So I’ve been really downplaying how I’m feeling about what’s going on with my eye, mostly because it makes me so upset that I don’t really want to talk about it. The truth: I’ve been in constant discomfort for awhile now, and am literally frightened to go to sleep every night because I know that the first thing that will happen in the morning is that I will re-injure my eye simply by opening it (I won’t go into more details about this; suffice it to say it’s gross, and extremely painful, and it happens every day).
I’m embarrassed that I did this to myself, and I’m frightened that the pain and the puffiness will never go away; that I’ve done permanent damage either in terms of how the eye functions, and/or how it looks and feels (which is why I waited so long to make a doctor’s appointment – well, that and we were switching insurance companies, and I wanted everything to be ironed out before I went).
I wrote about what’s going on briefly the other day, and later that night I got an email from reader Nicole that had me in tears, because she described exactly what was happening to me, and told me that she had experienced the same thing (she hurt her eye on a tree branch)…and that she was now better. She said that she thought I was suffering from corneal erosion, and it turns out that she was right. I went to the doctor this morning and discovered that I have “extreme dry eye” in both eyes and corneal erosion in my right eye (basically, the original wound won’t heal because I keep re-injuring it by doing things like…blinking).
I’ve been prescribed a 6-month regimen of bazillions of different eye drops and allergy medications, and have been ordered to start icing the area daily with a package of frozen peas, using a humidifier, and drinking tons and tons of water. All of this is fine by me.
We spent the day shooting two more baking segments in the studio kitchens in Connecticut before heading back to the rainy city. They went swimmingly, and of course I’ll post them here once they’re up!
Once again, Chauntelle worked wonders on my hair, making it look like I had about six times the amount that I actually do. Her volume-creating technique: she told me not to wash my hair in the morning (slightly dirty hair is easier to style), and then used a large-barrel curling iron on each section to give the ends a bit of flip. She then teased each section at the roots before wrapping it up in velcro rollers and letting me wander around for awhile (we had to travel from the hotel to the set). I got some weird looks from the businessmen in the lobby, but hey, what can you do?
After we arrived on set, she removed the rollers and gently brushed the top layers to smooth them out, and then pinned back one side, as pictured above. Last step: she used the handle of a rattail comb to tease up the crown just a touch more. I don’t know that I can recreate this kind of volume at home, but I loved it loved it, so I’m certainly going to try.
P.S. I’m not crying in that photo above – I had just put in eyedrops. In fact, I’ve been using eyedrops constantly (even waking up a few times each night to put them in) ever since my corneal abrasion, which is still – still! – bothering me. I have a doctor’s appointment in my future…but does anyone have any advice in the meantime? Early in the morning and towards the afternoon, when I get tired, my eye starts burning and puffing up underneath, and cold compresses and eyedrops only help temporarily. It’s both uncomfortable and not-so-cute-looking, and I’d really like it to go away. Have any of you experienced anything similar?
Here’s an odd little tidbit: I was on that Bob Saget show 1 vs. 100, in the “Geniuses” episode. Yeah, really. I was part of the “Ivy League” quota, and went up against…wait for it…rocket scentists, various Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winners, poker player Annie Duke, and freaking Ken Jennings. And here’s a shocker: I was eliminated in Round 1 (pictured above). The question: George Bush’s Pennsylvania Avenue address plus Tony Blair’s address on Downing St. equals what? I guessed 1601 (the correct answer is 1610). Obviously the camera zoomed in directly on me to record my purple face for posterity (go to 4:23 in the below clip).
What you may not know is that we have a little flying beetle problem in our kitchen (they’re not cockroaches, they’re actual flying beetles, which is even harder for me to deal with because at least I know that cockroaches do not want to eat me).
Once or twice a month, one of them wriggles its way into our apartment from the tree outside our window, and then slams itself repeatedly into our ceiling light amid a cacophony of screams from yours truly. I have mentioned these Harbingers Of The Apocalypse to our exterminator – gently and calmly, as I’m sure you can imagine – and his advice? To capture one and “hold onto it” until the next time he swings by. Which would mean either keeping one as a pet, or allowing devil-feet to touch my Tupperware.
So earlier this afternoon I was sitting happily at my computer, clicking away, when I started seeing dark spots in front of my right eye (the unfortunate victim of last month’s corneal abrasion). I started to panic a little, thinking that I was having a relapse of some sort, but then realized that maybe my glasses were just dirty and I was being a loon. I took them off to clean them…and there was one of my unwelcome roommates, sitting ON THE INSIDE OF MY FREAKING LENS.
It was so beyond something that I could wrap my mind around – it was ON THE INSIDE OF MY FREAKING LENS (that would be CENTIMETERS FROM MY FREAKING EYEBALL) – that all I could do was handle it like a totally grown-up, sane person: I shooed it off of my glasses and onto the floor, and then calmly slew the beast with one of Kendrick’s Gamestop magazines.
I know, that’s what most people would do. But when it comes to multi-legged creatures I am not most people, so for me this was nothing short of a miracle.
Friday night I made a (very delicious) dinner of chicken thighs with artichokes, summer corn, garlicky red potatoes, and heirloom tomato salad, which I would have enjoyed enormously had I not seared off three of my fingertips during the cooking process. What happened: I went to take the lid off of the pot to add the artichokes, completely forgetting that the thing had been sitting in the stove (at 450 degrees Farenheit, no less) for the past half hour. Arrrrrr.
I’m vaguely incoherent in this video (pain combined with six thousand Tylenols makes me sleepy) and covered in melted ice (that’s what the spots on my shirt are; I’m not that messy), but here’s the take-home: a few years ago, I got in a fairly bad motorcycle accident in Canada (my parents and I used to take our motorcycles to visit my Canadian relatives every summer; for years I rode on the back, and then I finally got my own bike at 16). I hit an unmarked turn a little too quickly, skidded out on a patch of sand, and went down with my beloved Suzuki Savage. This is pretty much the last thing you want to have happen – the best-case scenario in a motorcycle accident is if you fly off the thing rather than taking down a several-hundred-pound piece of machinery with you. Between the hipbone that more or less came out to say hello, the disintegrated palms, and the odd scrapes left all over the rest of my body it’s a miracle that I ended up with no permanent damage save for a few scars, but blessings counted, etc.
Anyway, a couple of weeks after the accident my friend Thomasin held a dinner party at her place, and I decided to cook something involving boiling water (I don’t remember what, exactly) to bring over. I ended up pouring said boiling water over the mirror image of the spot that I had hurt in the accident (my right hipbone), and showed up at Thomasin’s place in tears. The idea that I had just hurt myself again - mere days after a physically (and emotionally) devastating accident – was just too much. My left hip was still scraped up, certain to scar; I couldn’t take the idea that the other side of my body would end up the same way just because I hadn’t gotten a strong grip on a pot handle.
I should probably have skipped the party, of course, but it was summer and I hadn’t seen my friends in ages, and by the time the pain really set in I was on my way over in a taxi. I stepped through the door, and Thomasin’s mom took one look at me and whisked me into the bathroom, slathered the area in Vaseline, and wrapped my torso in Saran Wrap. It felt better immediately, and ever since that’s been my go-to method for burn relief.
PETROLEUM & PLASTIC BURN RELIEF
1. First, you need to stop the burning. This means removing any clothing that might still be touching the hot area and pressing a few cubes of ice wrapped in a clean cloth to the spot for about half an hour.
2. When you first remove the ice pack from the burn it will probably hurt like crazy, but trust me: the Vaseline helps enormously after only a few seconds (just have everything ready to go the second you remove the ice pack from the burn). Moving quickly, slather on a layer of petroleum jelly, and then wrap the burned area in some kind of plastic bandage (Saran Wrap works in a pinch). Be careful not to wrap it up too tightly; you don’t want to interfere with circulation to the area.
3. Leave the dressing on at least overnight, and then remove and continue to moisturize the area as it heals (and try not to mess with the blisters). I followed these steps last weekend, and my burned fingers are now completely pain-free and beautifully healed.
Update: Was informed via email that antibiotic ointments (like Neosporin) moisturize just as well as Vaseline, in addition to preventing infection. Good to know!
Again, and as always, I am very much not a doctor, so if you’re at all worried about your condition please seek for-real medical advice.
I’m helping a friend who’s currently living in Cali sublet his apartment, so the other day I headed down to the LES to show a couple of potential renters around. Little did I know that he’d booby-trapped the place.
To turn on the A/C, you have to climb up on the table. I am quite the little mountain goat, so this would be fine if said table had four legs…instead of, you know, two. So I fell off, taking down half the apartment with me (everything survived intact except for my arm).
P.S. During yesterday’s meeting I showed off my battle wound and was referred to this video. I think we may have found my new theme song.
Jeeeesus. Sometimes I think it’s lucky that I make it through a day – like, any day – alive, between the burns and the cuts and the falls and the…now…CORNEAL ABRASIONS.
While on the dance floor at Cynthia’s wedding, I decided to stick a cocktail straw directly into my open eye, just for fun. No, actually someone accidentally whacked my elbow when I was raising my arm to wave at a friend, but no matter. I thought I’d mention it here, because…well, it’s good to know what to do in the event that this happens, and now I’ve done the frantic middle-of-the-night Googling for you.
A corneal abrasion (basically a scratch on your eyeball – yuck) is characterized by: 1) pain, obviously; 2) the sense that there is some foreign matter in your eye; 3) light sensitivity; 4) excessive tearing; and 5) blurred vision. Basically, it feels WAY worse than it actually is. Right after I poked my eye I was in quite a lot of pain, but then I made it much, much worse a couple of hours later by rubbing at it because I thought something was still in it (see point 2, above). I ended up waking up in the middle of the night in a total panic because I couldn’t open either of my eyes (it hurt the scratched eye to open the non-scratched one). We were all ready to head to the Bear Mountain ER, but Kendrick did a little Interneting, and we realized that based on the appearance of my eye and my symptoms, it was likely a superficial abrasion. In other words, the doctor was probably going to charge me a co-pay and send me home with some eyedrops. I went back to sleep, and woke up a few hours later still in pain, but clearly on the mend.
So. If this happens to you, know it may not as big of a deal as it seems: I was mostly better by the next afternoon, and all better by this morning (albeit with a little residual blurriness). Find a good pair of sunglasses (light will hurt), and do not rub your eyes, or wear your contacts until you’re all better.
As always, seek medical assistance if you’re at all worried. A doctor can use dye to determine the extent of the abrasion, can make sure there are no particles in your eye, and can give you pain-reducing eyedrops and antibiotics in the case of a severe injury.
(No image accompanying this post because I wasn’t in a photo-taking mood – pain and all – and because…well, trust me on this one and DO NOT Google images for “corneal abrasions.” OH MY GOD.)