Optic vs. Otic: Lesson Learned

Well, I did it. I put EAR drops in my EYE today. I know. Join the club, right? Who hasn’t done that at some point in his or her life? Ear drops in the eye. HA! Silly me. What do you mean you read the labels?

I read labels too, but I missed the letter P. Otic. Optic. One little letter can make the difference between relief from scratchy eyes and a whole lot of pain!

First off, let me explain that I keep a bottle of eye drops along with a few other medicines, in the kitchen for convenience. Because my eyes are dry, I never know when I’m going to need to put drops in. This afternoon, they were not only dry, but scratchy too, particularly my left one. Thinking that perhaps I was getting the start of a stye, I picked up a bottle, squinted at it, nodded approval and squeezed a drop into the problematic eye. If I thought I was in discomfort from the stye, let me tell you that I flew from the kitchen, through the living room and into the bathroom faster than if I were being chased by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse on speed, with my eye screaming at me, “I’M ON FIRE!”

I’ll take the stye any day.

The pain of it literally – yes, I mean literally, not figuratively – took my breath away. As I stood in front of the bathroom sink, splashing water into my eye, I couldn’t breathe. Panic attacks tend to do that to a person.

Splash. Splash. Splash. Am I blind? My biggest fear is coming true! And I did it to myself! Don’t let me be blind.

Splash. Splash. Splash. Oh, thank God, my high blood pressure pills are working or I’d be lying here dead on the floor of a stroke or a heart attack.

Splash. Splash. Splash. Water’s running down my sleeve and my neck. I hate that!

Splash. Splash. Splash. I need to call my husband. No, maybe I should go to the emergency room. I can’t drive myself to the emergency room if I’m blind. Blind people can’t drive! What’s that blurry thing over there? Oh, Thank God, I’m not blind. Hubby, I did something really stupid. Splash.

I’ve had more fun during a colonoscopy, but at least my inner Drama Queen had a party.

So all evening, I’ve been nursing my left eye. Right now, I can see just fine, even though my eye is very tired. (As I typed that, I realized that my vision was blurry, so I cleaned my glasses. It’s all good now.)

My eye has gone from flaming red with veins that I could feel against my eyelid to pale flamingo pink and mild discomfort. After flushing it all evening, I think I’ll survive, and so will my vision.

Optic versus otic. Darn that missing P. I won’t make that mistake again. On the plus side, I can’t feel the stye anymore.

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