This was an isolated case. He then went into detail about what it was, even drawing me a picture followed by graphic detail about the procedure and how the most painful bit would be putting the needle in my face to numb it. Test run to see what a Botox injection would be like I suppose, if I ever did go for a trip down Botox Boulevard. He described how there would be clamping, slicing and snipping to remove the foreigner. Also that it was quite likely that I might have a black eye tomorrow. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be and when he asked me if I was prepared to go ahead with it, I wasn’t about to run a mile having got this far. I signed on the dotted line.
Asked to wait outside again, it was about another ten minutes until I was called into the treatment room. The first thing I noticed was the cubicle curtains, I was sure we used to have curtains at home like that in the 80’s. Then I saw the chair. A black padded upright in faux leather, it looked a bit like an electric chair I thought. I was ushered into the chair by the nurse, who told me to sit back as she reclined it. The first relief was that they weren’t going to come at me with a scalpel while I was in an upright arrangement. When the chair was completely horizontal, apart from the 500watt bulb shining right into my eyes, I was oddly comfortable.
First of all the nurse squirted this clear liquid into my eyeball, the strangest of sensations having a numb eyeball I must say, but after a few minutes, numb it was. Then for a shocking moment, I thought that was the only medicine I was going to get. Just when I thought they were going to start the slicing, I whimpered, ‘I thought you were going to give me an injection?’ That followed thankfully, and where I was expecting some biro-sized needle, to be honest, I hardly felt a thing. A few more minutes and they were clamping my eye wide open. Strange sensations number two, you knew they were pulling and prodding, but only probably because you could hear them doing something. My little heart was beating like mad. I could hear scraping and slopping, then what sounded like scissors snipping away at my skin. I tried to keep my other eye shut, because I didn’t want to see what they were doing. There must have been a bit of blood because they kept wiping my face and I’m sure I felt something squirt out and hit me on the other side of my head. After about half an hour the clamp was released, although you couldn’t really feel it, you knew the Doc was turning your eyelids back around the right way, the mental picture is not a pretty one. Some ointment was squirted into my eye and then a whopping eye bandage was taped over my eye socket covering most of one side of my face.
As the chair was brought back into the upright position, I was told ‘we move when you move’ and to take my time. Together they couldn’t have been kinder or gentler. I felt fine; in fact the whole episode was far more pleasurable than a visit to the dentist. Strange though, not being able to see out of one eye. Never is it to be taken for granted the gift of sight. I got lost trying to find my way out of the hospital, everything seemed to be back to front, it’s a good job I didn’t try and drive home. Mum bought me a bottle of Russian stuff as a surprise on our way out of town, ‘you might be needing this later’, bless her heart.
Five hours since the hospital now. I got sick of the bandage two hours ago, so that got ripped off. Pulling that tape off my face was probably the most painful thing about it all, I’d better not be growing half a beard where that ripped my bum fluff off. The injection wore off after a few hours. The pain factor, as long as I don’t laugh, sneeze or jump up and down, is minimal. At the moment, I just look like I’ve been punched. There will be a black eye.
I can’t thank the Doc and nurse today enough, they really are brilliant our medics. I probably won’t be doing my usual 560 point turn in bed tonight, better get a Russian mule down my gate and strap myself in. No glasses for me just yet, and no more knobbley eyeball, I’ll have to find something else to fiddle with.