One eye on the weekend

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?

» Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.