Why do people assume that I was an excellent student? No, I did not “have, like, a 4.0.” And no, I did not “have, like, a 3.9” either.
STOP IT. You’re annoying, and you’re WRONG.
Today isn’t over yet but I’ve learned my fair share of lessons. I switched to CIBA’s Night & Day contacts about two months ago, when my eye doctor expressed horror at the idea of me wearing my contacts for over twelve hours a day. For those of you who aren’t familiar, CIBA boasts these lenses’ ability to be worn “for up to 30 nights and days of continuous wear!” And, “That’s right—Stop the never-ending routine of removing and cleaning your contacts (for up to a month).” Outrageous? I KNOW! But settle down, these lenses are FDA-approved for such practice.
Now, I’m a curious person. I knew that, you knew that, everybody knew that. I somehow got the idea into my head that I was going to wear the lenses for thirty nights and days. It’s FDA-approved! CIBA says it’s safe! Why the hell not!
So I started wearing the lenses for seven consecutive nights and days. So far so good, I took the lenses out for two days to give my eyes a rest. “I’m so smart,” I thought, “I’m going to give my eyes some time to get used to this.” Next up, twenty one days. I didn’t mean to tag on that additional week, but eh, what the hell. They weren’t bothering me after two weeks, so why touch them? At that point, I had used the lenses for about a month and so I threw them out.
I opened a new pair of lenses on November 5. I decided not to take a break; this turned out to be a big mistake. As of yesterday, everything was fine. As of 7am today, everything was fine. But I woke up again four hours later with an almost-throbbing pain in my left eye. I jolted out of bed and took a look in the mirror to find my left eye watery and bloodshot. I immediately took out my contacts and checked it out again–that’s when I noticed a small white dot on my cornea, above the pupil.
What goes through one’s head upon such a discovery? “Shit, shit, SHIT! Fuck, I knew I should have taken them out this weekend.” And indeed I knew. I knew, but I didn’t do it. My mom even called on Friday, telling me that I had left my contact lens case behind. I spent the next couple of hours online and on the phone, seeking some assistance. I frantically called doctors, health centers, emergency rooms, looking to assess the urgency of the situation at hand. Humans, in typical fashion, were not helpful, but with the help of my trusty computer I read all about corneal ulcers. Scary shit, I tell you.
You see, my problem wasn’t whether or not to seek help. My problem was when to seek help. I have a doctor’s appointment at one of the health centers in the city on Wednesday morning; the same health center only accepts walk-ins at 7:30am daily. My two free options were to wait until 7:30am tomorrow, or go to my appointment at 8:15am on Wednesday. Another option–the one that made the most sense–was to see a private eye doctor. “It’s gonna be at least $140.” Fine. It’s my eye, I’m scared, I don’t want to wait. I made the call at 1pm; my appointment was for 1:30pm. SCORE.
A corneal ulcer. Just as I suspected. “It’s a tiny little one,” he said. “I’m going to give you some drops and in a few days, a week at most, you’ll be as good as new.”
The visit cost me $75. Here’s the kicker: “This is why we tell our patients to not sleep with their lenses on.” Yes doctor, thank you doctor, goodbye doctor.
It’s FDA-approved! CIBA says it’s safe! If they told me to jump off a cliff I’d probably do it!
These drops cost some serious money, too. Almost $50 for a 5ml bottle. Fucking shoot me. In the eye.
Lessons learned? Many.
First, not everything that’s FDA-approved and certified safe IS safe all the time. There is a way to hurt yourself and/or others with EVERYTHING.
Second, if it sounds like a bad idea, it probably is. Especially if you don’t have health insurance.
Third, listen to your doctor. It may be your body, but they do know better.
Fourth, if there’s one thing in your body that you don’t want to fuck with, it’s probably your eyes. No matter how small, any problem concerning your eyes should be checked out as soon as possible.
The most that anyone has ever told me about lens wear-related problems was something about corneal neovascularization. -5 for me, for not having looked into this further.
I let my curiosity get in the way of thinking things through clearly–I guess being a moron didn’t help, either. -20 for being a dumb ass.
It’s FDA-approved! CIBA says it’s safe! What’s the worst that could happen! -100; a mild case of the worst did happen.
Finally, -57,929 zillions for experimenting with my eyes.