Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The needle of the eye

Late night drama on the family front once again; this time my niece provided much of the revelry.

Circa 11 p.m., the wife and I about to call it a night after a constructive debate (I can’t get into details here). Hark! A panic call from the niece….one of her contact lenses won’t come out. As most keen readers of my writing know by now, the missus dons many hats – judge, jury, match-fixer, and of course doctor. Yesterday, it was a combination of a doctor, trauma specialist and an ophthalmologist.

The first suggestion from her to my niece was to use a finger from each hand and spread the eyelids apart and take out the lens. No succour there.  The next advice to was to bulge out the eye by some drastic hand actions. That wasn’t received with much enthusiasm. Finally, she suggested that cupping some water in your hand and dipping your face (with the intact eye) would do the trick.

Satisfied with her recommendations and me being more of a go-between for the phone conversation, my lady settled down for a comfortable night’s sleep. A text message within the next 40 seconds put any plans for retiring on hold. A follow up call  and hysterics on the other end of the line made us realize that hard action was required so off we drove to pick up my niece and take her to a REAL doctor.

Never one to give up easy, my wife once again tried to prise out the stubborn lens one last time before the doctor’s visit. We actually couldn’t see the damn thing in the eye despite the amazing brightness of a cell-phone AMOLED screen lighting. As is usual in such cases, the situation caused much mirth, especially to the self made don of many hats.

First stop – Malathi Manipal Hospital at Jayanagar. We were met by two male doctors who had probably graduated the day before and had been shunted to the graveyard shift. Again, the enterprising one, the better half grabbed a flashlight and peered intently into my niece’s eye while the young doctors looked on in bafflement.

Finally, the doctors were allowed to see the patient. Both the young guns declared that the lens was not in the eye. Violent protests ensued from the victim who insisted it was in there.

Still in the ER, and in front of the bathroom mirror, a long tête-à-tête followed between the two girls. Our ‘family doctor’ declared that contact lenses have often dissolved in her eyes which was met by disbelief by the eye patient. A theory on lens disintegration also didn’t make a mark. One of the real doctors hesitantly intervened to tell us that his friend works the night shift at a nearby eye clinic. Of course, the only way we knew where this eye clinic was by a restaurant landmark.

Efficient driving to the eye clinic proved fruitless. The damn place was closed. We then drove back to Manipal Hospital where there was more prodding of the eye which refused to show any signs of a contact lens in it. Once more, the doctor ventured to tell us that we need to go to a different eye clinic where another of his friends worked. Our first response was to ask if it was next to a well known Ice Cream store. The ER doctor got really exasperated now and said with some disgust ‘Do you people only know restaurants and food places?’ My wife bristled at the unprovoked judgement and said ‘Of course! And I don’t believe you have any friends who are ophthalmologists!’ So, there you have it. A total impasse.

As we come hot off the presses with this report,  the story hasn’t ended. We still don’t know if the lens is in the eye or not but the lady in question is feeling a bit better though with a swollen eye. Hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery today. After all, eye can’t take much more…

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