Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Seein' Red

Sunday morning came, and I was dead asleep when my alarm went off; I forgot to turn my weekly alarm off that rousts me from bed at 6:30 every morning to catch the 7:15 bus. I opened my eyes, well, one of them, anyway. The other one was still shut; I thought nothing of it, I slung the gunk out of the corners of my eye, pried it open, and promptly fell back asleep.

This is why you shouldn't fall asleep with your contacts in.

I woke up again a few hours later to remove the plastic discs from my eyes. The right eye that would only open with my prying fingers resembled a red grapefruit, that's really really red. My eye was beyond bloodshot, it was like someone took red dye and injected it straight into my eyeball so you can see every tiny, intricate vessel that carries blood and oxygen to and from your windows to the world. Thinking it would go away, I ignored it until lunchtime, when I thought going to the pharmacy to get some sort of eye drops would do the trick. No go; the eye stayed its super-bloodshot red color until night.

Recently I have started going to the gym, and I ventured off to tear up my muscles that night also. After doing a couple sets of curls, I noticed that everything I was seeing through my right eye was tinted red. I hurried off to the gym bathroom to look; I found out the hard way that working out doesn't do much in the way of fixing an infected eye. I called it a day and went home, hoping my fruit-eye would sort itself out in the morning.

No luck.

I woke up with the eye still red as ever. There is a small hospital about 5 minutes away from my house, so I walked over there, told them my idiotic self forgot to take out his contacts, and pointed at my infected eye. Because it was Sunday, there were no optometrists there. They drew me a map to go to the larger hospital in the city. Me, having no sense of direction, helplessly nodded and took their illy-drawn map. After walking about 20 minutes, I got into the viscinity of the hospital. I literally stood staring at the map whilst scratching my head, when a toothless Japanese bum on a bike came up to me and asked if I was lost. He had a beanie, looked like he hadn't showered in a fortnight, and was damned near impossible to understand because it looked like he was losing his teeth by the hour. Although he was the most kind Japanese person I have met to date. We chatted (kinda. I did a a lot of nodding and smiling as he rambled about things I couldn't make out) while he took me to the hospital. I thanked him profusely and headed in.

Again I was forced to explain my stupidly to the clerk and show them my eye. I sat down and waited about 20 minutes until the doctor called my name. Basically, he did a lot of scolding and lecturing on how I need to clean my contacts and clean them out. Then he handed me a prescription and a bill. There are a lot of things to criticize about how Japan runs their country, but I was happier than an overweight quadruple bypass surgery patient in a McDonalds; 600 yen for the medication and 2000 yen for the checkup!

The medication worked like a charm; after about 12 hours my eye was completely cleared up. I no longer looked like Rudolf the red-eyed reindeer.

I suppose I should take out my contacts before I hit the sack to night.

...nah. Too much work.