The other day when I went to the doctor I showed her a few tiny nodules on my upper left eyelid that I’d been wondering about. She diagnosed blepharitis – a kind of infectious condition that can inflame and gunk up the eye and is often mistaken for conjunctivitis.
“Don’t touch your eye!” she shrieked, as my fingers crept toward it. “You need to bathe the eye daily to get rid of crusts, or use sterile eye wipes.”
“Um…sometimes I wear mascar…”
I was particularly underwhelmed by this situation. I could not find any description of blepharitis on t’internet that really fitted with what the things on my eyelid looked like. I had no irritation, and would never have even seen them if I hadn’t been examining and bemoaning my skin at close range in the mirror.
Nevertheless, she is the one who studied medicine, and I’m the idiot who did an arts degree. I scrubbed at my poor eyelid trying to move the ‘crusts’ and quickly realised they were going nowhere fast. They were ATTACHED to me. And now my eyelid hurt.
I went to see my optometrist today. It’s been a long time since I went to St Kilda. I’ve been seeing these optometrists since 1992 when I lived in a flat in Barkly Street and their shop was down a scungy arcade next to the equally grotty supermarket. Both of these are gone.
I went to their shiny new shopfront this morning and poured out my woe. I was inspected. I do not have blepharitis. I have tiny skin tags that I can continue to ignore, but was also given a referral to an ocular plastic surgeon in case they become bothersome. Yay! And the fun did not stop. My eyes (lasered back in October 2002, and last checked in 2006) have IMPROVED! Apparently my vision is totally kickass! I even got to see the imaging done of the back of my eye – pictures taken through the pupil showing my ocular nerve and blood vessels. All good.
My blood test results, on the other hand, were a surprise. My iron has improved (thank you Spatone and nightweaning) but my Vitamin D levels are spectacularly crap. Weird. God knows how long this has been the case, but it sucks to think that all the time I’ve been taking calcium supplements, they’ve probably been doing nothing. Without Vitamin D the body doesn’t absorb it. Grrrr. Now I’m on a triple strength dosage and am questioning my religious application for sunscreen to face and neck.