True Confession: I have been the worst mom in the world when it comes to keeping Abby’s fingernails clipped and groomed. Well, not long ago I got what was coming to me when in the course of some routine flailing around, one of those little wild talons clipped me right in the eyeball.
When it happened on Friday night, I was uncomfortable but determined to tough it out. When I woke up the next morning, I was convinced that my eyes were melting down like nuclear reactors. Stephen helped me get dressed, led me to the car, and drove me to the nearest urgent care clinic.
In the office, the doctor asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10. I really wanted to say 10. But I remembered that I had given birth two weeks prior, and I had only rated my contractions a 7. It felt like a betrayal of womankind to admit that anything could hurt worse than childbirth. Besides, if I used up my “10” on a scratched eye, I wasn’t leaving myself anywhere to go if I ever needed to rate the pain of being hit with exploding shrapnel or having a limb amputated without anesthesia.
So I said “5,” but I felt like maybe I should have given a complete explanation of my understanding of the pain scale. The doctor did not seem to understand the seriousness of my blinding pain; she gave me some Motrin and told me I’d feel better in a day or so. To prevent infection, she also prescribed some eye drops that must have been unicorn tears for what we paid for them.
Later that afternoon, my mom fashioned an eyepatch for me out of cotton balls and gauze. It confirmed that the WWI-field-hospital look is not for me, but it did help my eye to rest. So did laying on the couch in a dark room while Stephen and both of my parents chased Abby around for the afternoon.
The next day was Sunday, and I went to church despite the fact that I could not put any makeup on my eyes. I sat in the very back corner, hoping to avoid everyone. It had only been a couple of weeks since Sam’s birth, and I think that people took my swollen, weepy eyes as an indication that I was just having an emotional morning. Or maybe I was just too gross to look in the eye; whatever the reason, people left me alone.
Within 24 more hours, I was almost completely back to normal, but those two days gave me a new appreciation for my normally perfect vision and ability to blink painlessly.
My Papaw V. used to pooh-pooh insignificant pain by scoffing, “I could have stood that in my eyeball.” This leaves me wondering if he actually had any experience with ocular injury.
Because I’d rather go through childbirth again than have my eye poked. Anything but the eyeball!