The day I got my new eye….ish…

We are OUT of quarantine!!

The small child was back at school for approximately 12 hours before he broke up for half term, but I am taking that as a small win!

This blog could focus on what potentially might be a bit of a ‘meh’ half term (for the kids more than me) the weather has been lousy to say the least, but to be fair we have been making the most of it… and they were in camp for 2 days… gotta love camps! and so instead I thought I would reminisce back to when my temporary eye became permanent, well, when I got fitted for my permanent eye…. I never claimed that this blog was going to have any type of themes or linear story, it’s literally what is in my head at the time…. so here goes…. The day I got my new eye… ish….

We all remember the trauma of my first temporary eye, when ‘Eye Lady’ (not her real name) basically had to place her knee in my stomach to stop me sliding off the chair to shove the darn thing in…. well I didn’t think it could get much worse…. until I had the fitting for my ‘new eye’….

Let me set the scene, this was pre Covid and it actually feels quite strange talking about a time when you could walk into a hospital without a third degree about how you are feeling or without the fear of having a completely non Covid related coughing fit as you walk in… any way, I digress…..

It was a rare glorious day in Sheffield and in my wisdom I had decided to walk up to the hospital from the station. If anyone has any vague knowledge of Sheffield, it is the hilliest place in THE WORLD (that’s not actually true) and as I powered up the hill to the hospital, all I could do was think about how hot and sweaty I was and how blooming hilly it was! I arrived at the hospital in a hot, flustered, sweaty state and, as I rarely think ahead, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about what the actual process of fitting a new eye would involve. I was mainly focusing on the fact I needed to get back to pick the kids up from school….. remember those days, when the kids were pretty much guaranteed to be in school… and if they were feeling a bit peaky, all you did was throw a bit of Calpol down their necks and ignore any phone call that might potentially be the school ringing to collect them.

As I entered the room Eye Lady (not her real name) was based in, I saw an unusual number of fake eyes littered on the side, a few instruments that looked dodgy to say the least and a lump of what can only be described as children’s moulding clay… you know the type I mean, the stuff that gets stuck into the carpets and despite swearing you’ll never buy the b***ard stuff again, you always do, thinking ‘next time it’ll be different, they WILL listen to me when I tell them to keep it on the table’….(a note to any prospective parents… they NEVER do.)

Anyway… Eye Lady (not her real name) explained what was going to happen and then started to loom towards me with the infamous ‘eye plunger.’ Fear gripped my stomach and I felt myself slipping down the black leather chair again, aided by the fact that my back was still fresh with sweat from my power walk up to the hospital. Eye Lady (not her real name) was  pre prepared and had tipped the chair in a way that was virtually impossible for me to slide out of, cemented by the fact that she had swiftly blocked my exit off the chair with a neat body block. I shut both eyes (useful) tightly and she had to prised my left eye open mumbling, “Crikey, if you can’t cope with this bit, you are never going to survive the putty stage.”

“The what now?” I thought to myself as my eyes popped open in shock and Eye Lady (not her real name) took advantage of this and my temporary eye was suck out with the eye plunger in one swift move.

The next stage involved Eye Lady (not her real name) beginning to soften up the children’s putty ready to mould my socket (blugh.) She picked it up and started to pull and make shapes with it, making it as soft and stretchy as possible, all the while chatting about random stuff. I grunted replies whilst watching in horror at the thought of the putty going into my eye socket…. eventually when the putty was malleable enough, it was put/scrapped/forced into a syringe ready to be injected…

Eye Lady (not her real name) obvs knew me by now and didn’t give me the chance to start my Houdini escape act. She pushed the chair right back so I was laying flat, propped open the flappy lid in a kinda ‘A Clockwork Orange’ type way and started to pump the putty into the socket. Biting my lip and gripping the chair with my nails embedded into the leather, I could feel my top lip sweating as if I had just eaten a really hot curry. Eye Lady (not her real name) was busy talking to me about something, but all I could hear was what sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher…. a mumble/buzzing sound. Now the putty didn’t hurt as such, it just felt really strange, a bit like what I imagine a balloon feels like when it is being blown up. It was very cold and I could feel the pressure building up as it filled. I was so tempted to ask how the Eye Lady (not her real name) knew when enough was enough, but I didn’t want to distract her too much. I was relieved when she eventually stopped before my whole head exploded from being filled with putty.

After what felt like forever, but was actually only about 3 minutes, Eye Lady (not her real name) sucked out the putty and used the mould to make a white wax eye…. that’s the only way that I can describe it…. think ‘Storm’ from X – Men when her super powers activate….. and her eyes are glowing…. and take your expectations down a notch or two and you have just about got what I mean….

Next, according to Eye Lady (not her real name), was the ‘fun part’ (I would have to disagree) It was the part when she would ‘line up’ where the Iris and Pupil were going to be placed. To do this, Eye Lady (not her real name) forced (and I do mean forced) the wax eye back into my socket, took another plunger type device (you really think that they would create a more modern contraption rather than just a plunger) , blobbed a bit of ink on it and then looking at my other eye for a guide, she popped it onto the wax eye… that was literally it… the future of my new eye was based on a plunger, a bit of ink and and estimate of position… (although I imagine that Eye Lady (not her real name) would take great offence at me claiming that she just estimates considering that false eye creation has been her career for the last 20 years or so!)

My superpower eye
The plunger and ink… a most modern way to line up an Iris….

Squelching the wax block back out of the socket, and we were done…. the temporary one was put back in and Eye Lady (not her real name) bagged up the wax block with the plunger on and told me that it would be around 6 weeks for my new shiny, sparkly eye to be ready…. My enthusiasm for that next appointment was slightly marred by the fact that the eyelashes on ‘The Eye’ had lodged themselves underneath my temporary prosthetic, causing a mixtures of shearing pain and water to leak from both eye sockets….. Mumbling my thanks, Eye Lady (not her real name) righted the chair position and let me slide off in a sweaty, eye watering, blob. Job done.

If the experience has done one thing though, it has put going to the dentist into perspective, never again shall I quiver at having my teeth cleaned!

CC x

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