Not For the Squeamish

Today I had to go to the E.R.

In the continuing restoration battle between Red Beard and it’s owner, the bus is winning. Right about when my index finger was healed, I gouged up my noggin’ on an open jalousie window. This is probably the 10th time I’ve hurt myself on the sharp edge of the jalousie frame, but this time was by far the nastiest. I even have photos of blood dripping down my face (because I didn’t have a mirror to see how bad it was), but I’ll spare you the images.

But, that was a few days ago.

Yesterday, I got something in my eye. I’ve been sanding and grinding and cleaning and there is plenty of debris in the air. I’ve even been wearing eye protection (mostly). But, something got in there pretty good. I tried washing it out. It didn’t hurt and I hardly noticed it until later that evening.  I tried a more thorough eye wash and went to bed. In the middle of the night it became excruciating and was badly swollen. Angela did a 3 AM inspection with a magnifying glass. By morning, she was driving me to the emergency room. When checking in, the lady at the front desk asked what was wrong. I think I said, “Something is in my eye and it hurts really bad.”

Fortunately, they took me right away.

The procedure went something like this…

First, they numbed my eye with drops. Then, they put flourescein dye my eye and inspected with a black lamp and magnifier specs. Then, they tried using cotton swaps to wipe the foreign objects out. It didn’t work because the eye heals itself so quickly, that there was already a thin corneal skin covering the object. So, they went to Plan B: scraping it out of my cornea with a needle. The doctor told the nurse how hard it was for him to get used to this part*. Fortunately, it worked, and it came out in several pieces. It’s a good thing – Plan C was to use a Dremel tool and literally drill it out of my eye.

We still don’t know exactly what it was – only Read Beard knows for sure. But, it likely wasn’t metal. They said that metal will immediately corrode in your eye and they have to clean up all the rust as well – making it a much less pleasant experience.

Now, I’m typing with an eye patch and Vicodin. An appointment with an ophthalmologist tomorrow. And some minor vision loss – hopefully not permanent.

So, the moral of the story? Wear eye protection – always. If you get something in your eye and it won’t come out – especially if it might be metal – go to the doctor immediately. Thank your wife for taking care of you.


* actual quote from doctor to nurse: “You might think that if you stick a needle in someones eye that it would pop like a water balloon, but that’s not actually the case.”

Happy Birthday, Mom!

10 thoughts on “Not For the Squeamish

  • October 10, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    Ouch! Sure it will heal up nicely and so will Redbeard when you are done with his surgery.

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Oww! That makes my eyes water just reading, thanks for not posting photos.

    Worst I’ve had was a flake of rust in my ear. Doctor laughed at me then washed it out with a giant syringe. I swear it felt like it was going to come out the other ear..

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Jason E-mail me your address and I will send you some goggles that work real good for body work

  • October 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    I also have multiple scars on upper arm & forehead from run ins with open jalousies. Might as well have made the frames out of razor blades.

  • October 10, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Jason, take care. You need to stay fit until Bode can drive Redbeaard. (Angela reads the maps)/

  • October 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Oh yeah, I’ve had steel dug out of my eye, lots of fun. And yes, when you go back and there is rust in your eye, and they go in and clean that out, it really hurts then. So when I say that I’ve felt your pain, trust me, I have! And getting a flash burn from welding is no fun either, feels like you’ve got something in your eye and no matter what you do it won’t come out, so watch out for that too!!

  • October 11, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Only the other day I was cutting a U-profile with my angle grinder, the piece started to vibrate, destroyed my disk in a split second and sprayed hot bits all over my face, several close to my eyes – luckily I was wearing glasses as my face was covered with burnt spots.
    Years ago I got some perspex into one eye (cutting with a jigsaw), and it took three visits to an eye surgeon until she found it…

  • October 17, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    This post actually made me squirm in my seat. Yikes!

  • October 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Holy smokes! That made my skin crawl…glad to hear it wasn’t worse.

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