Walking back to work today past a construction site, after eating my lunch outside, a little particle of something flew back behind my sunglasses and straight into my eye. I wear hard contacts, which are wonderful for their durability and clarity of vision, but not so good when things get into them. In an instant, I was turned from a normal, walking, talking, functioning human into a half blind, stumbling, weeping mess. I could hardly think and it took all my focus to propel myself forward and back to my office.
I was talking on the phone with my mom when it happened, and managed to insert my “un-huhs” and “reallys” at appropriate times for a couple of minutes, but as soon as I got to my floor I told her I had to go. I popped that contact out of my eye in the hallway, so much did I need to get it out of my body, and headed for the bathroom. I flushed my eye with water and eventually got the contact back in without pain or irritation.
I only recently started wearing contacts again, after about eight months away. My last pair had gotten fairly elderly (okay, fine, they were 11 years old) and so I stopped wearing them. I decided to get a new pair when signs of summer started appearing, and I realized I would want to wear sunglasses again. In the time away, I had forgotten how crippling it can be when something goes astray with the lenses. It’s interesting to me how something so beign as that little plastic disc can wield so much power for pain when coupled with a grain of dust.