LIFE HAPPENS

On Christmas Day, 'I think I've put my eye out!'

GARY MATHENY
Posted 1/6/18

Christmas Day 2018 is now in the books. I saw a post on social media last night stating there are 364 days till Christmas.Really!Christmas Day this year was spent differently than I imagined …

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LIFE HAPPENS

On Christmas Day, 'I think I've put my eye out!'

Posted

Christmas Day 2018 is now in the books. 

I saw a post on social media last night stating there are 364 days till Christmas.

Really!

Christmas Day this year was spent differently than I imagined when it began.

My children came the weekend before and we celebrated Christmas.

They departed on Sunday so Santa could make his grand entrance for the grands on Christmas Eve … leaving my wife and I alone for Christmas Day.

Usually she will ask me what I want to do on days such as this; however, the choice I made today will undoubtedly make her reluctant to allow me the decision again.

After the Christmas morning phone calls and FaceTime visits, seeing what Santa left, I decided to build a fire outside in my portable fire pit.

My intention was to enjoy a warm fire, smoke a cigar and reminisce of the past weekend with family.

Under my porch, I keep small pieces of wood especially for an occasion as this, and I made my way to gather the dried sticks for a morning of relaxation. 

After retrieving the box of twigs, I slowly inched my way through the small area. 

I was stepping over lawn equipment and other storage items when I misstepped and fell face first into the box of fire sticks.

Immediately, a piercing pain was felt in my left eye and the outside world became blurry.

I entered the house to find my wife sitting quietly on the couch and I announced, ”I think I have put my eye out.”

We washed the eye with water, wiped off the stream of red liquid making its way down my face and drove to Tennova’s emergency room.

To my amazement, at 10 a.m., there was no one in the waiting room.

My vitals were taken and the nurse announced my blood pressure was elevated, to which I responded,  "Well, I just walked in,” and the response was, “whatever you say,” as she smiled and walked away.

I was given a room and the waiting began.

My nurse was Glenda, a sweet lady with a great attitude, being she had to work on Christmas Day, and she began the process of making sure I was comfortable before the physician's assistant saw me.

I retired from the healthcare industry where I worked with hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare facilities. My idea of retirement was to stay away from those places; however, it seems I am there more than I expected.

I once told my general practitioner that he and my pharmacist were my best friends. I also suggested we meet at the Cracker Barrel occasionally, instead of always in his office.

Anyone who goes to the emergency room, no matter what hour of the day or night, knows you play the waiting game.

I am somewhat of a jokester, so I began joking with the people coming in and out of the room, making the best of a bad situation.

I was taken into the hallway to read an eye chart and was instructed to read the smallest print I could. One line looked as though it said "Feliz Navidad," so that’s what I said. 

Glenda just shook her head and escorted me back to my room.

During my wait I decided to post on my social media page the events of the morning.

I received sympathetic responses from my friends, all of which were appreciated, then the remarks of another nature began to pour in. 

Statements such as:

"... Did you do that on purpose, as a general rule, you burn sticks, and out of sight, Daddy-O."

My brother quoted a line from Cheech and Chong, “Wow, he stuck it in his eye …man.”

Another clever remark was, “For a second, I thought you got a Red Rider air rifle for Christmas.” 

However, my favorite came from my buddy, who is like a brother: “That’s not how to keep an eye out for Santa.”

You gotta love the sympathy we males offer in situations as these.

Have you ever noticed that we are identified by our name and birthday? I bet I was asked by 25 people for this information.

At one point, I stepped out of the room, only to return to find a short, pleasant young man wearing a Christmas suit ... yes, jacket and pants to match. This outfit had all sort of holiday pictures dyed into the fabric.

He began asking me questions, but first he had me state my full name and birthdate. Told you.

I looked at my wife and asked in a quiet voice, mostly facial gestures, “Is he the doctor?" She smiled a large smile and shook her head no.

The young man took all the insurance information and departed with a nice "Merry Christmas!" as the PA entered and announced doctors wanted to do a CT to ensure no foreign fragments were in the deep wound.

After a period of continued waiting, the CT was done and once again I was escorted back to my holding area, anticipating the results.

The diagnosis was that I had a large, deep gash in my eyeball, and it would take time to heal.

Disappointed I would not have to wear an eye patch — "Arrrrgh, matey!" — I could still see.

Christmas Day 2018 could have been worse, but I’m feeling blessed.

Be seein' ya!

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