A Visit to the Ophthalmologist

Photo by nrd on Unsplash

I have been battling a sty in the eye for a while now. Went through pain, red eyes, and days of not being able to read or write comfortably.

Due to the lockdown, doctors such as dentists and ophthalmologists were unavailable.

Hubby has an opthalmologist-friend. We sent him sad-looking photos of my sty and medicines were recommended via Whatsapp. Hardly the kind of photos I dream of sharing on any social network…

After some medication, things got better, the red-eye reduced, and I was able to get back to near-normal.

I say near-normal because a tiny swelling continued to stay in my eye.

Maybe I took care of the sty so much and with such TLC that it felt at home.

For the last few days, I think I may have developed some affection for it too. It is not hurting me. It is just there, one tiny lump, in need of a home. I think it is cute.

Wait! What the duck! I think I may have developed Stockholm Syndrome!

In any case, with much pushing by the hubby, I visited my regular ophthalmologist today. The opthalmologist will be hereinafter referred to as the eye doctor since I can’t type such a long word anymore. My sty hurts.

I reached the eye clinic feeling a bit tense. I had a gut feeling about this thing. Also, I was worried about the safety precautions in that tiny clinic. I didn’t want to bring home more problems that I had!

The Eye Bouncer

There was a huge masked guy standing at the door. He reminded me of a bouncer (whom I haven’t seen in a long time thanks to the lockdown. Just a memory from a past life).

He was standing there looking stern armed with a sanitizer spray gun. One look at him and anyone who arrived knew better than to argue. They submitted meekly to his spray gun.

After this mandatory step, we had to bow down to him reverentially as he pointed a gun-like thing at each of us. At our foreheads exactly! It was the moment of truth. Closest any of us must have come to staring down the barrel of a loaded gun!

We were allowed in only after that temperature gun cleared us as fever-free.

Social Distancing

A couple came along and huddled together in two chairs next to each other. The bouncer rushed over and insisted that they had to leave one chair empty in between. Social distancing was now in his blood I guess.

As soon as the husband moved out by a chair, our bouncer buddy sprung into action and wiped down the handles of the newly-vacated chair.

I was getting more and more impressed with each passing minute. I wish I could see the bouncer’s face. But I had to contend with his eyes…

Disobedience Shall be Dealt with Sternly

A short while after I entered, a couple came along. The bouncer went through the checklist of spray and temperature with the woman. Suddenly he looked a bit disturbed.

The receptionist in the clinic was hastily consulted. The situation was tense because the woman who had walked in had a fever.

Her husband piped up and said that the fever was because of the severe eye infection she had. This guy was unbelievable. He had on a mask that stopped short of his nose. His nose was fully exposed, and he was talking as if all was perfectly normal.

By now, all other patients were in a state of high alert.

The bouncer told him to pull his mask up to the eye. Then the receptionist and the bouncer quickly cleared a small room next door and asked the couple to wait in that room.

Everyone else breathed a sigh of relief. There was a perceptible drop in the tension in the air.

But that guy was a restless sort. Shortly after, he began pacing up and down. The bouncer stared him down and motioned to him to get back in that smaller room.

Nope. That guy was not a quick learner. He appeared at the bouncer’s elbow to ask some questions. By now, the woman with the fever was also standing around outside the room.

The bouncer again herded them back in.

After this, there was a hurried conversation with the receptionist and the bouncer. Finally, the bouncer walked up the couple and told them they would not be treated here.

The reason was obvious. It was not the scare of her fever. The bouncer cleared a room and accommodated them. However, in spite of so many polite requests, the couple did not care to follow simple procedures. All they had to do was wear their masks and stay put in that room. Which is what all other waiting patients were doing!

While I did feel bad for the woman since she was obviously in pain, I wish they had been mindful and followed the rules. Especially after several polite requests.

I wanted to stand up and clap for the bouncer who took such a hard and swift decision in the interest of greater good! I am sure it was not easy. As the doctor’s assistant, I am sure treating a person in pain was paramount for him. Yet, in this case, ensuring the safety of several other patients probably took priority.

Time to see the Doctor

My turn arrived and I went in. But not before the door handle, the chin rest, the chair, and all such surfaces had been carefully wiped down by the bouncer. Bless him!

The eye doctor poked around my eye, made me read those terribly tiny letters placed a mile away, and asked a few questions.

FInally, he told me what I already knew. The sty had grown fond of me. It had settled down permanently.

If I wanted it out, I had to be strong, leave my emotional attachment behind and coax it out surgically. A minor procedure he said.

Then he waved a tiny flag of hope. He gave me some eye drops and said I should use it for a week. If that melts the heart of the sty, we may be able to skip brute force.

And the icing! He apologized for the long wait due to all the sanitization procedures! Imagine!

I gave him a broad smile that got lost within my mask.

I thanked him profusely for creating a safe environment!

Sanitized Exit

While I was trying to leave, the bouncer again appeared before me with the spray bottle. He generously sprayed my hands with sanitizer and warned me not to touch any surfaces on the way out.

I loved it all. I am happy we have such responsible people around! There is hope, yet!

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