Well, back in the 1970's that is.
This is what happened. I dreamed last night that I had a sty in my eye. When I woke up my eye was killing me. There was something in there under the lid! I did all the self doctoring I could think of. Flush it out using a Bahamas shot glass. When that did not work I resorted to bottle eye wash.
It hurt something terrible, but I felt it would expel itself out in the normal course of a day. It had to! I was scheduled to paint the porch!
It was okay as long as I looked down. I was on top of a ladder (if you know the problem with my depth perception and casual falling down episodes, this is very scary) and keeping my eyes in the down position was relatively easy. Suddenly, I could not bear the pain. I was moving my eye to much! The added misery of a bright sun filled day while using white paint was agony.
I thought I would drive myself to the Urgent Care Center in Lexington, a ten mile drive. I was only one mile into it when I realized could not make it. I had to keep the effected eye shut and with my fingers hold the lid off the eye ball. My eye was watering non stop and as a bonus horror, my nose was running non stop too. I can not drive with one eye and one hand. And snot streaming down my face!
I caved and turned around and headed for the ER.
The ER! The last time I was in the ER for a self inflicted wound, I was 13. I staggered in wearing sun glasses. I was called to the counter.
"What's the problem." she asked. I lifted my sunglasses and let her have a gander at my eyeball. She gasped and quickly looked down. Oh no, I thought, its worse than I thought!
They led me to a room and told me to take a chair. I crawled up in the gurney and assumed a "woe is me position" with my arm over my forehead. "You're on the bed?" the nurse asked me as she stuck her head in (to tell me they were backed up and the Doctor would be with me as soon as he could). "I'm traumatized" I answered. She administered some numbing eye drops to my immediate relief.
He got to me in about an hour and I almost passed out. The bed had to be tilted so my head was lower than my feet. But he flushed out my eye using some medieval method and we concurred that it was a piece of DRY WALL that had fallen in my eye the day before and worked its way up during the night.
It had scratched my eyeball, not my cornea, Thank God!
I got home, resumed painting.......the numbing medication wore off. My eye began watering again, my nose too. I laid down and felt the pain begin to build and build.
I am not a martyr, I called the ER as soon as I could get it together and focus on the phone book and read the dang telephone number to the hospital.
They were so nice in their denial of allowing me the bottle of numbing medication, but they did give me a little "something something" for the pain.
It took two hours for my eye to stop feeling like I had a stick stuck in there and someone was pressing my eyeball back into my head.
Word to the wise: Safety glasses