Well, I said in my post this morning that I was going to write my sonnets paper this afternoon, but it didn't exactly turn out that way. On my way to the computer lab, I felt like I had dirt in my eye, which with hard contacts is a not too rare occurence. So I took my contacts out, thinking that'd make it better, but the feeling persisted. I tried eye drops, flushing my eye with water, cold compresses, and nothing helped.
So I walked to the shopping area and went into this place that said Optical and Dental. It was kind of like a Lens Crafters, and the guy there looked at my eye and said it might be a blister on the cornea or something. He said I needed to go to the hospital. At this point, I felt very alone and wanted to cry, but when I started to, I discovered that made the pain worse. So I decided to be brave instead :)
I went back to my room to get some stuff together before leaving for the bus station. All of my girlfriends were out, and I didn't know where our faculty supervisor's room was, so I knocked on my friend Kevin's door to make sure someone knew where I was going. He, very kindly, insisted on coming along with me, which was definitely a good thing. It made the whole experience more of an adventure and less scary and isolating.
Anyways, we took the bus to the hospital and found our way with some difficulty to the eye center. The nurse there took my name and address and, of all things, my religion - no insurance information though - and told us to wait. There were two people in front of me.
Two and a half hours and lots of bad magazines later (did you know the British tabloids think Christina Aguilera should cover the bruises on her legs?), I finally got to see the doctor. He was very kind. When he gave me some drops, I warned him that I'm really bad about drops, and he said, "Don't worry...I'm good at it." He told me about his visit to Georgetown and how he saw cockroaches there. Thankfully, by that time the pain had died down a bit and my main problem was blurry vision. He diagnosed the problem as a scratched cornea and gave me medication for it.
So the long and short of it is that I have to wear my glasses for at least the next week and put this antibiotic cream in my eyes four times a day...and take Advil for the pain. Fun, fun. But all in all, it turned out okay. And here's the best part. When the doctor was finished, I asked him where I should go to pay for the medication and the exam, and he said, "Oh, you don't have to pay. You can leave a donation if you want, but nothing's required." I couldn't believe it. I'm still not sure exactly how all of that works.
So even though I feel ugly in my glasses and didn't get much done on my sonnets paper and can't see clearly out of my right eye, I have lots to be thankful for - free treatment, kind Brits who helped me figure out what to do, Kevin's kindness in helping me through it, all the other friends and faculty who've been so concerned, and the wonderful cafeteria staff here who put together special dinner plates for us, even though we were an hour and a half late. Plus I have a good story to tell!