Last Sunday morning, Dave woke me up out of a sound sleep around 7:00 a.m.Em, I need your help.
Hmm. Not a good sign because 1) Dave never wakes me up if I don’t have to be somewhere and; 2) he rarely needs my help. The combined oddities made me sit up in bed faster than I normally would. I usually prefer to roll around a bit, waiting to get a face full of dog or cat butt before surrendering to the day. But there I was trying to focus on what was happening:What’s wrong? I have something in my EYE!
He let out an anguished breath and left the room. I jumped out of bed and padded along behind him ready to begin my clinical exam. Upon arriving in the bathroom, I saw vials of saline solution everywhere. Apparently he had been up for a while before waking Dr. Wife, who was now ready for action:Have you flushed your eye with water? I’ve tried. Arrrrrrrhgmrphs. *&%$#!!!! Blink. Blink, I say! (As if he hasn’t done that a million times already) How did this happen?? I don’t know! Woke up at (ahhhhhurfhs!) 2 a.m. and felt something but went back to sleep. Well, did you DO anything while you were sleeping?
Of course I knew the answer. But I had to ask. As we age, the probability of sustaining major injuries while lying completely comatose increases exponentially. It is not out of the question to tear ligaments, break bones, or completely blind oneself while enjoying a good night’s sleep. But Dave couldn’t recall a thing:No! I went to sleep fine!! I have no idea!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrfsh!! Can you see anything in there???
Now Dave is a pretty self aware guy. He knows his strengths and weaknesses well. So the fact that he asked me to try to get anywhere near his eyes suggested to me that he was entering delirium. The man couldn’t even fathom contact lenses until he was in his late twenties. He doesn’t like anyone, including the eye doctor, to go anywhere near those peepers – and that’s when he is feeling well. Still, I made a valiant effort, drawing close to get a look and retreating when he made the pain noise. Clearly I was not going to find anything this way – and even if I saw a hot poker in there, I wasn’t going to be the one to get it out. So I offered one last attempt at a home remedy:Take a shower and put your open eye right up to the water flow.
Yeah. That’s the ticket. You have reached the plan of last resort when you are recommending charlatan treatments that you yourself would never consider. But Dave was desperate and jumped in the shower, while I calculated the ER wait time on a Sunday morning.
Hours elapsed since bar closing time + hours left until weekend soccer games/choice of local ER versus major hospital = one hour door to door.
So away we went – and my calculations were correct. No wait and they whisked Dave into triage within five minutes of our arrival. Which was a great thing – because we all know how paralyzing it feels to have something in your eye, if only for a few seconds. People who have something in their eye are barely able to make sense of the world. They don’t hear you. They can’t communicate. And most enter panic mode, flailing about and causing a ruckus. It is often difficult to discern a person who has something in their eye from a person who has walked into a giant spider web. One is funny – the other not so much. Dave had been going on several hours of this feeling. I could almost feel the impending relief myself, which came moments after the Physician’s Assistant flipped his eye lid inside out and removed the foreign object.
As Dave lay on the gurney, now breathing a little easier, the P.A. called me over to show me the microscopic fleck of a white particle, which she was holding between a pair of tweezers. The two of us immediately became CSI Delaware County. She scrunched up her brow and consulted with me:Recognize this? It’s really sharp. What do you think it is? I have no idea what it is - or how it got into his eye while he was sleeping! Looks like fiber glass.
Fiberglass did you say?? Dave pipes up from the stretcher:I was working on my surfboard earlier yesterday? Could it have been floating around in my eye painlessly for a few hours and then gotten stuck on my eyelid?
Quite possibly the P.A. agreed. It was at that moment that I chose NOT to berate my betrothed for working on his surf board without safety glasses. Or make a snide remark about his hobby which not only takes time away from the family on a regular day, but was now the cause of an early Sunday arousal – and not the good kind. Nor did I bitch and moan that he would have to miss a family dinner because of his need to convalesce after the ordeal – all day. Nope. I embraced his gross negligence, chalked it up to lessons learned, and gave him a pass from my wifely words of wisdom, which was a prescient move because…
… as I was climbing into the bed that night, I noticed both of our pillows sprinkled with little white specks of material eerily similar to that which was between the tweezers at the hospital. And suddenly, the plot twist.
Yes, MoB readers, for the last decade I have slept hugging a small beanbag like pillow which we have named The Wubbie – or The Wub for short. It does not travel with me, but it gives me comfort at home, often serving as a physical barrier between my face and other things that appear on our bed at night, such as the aforementioned cat butt. But now, it appears to be leaking death particles.
I don’t know what David Caruso might have said to me at that point, but his tone would definitely place the blame squarely on my shoulders. And the slow motion reenactment of my hugging the Wub, squeezing out that fatal speck, and Dave rolling over onto it – and into an hours-long ordeal would have made a terrific montage in those neon colors.
I was quick to confess; Dave was faster to forgive. In a marriage where I am often the one who needs tending to, I welcomed the chance to take care of Dave for once, even if it was all my fault in the end. The bedroom mystery was solved. Dave’s eye was fine, his surfboard hobby was saved, and I got a brand new wubbie.