One eye on the weekend

Last updated 11:16 21/02/2012

Maybe I angered the weekend gods on Friday when I cheekily drew a parallel between the characters of Downton Abbey and the days of the week, but clearly my order for a romantic, relaxing end of the week didn't get through.

Let's break it down.

Saturday morning 8am - The Silver Fox has organised a delayed Valentine's Day romantic getaway over the weekend and has already let me know that we will be staying overnight somewhere on Saturday (mysterious, mysterious). Naturally I am dying to know where we're going but at the same time do not want to know where we're going (mysterious, mysterious). Anyway, in the interests of making sure I pack my togs he informs we that we will be going to Hanmer Springs this evening.

This is both very sweet...and completely panic-inducing for the following reasons:

- Where are my togs? The last time I wore them was in Singapore, over a year ago.

- If I find my togs can I still fit into them without too much "overflow"?

- Appearing publicly in togs is going to require some immediate and rather hurried "lady maintenance". And if there's one thing you don't want when to be when undertaking "lady maintenance" it's in a hurry.

Saturday 10am-10.15am - The Silver Fox is out doing sporty stuff all day and I, having managed not to injure or scar myself in the interests of tog-wearing, am trying to get an appointment with an optometrist. On a Saturday. My right eye has been bugging me for most of the week and I'd like to get it checked out by someone before I leave town. After ringing about 10 places I get lucky with a cancellation and can have someone look at my eye but only if I get there in half an hour. It's a bit of a stretch but if I forgo blow drying I should be able to get there on time.

10.35am - I jump on my bike...and find I have a flat front tyre. I break the land speed record for number of expletives issued in a 10-second burst... and then call a taxi. 

11am - I get to the optometrist about 15 minutes late and in a state that can only be described as "flustered". I hate being late for appointments as I feel that any adult who can correctly read a clock must also have the wherewithal to turn up to places on time.

11.15am - I've been checked out and I have a corneal ulcer, which is basically a small open sore on the surface of your eye (it looks like a small white speck against the brown of my iris) and is probably a result of me not being fastidious enough with my contact lenses. It may come right on its own but can take "weeks or months" to do so. In the meantime I'm banned from wearing contacts and have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday to see how it's going. However, the optometrist lady issues a very stern "if it feels worse tomorrow GO TO A DOCTOR" caveat. I casually ask if going in the hot pools at Hanmer Springs would be allowed. She says that wouldn't be a good idea as any water that splashed in my eye could have bacteria in it and lead to an infection.


6pm - I break it to the Silver Fox that there will be no hotpooling (at least for me). He seems kind of disappointed and wonders if we should cancel. I say that we should still go. They have other things to do in mini-golf and um, scenic walks. There's a shop with nice fudge? Anyway, we continue with the packing and head out. 

9pm - After a certain amount of fluffing around and dinner in Amberley (prawn risotto, yum!) we don't get to the hotel until much later than planned. There's a wedding in full swing, though we're informed that we've been assigned a room away from the wedding guests and that the music will only go until midnight.

11.30pm - Yep, that music is going until midnight isn't it?

7.30am - I wake up and my eye hurts. Much more than it did the day before. It feels as though I've got a headache in the area just behind my right eye, which makes no sense because the ulcer is on the front of my eye, not the back. I have no idea how this works but needless to say I am not a happy bunny. I'm in pain and the words of the optometrist "GO TO A DOCTOR" are making me worried that my eyesight might be in some danger. If I go blind in my right eye will I have to wear a pair of glasses with one lens covered so as not to freak people out with my one freaky, cloudy eyeball?

9.30am - We check out and I ask at the reception desk if they have the number of an on-call physician. I speak to a nice lady who tells me that they only have a registered nurse who won't be able to prescribe me anything. After explaining my situation and the advice from the optometrist, she advises us to not wait until lunchtime to drive back to Christchurch but to go straight away and go straight to the after-hours clinic. Okay. I'm freaking out a bit now. By which I mean, I'm having a wee panicked cry.

11am - After the least relaxing road trip back ever, during which I'm concerned that my eyeball is going to explode (like a runaway bus in a Keanu Reeves movie), we get back to Christchurch and I rather miserably wait at the after hours surgery.

11.30am - Instead of enjoying alpine scenery I am having my second eye test in two days (bright light, yellow dye put on my eyelid, general discomfort). Apparently my ulcer is quite unusually uniform in shape. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. The doctor wonders if he should patch my eye up? I briefly entertain the notion of saying, yes, I would like an eyepatch but realise it would only be for the comedy value, not because I think it would help. The doctor also puts some goopy stuff in my eye and then rings the eye registrar at the hospital to see if I can get an appointment there. I get an appointment for 3pm. Should I be worried that I've been referred to someone at the hospital?

12.15pm - At home I taste something weird in the back of my throat. When I spit it out into the bathroom sink it's bright yellow like the dye the doctor put in my eye. I am impressed and grossed out in equal measure.

1.30pm - I am feeling very sorry for myself but also hungry so we go out for lunch before my appointment. The eye registrar rings me and wants to move my appointment up so we agree to 2.30pm.

2.15pm - We get there early and can't get into the building, which is locked. By 2.45pm we're starting to worry that we've got the wrong entrance so do a circuit of the building to see if there's another way in. Which is of course when the registrar calls and asks where we are. 

2.47pm - I get my third eye test in two days and another lot of dye. If my eye hadn't been hurting before it sure as heck would be after all this poking and prodding. It's starting to feel like quite the star, what with the spotlight being on it so often. I'm given a prescription for eyedrops which I have to take every hour and a follow-up appointment on Tuesday morning. My eye doesn't seem to be in immediate danger but apparently when things go wrong with your eye they can go wrong really quickly and have lasting effects. Gulp.

3.15pm - Back to the after-hours pharmacy for the eyedrops.

3.30pm - Get home and put the drops in. They sting like they're made of lemon juice and razor blades. I note with some interest that the information sheet that comes with the drops say that "There is no evidence that [brand name] eyedrops are addictive". Well, that's comforting. I'd hate to become addicted to putting horrible stingy stuff in my eye. It sounds kind of ridiculous but no more so, I reason, than being addicted to "inhaling smoke from lit paper tubes filled with dried leaves".

And that, pretty much, was my weekend. So, I guess the moral of the story is if you wear contact lenses BE COMPLETELY ANALLY RETENTIVE ABOUT KEEPING THEM CLEAN. It seems I have been guilty of being a bit lax in this regard and it pretty much ruined my weekend (and I'll have to wear glasses for ages, which cramps my style just a bit).

Learn from my mistakes, people.

Ever had a similar situation where you were perhaps less than vigilant and it had unpleasant consequences? How was your weekend?

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Elle   #1   11:25 am Feb 21 2012

Ooh, my hubby had a corneal ulcer a couple of years ago. He had the hospital appointments and specialist optometrist appointments, and the optometrist took photos to use at a conference later that week! In the course of all the drama, he found out that his grandma had gone blind in one eye because of an untreated corneal ulcer. Apparently her father had decided it was too much trouble to get her from the Wairarapa to Wellington to get it dealt with. Nice, huh? I suppose in the ?1920s it was a bit more difficult than now, but still..

maz   #2   11:32 am Feb 21 2012

I've had contact lens dramas. I only wear dailies now and wear my glasses most days. Much more comfy.

A few years back I was on a waterslide and forgot to close my eyes. Both contacts came out and I was blind for the rest of the day until I got home. Blurry vision is so disorientating! Now I will always carry a spare pair (or 2) of contacts with me and eye drops.

SharonP   #3   11:34 am Feb 21 2012

With regards to the contact lenses - switch to the daily ones… much less mucking around and you can guarantee they are clean. Hope your eye gets better soon - corneal ulcers are nasty things (my brother has had a recurring one since he was a child), so look after yourself!

Simon   #4   11:34 am Feb 21 2012

I'm rubbish with my contacts, but I've been lucky so far.

You will have to be pretty scrupulous from now - having a corneal ulcer once increases the risk of it happening again.

But what bad luck for it to happen before a big weekend away.

Muppie   #5   11:41 am Feb 21 2012

I watched Downton, just to try it... and I liked it? :-]

Paul   #6   11:44 am Feb 21 2012

Consider looking into the new breathables, even if your eyes need a toric lens they are available now.

I wear mine for a week, take them out on Sunday give them a quick clean and a few hours break for the eyes then back in for another week. End of the month they are discarded for a new pair.

Alice2   #7   11:44 am Feb 21 2012

I injured my knee about 10 years ago & was slack with the physio exercises - now I can't kneel & I have to wear an awesome brace with metal bars when I go skiing. And even that doesn't stop it 'popping out' occasionally during the chairlift ride - I've gotten quite good at dismounting on one leg :)

My Mum thought she was onto a good thing with the cheap mascara from the $2 shop - until it gave her an eye infection & she had to give up the contact lenses for 6 months. Plus, her contacts are multi-focal, so she had to get new glasses (she had reading glasses for home, but needs corrective lenses for pretty much everything).

My weekend was pretty good - the planned girls' trip to Hanmer for my birthday fell through, but I had a good time anyway. And tomorrow I'm spending my birthday in bed, with a movie marathon & then dinner with my parents. Yay, a birthday dinner that I don't have to cook myself several days late! (The earth will stay still tomorrow, or risk being on the receiving end of my fiery Irish temper. Not pretty)

MissBBL   #8   11:46 am Feb 21 2012

I'm sorry, I know that must have been horrible and stressful, but I laughed so much at your descriptions! I really enjoy your writing!

&rew   #9   11:47 am Feb 21 2012

I haven't had any health-related problems in the "less that vigilant" stakes, but I do have a sports example where I turned up for a Saturday football (soccer) match with my Sunday footy (Australian Rules) shorts and top, but no boots, as I hadn't properly packed my sports bag after footy practice on Thursday night.

I have to feel sorry for TSF though, who will have spent some time making plans for the weekend, only to have them come unstuck. Now THERE I have some experience...

Many years ago I surprised my wife by getting tickets to a Valentines Day ball. I booked a hotel room and smuggled clothes and makeup, etc. into the car, which I then parked at the hotel after dropping her off on Friday morning. In the middle of the day I phoned her to suggest we stay in town thet evening, and "Why don't we meet at the hotel bar for a drink after work?" The plan was to have a couple of drinks, then surprise her with the ball tickets, and the room with all her stuff already unpacked. It worked a treat. But she had eaten something dodgy at lunch, and at the ball she threw up all over the dinner table we shared with six couples we didn't know (if anybody reading this is one of those people, I'm really, really sorry). Then back to the hotel room, where she was vomiting all night.

Thalia   #10   11:49 am Feb 21 2012

wow thats a pretty awful weekend...

Last week I sneakily bought a new horse, the last time I got one my father helped me out with the whole transportation thing.. getting a float, putting it on the car, towing it, reversing it etc. Well this time I figure I can do that noone will no about new horse

Anyways, my friend has both a big car and a float so we rocked up to get the float and I hooked it up.. or at least I thought I had and drove forward just to have the bloody thing fall off the back, break the jockey wheel and fall on the ground. Frantic phone call to friend who owns the grazing and men come along and rehook up the float (properly this time) and tie up the jockey wheel so it won't fall down and we start on our way from hobsonville to pukekohe to get the horse (its about 6pm at this time). Get to pukekohe without a hitch, horse goes on first attempt but panics and bumps his head and runs out backwards. Chicken feed man is getting grumpy because he wants to empty his truck and go home its now more like half past seven. Finally get horse on float start driving down the road to find we need petrol, get back to hobsonville without event but its getting really dark. Decide to put new horse straight in with the others and see what happens. Friends horse then decides he's not too keen on a younger male moving in and starts squealing and chasing him around the paddock and eventually rears and gets his front foot caught in the wire fence.. Panic ensues, run up the driveway to the house to try find wirecutters to cut horse out. Take horse float back can't get it off and the car battery goes flat while we dick around. Ask at 10:30 at night for a jump start and a man to fix things. Sigh. So turns out I cant do it.

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