category: Emilys Guatemala

IMG_3421.jpgLast night we were chilling in the house after we returned from the chuj, when I realized I had a bunch of yuck coming out of my left eye. I looked in the mirror and it was noticeably irritated, so I took my contacts out. Within 20 minutes it had swelled and was oozing more. Hmm, this happened to me once during training. That time things started just the same and within a few hours my eye had swelled and was oozing so much I couldn’t see through the yellow film.

I wasn’t really looking forward to that, again. So I called the nurse and asked her what I should do. It was nighttime. Obviously I couldn’t get to a convenient 24 hr pharmacy, and since this followed my last experience to the T, I wasn’t looking forward to what was to come. But I didn’t know what I should do to best care for it between then and when I could get to a pharmacy.

Apparently black tea is supposed to be good for your eye. She instructed me to steep a tea bag, pull it out of the water then use it as a hot compress on my eye, and call her in the morning. It might have actually worked because as lovely as this picture is, it was definitely worse last time. I went to bed after using the tea bag compress because in addition to the oozing eye I had a headache that was making me nauseous it was throbbing so bad. I woke up with my eye sealed shut, just as I figured I would, but the swelling had gone down.

Following instructions, I called the nurse again to find out what kind of medicine I should go get, then I had to catch a micro to town. Boo. Today would’ve been a totally chill day at home except for that. Then once I got there all the pharmacies told me they didn’t have the medicine. The last place I stopped was run by a couple of girls who couldn’t have been more than 14 years old, and they hardly spoke Spanish; they told me they didn’t have it, either. I don’t know if they even understood me. Luckily, with my one good eye I spotted an eye dropper that listed the medicine I was looking for as the main ingredient. I called the nurse to make sure that’s what I wanted. Confirmed. Whew. I would have been even less excited about having to go the next town over to try and find it. I did happened to find the post office open, and we got a care package/Fletch got a birthday box filled with delectable treats. I also bought myself a pity ice-cream cone; I figured it’d make me feel a little better.

Now my eye is dry, itching and aching, but no longer oozing. And I have to wear my glasses for a week. Sometimes I wonder if my pre-Peace Corps decision, the one where I had to choose between corrective eye surgery or a month long vacation to Argentina, was the right one? Argentina was a pretty fun trip… My eye doctor hooked me up with a really thorough cleaning solution before leaving the country, so I’m not sure if it’s that. There’s just so much dust and grime floating around, and I seem to be susceptible to a fair amount of it. Bleh. I just hate the psychosymatic effect of always feeling tired when I wear glasses because I usually only wear them at night and in the early morning. But, things could be worse, right?

Posted by: emily