I am sporting a black eye today and I'm telling everybody that mean old Dixie kicked me.
I wish that were what happened.
I am one of the lucky folks who suffer from chalazions, which are like styes but instead of coming to a head on the eyelid, the infection goes deep into the eyelid. You end up with a painful lump that looks horrible and can distort your vision. Sometimes they go away on their own, sometimes they go away with a round of antibiotics and sometimes they have to be surgically excised.
These things have been tormenting me off and on for years. A couple of years ago was the first time I had to go to the eye surgeon to have one removed. It was not a fun experience, so earlier this year when I realized that another one was developing, I was not a happy camper. When I finally couldn't deny it was there, I revisited the eye surgeon and learned that I had not one but two of them in the same eyelid. We tried antibiotics and they didn't work, so somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I found myself lying back on a gurney while the surgeon went to work.
Let me tell you, when you see someone heading for your eye with a needle, it is really, really hard to lie still. The deadening shot is the worse part, but it's also not so pleasant when they fasten a clamp to your eyelid to hold it open. The actual removal of the infection isn't so bad, because by that time you have your jaws clenched so hard you are finding yourself distracted by the prospect of having to go to the dentist to have your cracked teeth repaired.
So I had congratulated myself on getting past the ordeal and felt absolutely confident that in a couple of weeks it would be a bad memory.
Thanksgiving came and went and Christmas was approaching and one of the lumps was still with me. It took every ounce of fortitude I had to call and make another appointment. She could see me two days before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me.
Surprisingly, she decided it was not at a stage where surgical intervention would do any good, so she decided we would try antibiotics again. I breathed a sigh of relief. But my relief was short-lived.
A month later it became obvious that I still had a problem, so once again I braced myself and headed back Friday for another evaluation and this time the dreaded sentence was handed down. We had to do another excision.
Once again I found myself on the gurney with the needle heading toward my eye. It hurt. She had to not only remove the infection but also remove scar tissue that had built up from the first time under the knife. The process was longer as a result and she warned me that this time there would be bruising and I would look pretty beat up for a few days. I left sporting a huge eye patch.
I decided to swing by Central Market on the way home and reward myself for having endured my ordeal with some of their wonderful tortilla soup for supper. I waltzed into Central Market, walked the entire store picking up various and sundry items and no one so much as batted an eye at my odd appearance. Austin is either full of very courteous folks or Austin is so full of weirdos that no one noticed one more.
I left the patch on until I got home because I remembered from the first time that exposing the wound to air resulted in unbearable stinging. Driving one-eyed is a challenge, but I made it home and finally removed the bandage and realized that I would indeed have a black eye for a day or two. That's when I decided I needed a good story and Dixie volunteered to be the scapegoat.
Today it looks like things are slowly improving and I'm hoping my eye looks more or less normal by Monday. I'm also hoping I don't have to do this again for awhile. I'm due to have some dental work done in a couple of months and the prospect doesn't even bother me. After two rounds of eyelid surgery, getting a cavity filled doesn't sound bad at all.