Oh, we all do it.
You get a rash. Or something that isn’t supposed to be red is all of a sudden red. Or it burns when you pee.
And you get on The Internet. The Internet with all the answers.
You start by Googling your symptoms. Once you’ve figured out what you’ve got (typically agreement between WebMD and at least 2 other websites provides a satisfactory diagnosis) you start Googling how to heal poison ivy breakouts or bladder infections or cancer. But not just heal, but heal without going to the “real” doctor. Because only losers and wimps and people without internet go to the “real” doctor, right? So now you’re on all these hippy dippy websites with babbling brooks as background music reading about how the floral cactolyptic herb has all of the ingredients to cure poison ivy, bladder infections AND cancer. But when you try to buy floral cactolyptic herb supplements you find out that they’re actually not allowed in the United States.
Now you have to go to the doctor. To ask him to write you a prescription for floral cactolyptic herb.
That’s where I’ve been for the past few months. I’ve had this eye… thing. My eye would get red. Like really red. But it was just one eye. And it wouldn’t hurt or itch or burn. And no one else (hello, Otis) ever got it.
Everyone looked at me and would say “Pink eye” like they were internet doctors too. It was mortifying because it totally was NOT pink eye. And I heard that you got pink eye by getting poop in your eye, and that’s, um, GROSS. I don’t have poop in my eye, thankyouverymuch.
After a week or so of surviving with my latest bout of NOT pink eye, I had narrowed my potential diagnosis down to 4 different theories:
Ocular Rosacea – The skin around my eye was all weird. This would account for not spreading it and it only being in one eye.
Allergies – I’ve never had allergies before, but I figured between the weird Tennessee weather and post-pregnancy hormones it was a possibility.
Reaction to Birth Control – As much as we adore Otis, we aren’t trying to get on the baby train right now. So I’m on Implanon (it’s the one that goes in your arm). Implanon was great until I developed the theory that the birth control was my red eye culprit.
Brain Tumor – I didn’t think this until an hour or so before my doctor appointment. It occurred to me that the blood may be unable to leave my eye because it’s blocked. By a tumor. In my brain. I am not lying when I say that I practiced making strong faces so that the doctor wouldn’t be uncomfortable telling me the horrible news.
When I finally broke down and went to the doctor, well, this was the conversation:
Me: I’ve had this eye thing for a week. But it really started back in October. I’d get it for like a week and then it would go away. But it was in the left eye. Now it’s, obviously, in my right eye.
Doctor: You’ve had it since October?
Me: Yes. But it goes away. Then comes back. And no one else gets it. It’s not pink eye.
I’m guessing the answer was so obvious to my doctor he asks if I’m allergic to any medicine. Probably because he’s just going to go ahead and give me a prescription for something. Hopefully for floral cactolyptic herb.
Me: Not that I know of, but I am using birth control… would you like to hear my theories?
Me: I bet you hate the internet. Well, it could be a reaction to my birth control. It’s Implanon. In my arm.
Doctor: When did you get it put in?
Me: August. But I read that other people had reactions to it…
Doctor: Well, I know it isn’t your birth control because typically the reaction that birth control causes (yada, yada, yada something about your eyeball’s shape changes) and it would be in your blood so it would have affected both eyes.
Me: Ahh. That makes sense. Guess that’s why you’re the doctor! Well, as long as it’s not a brain tumor I’m good. Brain tumor was my fourth theory, by the way.
Doctor: Legitimate laughter
He ended up looking at my eyes with his machinery. I don’t know if he really needed to do that. I bet it was more of a show for me. So that I’d feel thoroughly checked out and get off The Internet.
Doctor: Well, it looks like a legitimate infection. I’ll prescribe you some antibiotics and an eye ointment. You should be better by Friday.
Me: What about some floral cactolyptic herb?
Ok. That last line was a joke. He’s great and a fabulous sport about my afternoon impersonating Dr. House. Also, my eyes are better. For now.