It started on the Sunday. There was no denying the slight pinkish tinge to my left eye. I ignored it. It was bound to be something to do with the cold snap. Icy winds or something like that. By Tuesday, the pink had turned to an angry red. I couldn’t deny it. It was getting worse. I followed the herd and asked Mr Google. Mr Google informed me that there was an eye casualty department at the QMC, but it was advised that I seek the advice of my GP if it wasn’t an emergency. Was it an emergency? I wasn’t in pain and I could see fine. I booked an appointment with my GP for the following day.
Husband came back from work. He was shocked at the state of my eye. I told him about the GP appointment.
“What!?! Call eye casualty. NOW.”
So, I did. I spoke to a lovely nurse who said I should come in tomorrow as it did sound like a case for them. One nil to my husband.
The next morning rolled around. Thankfully I wasn’t teaching that morning, but I was teaching in the afternoon. A flurry of WhatsApp messages were sent between myself and my colleagues. The plan was that if I wasn’t seen by 11:30, my afternoon class would be cancelled. I arrived bang on nine when the department opened, and the wait began.
I was first called in to see a nurse. She was the same one who I spoke to on the phone. She was sympathetic. Rather bizarrely, her husband, thirty years ago, had a tumour in his mouth that, like me, originated from his pituary gland. He had a huge operation to remove the tumour where they worked slowly to preserve his facial nerve. He had radiotherapy, like me, and for thirty years had been cancer free. Lucky him.
After her, I saw another nurse who actually looked in my eye. He surmised that it wasn’t a dreaded ulcer, but a scratch on my eyeball. I had caught it just in time. Phew. Now I had to wait for the doctor to get some treatment for it.
Twenty minutes later, I was called in by the doctor. It was the usual set up. Doctor, petrified looking student doctor and bored looking nurse. The doctor’s surname was something like Vitalas which made me think he was Latvian or Lithuanian maybe?
He asked me when I first noticed it. Sunday, I replied.
“It is Wednesday. Why have you waited until now?”
I was dumb struck. He sighed. While he was sorting out the prescription, he gestured to the medical student to have a gawp at my eye. He was very eager and got me looking in all directions. Soon my prescription was ready and off to pharmacy I went. All the while I was cursing. Cursing the fact that it had all been done by eleven. I would have to teach my lovely afternoon class after all. The joy.