Medical Note:
A New One
24 April 2019

¶ As I was trying to drift off last night, my left eye developed a pain. It was quite a bit stronger in the morning. Usually, these things take two or three days to make a nuisance of themselves, but not this time. So I called the ophthalmologist’s office and snagged an appointment for the end of the day.

I don’t know what made me so diligent. Usually, it takes me two or three days to take the nuisance seriously. But I’ve already got something going on in what seems to me to be the Eustachian tubes — don’t hold me to it — and the new problem was unwelcome surplus. Besides, the ear issue was on-and-off, by no means a constant ache, while the eye was out-and-out sore. So I braced myself for the doctor’s polite smirk when he informed me that I had conjunctivitis or — a relatively rare disorder to which people with my cocktail of autoimmune dysfunction are prone — iritis. If I had only described the condition clearly enough, he wouldn’t have needed to see me. 

I showed up at four, and was in the doctor’s office shortly past five. Par for a last-minute exam, and better than the emergency room.

The ophthalmologist had a look. This is always awkward, given my immobile neck, but we managed. Then the doctor slid back in his chair, looking sideways.

“What is it?” I had to ask.

“Corneal ulcers,” he replied at last.

Corneal ulcers? I had never heard of corneal ulcers, so I had no idea how worried to be. I stalled. 

“How did I get corneal ulcers?” I asked, with an incredulous edge.

“Bad luck,” said the doctor.

But it wasn’t all that bad. He prescribed some drops and a salve and told me to come back on Friday. He didn’t think that a serious problem would develop. He did say, however, “I’m glad you came in.”

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