As many of you know, we have started 2013 with germy germs out the wazoo. Luckily, those have subsided to the occasional cough and slight runny nose. We are officially on the down swing folks. Hallelujah!
However, Saturday morning, I woke up with red, painful eyes. Chalking it up to no sleep, combined with me fighting the bug, I put in my contacts and went about my usual working Saturday, even amidst the constant questions of "what is wrong with your eyes"?
It was finally at the end of the day when I looked in the mirror, and was taken aback by my own reflection.
Instead of appearing to be a kind, respectable, fun-loving dance teacher...My eyes looked more fitting for a starring role in a Cheech and Chong movie. Great. Just Great. Way to look responsible. Sweet dude.
As a retired day care teacher, and as someone who has worked with children practically her whole life, I knew what this was. Eyes hurting (check), red, red bloodshot appearance (check), 90% of the people that I came into contact with looked grossed out (check and check). I knew it. I had double pinkeye.
Of course, these things only seem to figure themselves out on a Sunday morning. When the doctor's office is closed, and the pharmacy moves super sloooow. These things only happen when you should be sleeping in, eating a sticky bun Sunday breakfast and getting ready for church. These things only happen when you have plans that involve people. And let me tell you from experience, people treat pinkeye sufferers like they have the Bubonic plague. And with good reason, it's a nasty little bugger to get rid of.
So I trucked my hiney up to our local grocery store which has a Little Clinic of sorts. Upon arrival, I noticed that the waiting room was practically already full. Unlike a regular doctors office there is only one practitioner to see everyone...so it's a process. When you sign in, there is only one touch screen computer, and everyone is hovering around it waiting for their turn, inadvertently looking at your information in the process. At the end of the sign in process, they ask you why you are there and give you 5 choices. Illness, Physical exam, Immunizations, Rash, Possible Pink Eye. I kid you not, when I clicked on possible pinkeye the entire group took a collective step back away from me, as though I was the leper of 2013. The lady after me requested that the touch screen be sanitized before she touched it. Embarrassed, I took a seat, No one, and I mean no one sat near me. I had an open chair on each side when there were about 10 people standing, waiting for a seat. Even the girl puking in a waste basket had people sitting on both sides of her. No popularity points for me.
Secretly, I was glad, because even though everyone was treating me as though I should be quarantined, I was the least sick out of everyone there. Double points for not being hacked on or even worse, puked on. I was free to enjoy the wonderful array of music on the store's awesome play list (Hanson, Wilson-Philips and James Taylor) and free to play on my Iphone uninterrupted. Honestly, It was the quietest 3 hours that I've had since having kids. An offbeat vacation of sorts, but I'll take it.
After seeing the practitioner, and having a pinkeye test done (way cool technology by the way) it was determined that I had viral pinkeye that has commonly been traveling with upper respiratory viruses. Still contagious, it's not to be confused with the bacterial form of pinkeye that the movie Knocked Up made us aware of (passing gas on pillows= pinkeye). It's treated with a totally different type of medicine, and takes a bit longer to get rid of, likely caused by the same virus that made us all sick. Oh Geez.
Now it's Monday, and I am no longer contagious, but my eyes still look bloodshot and disgusting. People still look at me like I'm condemned. and secretly they probably think that I'm some unsanitary freak that doesn't wash my hands. All I want to do is print a tee shirt that says " PINKEYE: It's not from poop, it's from the Upper Respiratory Virus"...even though people already have their perceptions of my ailment.
Luckily, within the week, my eyes will go back to normal but it really makes me feel for those who have conditions that aren't so easily cured. What may appear gross to some, might not be what it seems, so I know that I'll be a little more aware and careful to not make my outward avoidance of people so obvious. Passive aggressive avoidance can honestly be just as rude as saying hurtful words, so I'm going to keep a check on myself for that. Add another focus to the 2013 list...
I write this blog to document everything in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly, and although I would love to appear to be as cool and as put together as the Anthropologie wearing, perfect moms, with perfectly behaved kids in their perfect homes, I'm real, and honestly I can guarantee that even those moms will be hit with the ole' pinkeye...It's a bummer, but it's a part of life and it happens to everyone.
Tip of the day. Wash your hands and take Plenty of Vitamin D. Pinkeye tends to attack those who are lacking good health.
Update: I'm still the only one with pinkeye, so hand washing and good hygiene will prevent it from spreading. HOLLA!