October 21st, 2007

hat

I go out for sushi and end up in ER

Last night Az. and I went out for sushi. At a certain point during the meal, I rubbed my left eye, which felt a bit irritated. Somehow this only made it worse, and my eye continued to get more and more itchy. We paid our bill & left, and I went home to wash it out. When I looked at my eye in the mirror it freaked me out. Not only was the eye totally swollen, the clear part of my eye had POPPED OUT. It looked like I had a contact in but I didn't. I could still see clearly, but my eye looked really fucked up. It felt like I had something in there, but I couldn't see anything when I moved my eyeball back and forth. I got a bit scared.

We went over to Walgreens to see what the pharmacist had to say. He took a look and recommended going to the hospital. Luckily, there was one close by.

The last time I went to the emergency room, I was there for hours & finally just gave up & went home, realizing that every person ahead of me had a gunshot wound or a knife sticking out of their head. This time, I was the only person in there, so luckily a doctor could see me pretty quickly.

It turns out that all I was experiencing was a severe allergic reaction. Maybe it was wasabi on my hand when I rubbed my eye or something, who knows. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent tissue that covers the surface of your eye. If it experiences an allergic reaction, it swells up, just like any other part of your body (think hives on your skin). Your brain feels the swollen conjunctiva (which is basically now a ridge instead of a thin membrane) and interprets it as something foreign in your eye. Pink eye is another form of conjunctivitis, caused by infection. The kind I had was non-contagious, and treatable by Benadryl and bedrest.

It was a such relief to hear that I wasn't about to go blind. The moral of this story is, don't rub your eyes in a sushi restaurant.*



*There may some other moral which escapes me at the moment.