My Eye Doctor is a Hero

kerry's eyes

I think the word ‘hero’ is over-used today but my eye doctor really is one. Like many medical professionals, he started his career in the military – let’s say it was the Army. In the years, that I have been torturing him with my neuroses about my eyes, I only recently noticed either a certificate or medal of valor on his wall. When I queried this, he told me that he had noticed something was calibrated wrongly affecting the effectiveness of the sharp-shooters sights. This made a huge difference to their shooting ability. He shared that not everyone was happy about his discovery because a predecessor must have calibrated it incorrectly. Not every hero, in the military for example, has to be parachuting into enemy territory and carrying wounded comrades on their shoulders. Think of the importance of the work of the female covert operative who doggedly pursued the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden from a desk.

I see this eye doctor very regularly because I don’t follow any of his advice (using saline and anti-histamine drops on a regular basis), wear the wrong kind of make-up and then sleep in it… I also develop little blocked cysts along the eye rim if I wear oily make-up. On this occasion, I had flown for two days from my regular trip to an Alzheimer’s Unit in Scotland. In a vain effort to be upgraded (it has worked before), I had worn make-up, a revealing top, drank too much and fell asleep. I woke up looking like a panda and my eyes were gritty. So, two days later my eye is bright red and nothing is bringing the inflammation down. He looked in my eyes and said ‘there is something sparkly on your cornea…” I don’t wear sparkly eyeshadow much anymore. In case you think it is all neuroses, I do have a Pinguecula, which sounds kind of cute – maybe black and white? This is what it really is – Recently, he found tiny, baby cataracts – not quite so cute.

Once he was comforting me about how uncomfortable one of my many eye problems was but I heard him say quietly to the assistant, “it’s just some inflammation”. He is a sweetie-pie for taking into account my anxiety. Then he prescribed a specific treatment that he wanted in ointment form to soothe my poor big blue eyes. When I went to the pharmacy, the assistant said to me, “I don’t know whether this is in liquid or ointment formulation?” I pointed out that it was definitely ointment because he had written ‘ung’ an abbreviation for unguent. She looked at me as though I was speaking Korean and I told her that it was a Latin word meaning ointment. Finally, the pharmacist came along and said, “Yes, it is an old-timey word for ointment”. I was flabbergasted and didn’t know who I was more annoyed at. The pharmacist (who I like) should have used it for a gentle training session. I would have explained that some pharmacy terminology is based on Latin and we would learn some more later. Look in the dictionary – unguent is still there in both US and UK versions.

Now I am sounding like an old-timey crabby lady who learned Latin at school… So, on a much lighter note, you might see that I have downward sloping eyes and a slight epicanthal fold from my Native ancestors. For years I struggled to find mascara that wouldn’t smudge the second I put it on. Some of the waterproof ones work but I am allergic to the heavy duty removers. Finally, it struck me that other people with epicanthic folds might have figured it out and found my first fabulous Japanese tubular mascara that never smudges and comes off with hot water and friction. They were quite expensive though I have recently found a fab inexpensive range made in Korea which is sold in most pharmacies and large supermarkets – Now I hope they sent me a free box of stuff. 🙂