For a few weeks now I’ve been having the worst trouble with my left eye. Somehow the inner corner always hurts really badly in the early morning, as if I had the eyelash from hell stuck in it. Only there isn’t an eyelash from hell stuck in it. There is absolutely nothing stuck in it. It just bloody hurts sometimes. Not even everyday. Just sometimes. And it goes away when I pull my lids in a weird way. And I mean, my body does weird hurty things sometimes, so I wasn’t too surprised. Instead I went down the list: Things stuck in the eye? Nope. Take moisturising eyedrops and wait a day. Done.
Allergic reaction to make-up? Throw everything out, don’t use eye make-up for a few days, wash all brushes, take eyedrops and wait. Done.
Allergic reaction to something else? Take eyedrops, clean flat, and wait. Done.
Something wrong with the lid maybe? Tape eye shut at a weird angle at night. Doesn’t hurt. Hm. Am I on to something? But do I want to keep my eye taped every night? Go to the doctor. Done… wait.
My eye doctor? On holiday. Her substitute? On holiday. My friend’s eye doctor? On holiday. My parents’ eye doctor? On holiday. Every other doctor in my district? On holiday. Every doctor in the surrounding districts? On holiday. Every other doctor I could reach? Booked until September.
Because I’m me, I only get ill when everyone’s on leave. Of fucking course.
So, dancing on the edge of a nervous breakdown, I went to the hospital today.
I hate hospitals. I spent a good part of my childhood in one and I didn’t like it. It’s unhygienic with all those sick people around. And you have to wait forever. And the porters are rude. And doctors in Austria generally have an annoying habit of not taking you very seriously. I don’t go to hospitals unless it’s an emergency, and it’s not an emergency until you’re bleeding out of places you shouldn’t be bleeding out of. But I’m kinda out of options.
In the hospital I promptly got lost because when the porter told me first corridor on the left my brain misfunctioned again and I was halfway to radiology before I decided this was not what I was looking for. So I went back to the starting point and tried again. And took the first corridor on the right.
I had an IQ test done when I was a child and it came back pretty high. You’d think that I’d be able to follow directions. I can’t. I also can’t read maps. The only way I get around town is by using the GPS on my phone and my city map app as a mini map like in World of Warcraft. I’m the reason every place needs huge honking signs everywhere, but what I’d really need are huge neon coloured blinking arrows pointing me in the right direction every two metres or so. This is why I will never fly a spaceship. Like, imagine me on a mission to the Andromeda galaxy and they tell me “Okay, captain, you take a left turn at Saturn”, and I’d turn right and discovery three new galaxies and fifteen different slightly confused alien species before NASA would be like “This is ground control to Andromeda I, where the hell are you?!”
I got to the eye ambulance eventually, and I’m sure I will make for excellent break room talk today.
So I sit and wait. Because it’s a hospital, I’m completely prepared. I can camp out all day. I brought water and my new shiny laptop-tablet-hybrid which my mom made my dad buy me (a while ago I mentioned in passing that I was going to buy myself a small light tablet for uni work in September, and my mother looked at my dad, looked at me, and said, “I’m sure your father is feeling generous, aren’t you, dear?” And because my dad is a happily married man for a reason he nodded in defeat.) I even figured out how to use my phone as a wifi hotspot and I had some master thesis related PDF files to read through anyway.
I waited all of ten minutes. And got lost on my way to the examination room.
The doctor looked like he was fresh out of university and already hated every aspect of this. I made a brief summary of my eye problem and doc went to have a look at the offending body part. Which proved to be really difficult because I have the most nervous eyes in the history of ever. I blink like I’m trying to give myself a seizure when something gets near my eye. Doc had to call the nurse over to hold my eye lid still with some sort of medical chopstick.
“Well, you probably have a mild eye infection…”
Two words I don’t like to hear in the context of medicine: ‘probably’ and ‘mild’. Mild shouldn’t hurt like this. And, probably? You mean you’re not sure? And that’s why I’m all for over the counter antibiotics, if you’re not sure and I’m not sure, let me just experiment instead of spending the better part of an hour on public transport to come here.
“… so I’m going to give you some eye drops and I want you to check in with your regular doctor in a week.”
I mention that everyone is on holiday. He says to go to whoever is not and gives me a card that basically says, Hello Mr/Mrs eye physician, this patient here comes from the hospital so you have to take them on. It even has the official stamp.
And now I’m at home and hope to hell this shit works for my eye because I already miss mascara. And I have to get my mom a decent mobile phone plan tomorrow, that’s going to be fun.