January 11, 2008

Eye have a story

This is me.

Notice my red eye.

It's been inspiring question and concern for over 10 years now. Because it wasn't always this way.

My family moved when I was 14. Fourteen was a very awkward age for me. I was new at school, and wasn't exactly exuding confidence. I had a hard time making friends. And making girlfriends? Forget about it. I liked to rollerblade, swim, play basketball.... no exactly the "cool" thing to do, according to the other 14-year old girls.

But I easily made friends with the boys. Which, of course, made the girls at my new school have an intense dislike for me. And one of the best things about where our new house was that I was surrounded by a lot of boys my age...

They were my best friends at the time. They probably didn't know it, and maybe they were just being nice, but they were there for me. They included me. They were nice.

Back to my eyeball. My friends and I were at my house. We were doing dumb things. Jumping off the roof to the trampoline. Playing football. CLIMBING TREES.

There was an African Sumac in my backyard. It was a nice big tree. But anyone that knows anything about Sumacs knows that they are dirty trees. They drop leaves like crazy. They drop flowers and berries, and shed bark like there's no tomorrow.

Another bonus to this tree is that it's kinda soft. and prone to fabulous diseases like canker, dieback, and wood rot, to name a few. It slowly gets weaker as it gets older and generally starts to hollow from the inside out...

So my friends were climbing in the tree. All the sudden, one of them yells "Look out!" I, or course, being the smart cookie you all know and love, look UP.

A branch fell on my face, right in my eye.

I ran into the house crying and was mad that I was crying in front of BOYS and I was in the bathroom yelling, "I'm fine! Just go home. I'm fine. REALLY. Go Away!"

Of course, they didn't. They followed me and tried to look at my face but I couldn't open my eye and the area surrounding it was swollen. And since I was crying and hollering, I'm pretty sure I scared the pant off of 'dem boys.

My mom sent the guys home, and gave me some ice and tried to see what was going on. I could sorta open my eye. Kinda. But I could only look straight. If I looked anywhere but straight ahead, I would be in excruciating pain.

My dad came home from work with an eye patch. Thankfully, my parents were nice and understood that I could not go to school wearing an eye patch. I spent the next few school days at my Aunt Karen's and Grandma's homes.

Three days later, my eye was still causing me extreme pain. It was swollen, and if I took the eye patch off and heaven forbid try to open it, I would have a tearing sensation. Finally we went to the doctor.

Turns out I had a piece of bark stuck in the back of my eye socket.

It had torn through my cornea, and caused me to lose some eye fluid. I had minor eye surgery to get that blasted bark out of my eye.

I had to be really careful that whole summer. No swimming allowed, and no sun, because that could cause even more damage.

Thank goodness no long term damage was done. My eye is fine now. Except for that blasted red line that has caused me grief because it makes me looked stoned. (Which is NOT a good thing when you get pulled over and the officer doesn't believe that your are NOT, in fact, on any illegal substance and makes you get out of the car and perform sobriety tests anyways. loser officer.)