An eye on my world (8)

I returned to the Specialist’s rooms to have my stitches removed. There were only a few stitches inside the empty eye socket, but they had actually become my major irritant, itching and becoming more uncomfortable as the days passed. It was not exactly a place I could scratch, even if I had wanted too, but I did find some relief from just pressing the dressing against the area.

Up to this point in time I had never experienced stitches. My tonsils had been removed the year before, but that was of little consequence compared to what I was experiencing now.

When the dressing was removed the doctor made the kind remark “that’s an eyebrow that needs taming”. A delightful comment to remind a young woman that a monobrow was forming behind her bandage!

While the doctor worked on my wound I was making a very low sound in my throat as I exhaled. It was like a deep sigh. Over the years I have realised I make this sound whenever I experience pain, as if it is some primal gut instinct (or should I say throat instinct!). At this time I was however unaware I was even making the sound, I guess I was just trying to find a happy place.

“What are you making that noise for?” he asked, uttered less as a question and more as an irritation.

I should have replied “I don’t know, but I am eighteen, I’ve just had my eye removed, maybe I am trying to comfort myself, because you sure aren’t helping.” Instead I fell silent, feeling embarrassed and ashamed as though I had failed some test.

After the procedure we settled down to talk. Time to deal with the elephant in the room. Time stopped while he shuffled papers and prepared his performance. Hurry up, speak.


No Cancer.

No sign of anything outside of the eye.

He actually said, “We didn’t know what we had until we sent the eye to London for examination.” In lay man’s terms, I had a growth on the nerve ending of the iris and it was rare. I was the thirteen recorded case in the English speaking world to that time. There was that number thirteen again.

In time the doctors would write up my case for publication and my primary doctor over the years, received phone calls from around the world asking for information about my case and that all important question: is she still alive?

The next step for me was to wait six weeks until everything healed and then the process of life with a prosthesis would begin; as well as living with the fear that something might happen to my remaining eye.

10 thoughts on “An eye on my world (8)

  1. I have a question to ask you. If you don’t feel like answering on the blog, could you please email me. I am interested in how the person we inhabit physically defines who we are: how would i experience the world differently were I a female, for instance; so how has being one-eyed since eighteen defined you as a person? in other words, what diffreneces did it impose on hyou?


  2. Good grief, what an ordeal. And I would have smacked that doctor after he was done removing the stitches. Too many of them act like we’re supposed to be cadavers on a table, unmoving, unfeeling.


  3. Wow. That’s an amazing story. Doctor’s aren’t the most empathetic people in the world, for some strange reason. You’d think they would be, given what they do for a living.


  4. He’s picking around in your eye socket removing stitches and he wonders why you might be making a noise? Sweet Jesus but some intelligent people can be remarkably stupid.


  5. Sorry that I haven’t been around very often. 😦 But once again, great writing! I will slowly read through your story. 🙂 I love to read your writing.


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