Finger Danger

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of blog updates on my health status.

One morning last week while absentmindedly watching the Today Show I glanced at Al Roker and the weather map and noticed the western part of the country showed “finger danger.” I exclaimed, “Finger danger. What’s that?” to which Scott sighed and said, “Fire danger, Amy. Fire danger.” This explanation led me to break into riotous laughter.

I needed that laugh. I’ve been a bit downtrodden lately. Bell’s Palsy is no picnic. One of the many challenges for me is diminished eyesight due to my droopy left eyelid. This is likely what caused my “finger danger” confusion. I just can’t see very well right now.

Later that day I visited by ophthalmologist for my annual dilated eye exam to see if diabetes has caused any damage to the blood vessels in my eyes. Thankfully, I got good news again. My eyes are fine in that respect. But the next bit of news was a bit unnerving. “You’ve scratched your cornea. How often are you using eye drops?” the doctor inquired. “I’m not,” I replied. “You said I only needed them if my eye felt dry. It’s felt fine.” I’d sent him a message two days after my Bell’s Palsy diagnosis asking if there was anything I needed to do. He gave suggestions but no mandates.

“Well, your cornea is scratched.” He went on to say, “You need to apply eye drops every hour while working at the computer, every two hours while doing anything else during the day. And you need to apply eye lubricant and tape your eye shut before going to sleep.”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. “We need to see you again in two weeks. If your cornea hasn’t healed, we’ll need to sew your eye shut for a month.” Holy crap. (I later though this was a joke and looked it up. It’s not. The procedure is called tarsorrhaphy.)

My mood got progressively worse over the next few minutes. I might have growled at the receptionist while scheduling my follow-up appointment.

Scott was waiting to drive me home. I swore the whole way, bemoaning my bad fortune and cursing the doctor for not making this clearer to me at the onset. After my seventh or eighth f-bomb while flipping off pedestrians and other drivers, Scott laughed and said, “Well, Al was right. There is definitely finger danger here on the west coast today.”