Thursday, June 6, 2013

The time I gave myself an eye infection for four hours

Touching and rubbing your eyes is one of those mostly involuntary things that we all do throughout the day even though we know we shouldn't. It's irritating, mechanically, to rub them; it's also dirty and you don't know what is on your hands that is getting in there. It's probably how we get sick, most of the time. We introduce who knows what virions right into their favorite vacation spots: mucous membranes.

It's especially good to exercise caution when you're doing as I was, which was handling raw chicken. I mean, I wasn't literally like "Here chicken, meet eye," but I am certain that at some point after mostly finishing the cooking process, but before washing my hands completely with soap and water, I did rub my left eye.

It didn't take too long -- probably about 40 minutes later, my eye started to hurt. If you have ever had an eye infection, pinkeye or whatever, you know what this feels like. It's not like a sharp "Ow, there's something in my eye" or like you've been poked. It's a dull ache, like a bruise, like how your eye might feel the day after it was punched. I started feeling that soreness along my lower eyelid, along with some telltale dampness.

Get up, peek in the mirror. Gasp. That asshole left eyeball of mine is noticeably redder and stickier than the right. "Well done, Amanda," I thought to myself. "You've gone and given yourself pinkeye, now you get to cross your fingers and hope that shit goes away before tomorrow." I took a page out of my lab safety handbook and decided to flush the shit out of my eye with water. I did it a couple times, making the sign of the cross, throwing salt around the room, waving burning sage in the air, and chanting in something I hope was Latin, trying exorcise the demon salmonella attempting to possess my eye.

The point of all of that is, it worked. Even before I went to bed, the soreness had gone, and when I woke up this morning, there was no trace of last night's carelessness. So the moral of the story is, once again, don't be me.

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