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C is for Conjunctivitis

June 23, 2010

Ash –

When I told Matt the title of this post, he laughed at me. I said, “You know. Like a play off of C is for Cookie.” Why oh why do I not carry a video camera with me at all times? He proceeded to sing the entire cookie monster song…. from memory… with a big ol’ smile on his face. Reason #2083 why I love him.

Anyway I promise not to include any gross pictures with today’s post. For those of you who don’t know what conjunctivitis is, that’s the fancy shmancy way of saying pink eye. Medicine likes to come up with complicated words that sound “less offensive” (reminds me of MDA summer camp when I was a counselor, and every morning we had to fill out a questionnaire asking our kid if he/she had a “bowel movement” the previous day. My poor kid had no idea what I was talking about).

Most of the time when you think of pink eye, you’re probably thinking of children with a bacterial or viral infection. Remember how all the other kids avoided you like the plague? And rightly so. That thing would get passed around like crazy. At least that’s what comes to my mind.

Disgusting little creatures. (note: This is not me.)

The things is I’ve always had really bad allergies. Once upon a time I took one of those allergy tests. The ones where the doctor pricks your back 50 billion times with different substances to see where you break out. The doctor gave me and my sister this look of pity when he came back. We were sitting on our hands and trying to make a deal with God to make the itching go away. Cats, certain dogs, some trees, mold, dust, people whose name starts with the letter Q. My back hurts just remembering it all.

Anyway was I the only one who didn’t know your allergies can give you pink eye? I mean I’ve heard of allergies irritating your eyes and making them watery and extremely itchy. Such as hay fever. But this is first time I’ve gotten pink eye from my despised allergies. Fail.

I didn’t want to complain on here, but all of last week my eyes were bothering me. I’d wake up every morning with my eyes feeling dry and itchy. And trust me I tried everything I could to make them better. Don’t wear contacts (despite how much I don’t like how I look in my glasses): Check. Do take allergy medicine: Check. Use eye wash (every morning and evening): Check. Allergy eye drops (in my backpack at all times): Check. Cold compress (whenever the itching was unbearable and made me want to tear my eyes out): Check. Success: Zero.

I was beginning to get worried. Wondering if I should see a doctor? Could I wait until I went back to Houston in a couple weeks? Maybe it would even go away once I got out of Waco? Well my eye (the right one to be specific) answered that question for me. Friday it suddenly burst on fire (or at least that’s what it felt like). We had just gone to Outback since I had a gift card, and the poor waiter kept awkwardly trying to avoid staring at my one demon eye. It was awful, but I thought it might just be how incredibly hot it was that day (almost in the triple digits). Or maybe that 1000th eye wash would do the trick? Surely it would be better tomorrow?

It wasn’t. All week long I’d looked forward to having one day to sleep in. Instead I woke up a little past 8 on Saturday morning with my eye as disgusting and painful as ever. I’m pretty sure it had swollen up overnight (attractive, right?). I called Matt and told him as sweetly as possible that he had better wake up and take me to the urgency care clinic. Turns out it wasn’t such an awful way to spend a Saturday morning. Matt does a little happy dance for the coffee that this clinic serves, and we both enjoyed watching Saturday morning cartoons while we waited (definitely two kids at heart).

Doctor’s diagnosis: Allergic conjunctivitis. How very astute. The only good news was that when pink eye is caused by allergies it isn’t contagious. Probably explains why I only got it in the one eye. Personally I think my favorite part of all this has been my online research. Everyone keeps talking about how you should you “should try to avoid allergens.” As if it’s just that simple. Sigh.

VERY astute. I can only hope to acheive this level of astuteness.

Thankfully I should be seeing a specialist in July. This has gone on too long, and I’m hopeful there’s an end in sight. Honestly people must think I don’t take care of myself because my allergies are constantly getting me sick. Even though I take medicine. Even though I workout semi-regularly. Even though I eat fairly well. The allergies are still victorious.

In the meantime, I’m taking my eye drops like a good girl. Although I think it’s ridiculous that a 3 mL bottle should cost over $50 with insurance (to put this in perspective 5 mL = 1 teaspoon). And that I would need to buy two of them. At least my eye didn’t stop me from taking those awesome pictures (posted Monday) or going to the movies on Saturday evening.

However I’m still going to maintain that my pink eye is the reason I started crying near the end of Toy Story 3. It had nothing to do with our final goodbye to Andy, Buzz, Woody, and the gang. A farewell 15 years in the making. A tale of change and growing up. Something everyone who was fairly young when the first movie came out (back in 1995 when I was 6) is going through right now. Maybe not entering college but dealing with that stage of young adulthood. Nope not the movie. The eye I tell you! You believe me, right?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2010 6:30 am

    Your allergies can do this? That’s so lame!! I’m glad that you’re getting help- that’s far too frustrating to let stand ❤

  2. Judi Brenstein permalink
    June 23, 2010 6:43 am

    Having been there when you and Samantha had your allergy tests I can tell you that you both looked like you developed some mangy disease on your backs afterwards. The doctor said it would be quicker to say what you were not allergic to. But alas, let’s get retested at this age and “start those shots” You’ll thank me a year from now (maybe not until then though).

  3. June 23, 2010 7:51 am

    Yeah… I don’t believe you. I almost started crying too and would have if I hadn’t gone to see it with two guys and feared being made fun of. Such a sad ending! Pixar movies are so emotional. We watched Up last night.

  4. June 23, 2010 2:10 pm

    I had no idea allergies could give someone pink eye and I have extreme allergies as well. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with it; it sounds positively awful!

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