- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Let me set the stage: It’s 5am, I stagger out of bed, shamble into my bathroom, tear open to box of saline solution my bride has purchased for me at the grocery store. I rinse my contact thoroughly and stick it on my eye, then OMG MY EYE! AAAAAYYYYYYYYYHHHHH! I’M BURNING!!! AAAAAYYYYYHHHHH!!! @#$%@#$%$@^!!!!! MY EYE!!!! !@#$%^.
My wife jolts awake and sprints into the bathroom certain that an armed assailant has stabbed me in the head. As I lay screaming on the floor trying to pluck the afflicted eyeball from its socket, she yells “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?!” All I can continue to do is scream “MY EYE!!!!” Somehow she gets me up out of the writhing fetal position I am in and helps me over to the bathtub. “Here, rinse your eye under the faucet.” My eye is clamped so tight shut I can’t pull it open with both hands. Finally enough water eeks in that I am able to dislodge my contact, and I continue to run water in my eye for 10 straight minutes before I can turn off the water and attempt to resume my morning ritual of getting ready. At this point I’m pretty sure I have 3rd degree burns on my cornea and the pain is downgraded to just feeling like I have nuclear waste in my eye.
“What did you put in my saline solution??” I cry. “Look,” she says reading the bottle, “No Rub, Clinically proven #1 in comfort.”
Now my wife doesn’t wear contacts but she does the shopping, so for 16 years when I run of saline solution I “put it on the list”. This has worked flawlessly until her recent purchase of Clear Care.
And in fairness to manufacturer of this eye melting concoction, they do put an ominous little red tip on the bottle, but at 5am, barely awake, I wasn’t paying much attention to the finer nuances of their packaging and boy did I pay the price. There was also a red announcement at the top that read “Use only lens case provide. Do not rinse lens with Clear Care prior to insertion.”
But unlike other hazardous chemicals, there was no instructions of what to do if you didn’t read the bottle (again, 5am, couldn’t read without contacts in, and dude, I’ve only been using saline solution the same way for 30 years).
I managed to drive to Wal-mart , one eye flaming and shut, the other apparently in sympathy with its twin, barely open. In hindsight, driving drunk and texting probably would have been safer. Reading labels though my squinty eye and occasionally blurting out a stifled scream and stream of obscenities not fit for print, I bought a bag full of eye relief products, none of which read “Antidote for Clear Care”.
Another death defying trip got me to my office where for another 2 hours I tried to extinguish the inferno which I was certain would eventually leave only a smoking crater in my head. No such luck. Having used all of the eye care products (in their entirety) and munching down 5 or 6 Advil, my pain subsided to a level of only feeling like someone has slathered a paste of crushed glass and Tabasco on my eye and nailed it shut with needles.
At this point I conceded that I needed real expert help so I turned to my dear friend and trusted medical professional…the internet. And there I found the only little bit of relief to come for hours. I found blogs and message boards with posts numbering in the thousands of other pin heads like me that didn’t read the fine print. The sheer hilarity of other peoples tortured writing caused me to laugh to the point I literally cried. Here are a few examples:
“I have worn contacts for over 30 yrs. Yesterday I ran out of solution and went to my daughter’s bathroom to borrow some of hers. I grabbed a bottle of Clear Care from her drawer, Next moment brought the most scorching pain I have ever felt (next to childbirth of course).”
“I burned my eye severely this morning and I am not an idiot and I do not need hooked on phonics to read the label. I just reverted to my old habit (25 years) of grabbing the bottle, rinsing my contact and putting in my eye. HUGE mistake. I screamed so badly my children thought I was dying. I was unable to even open my eye to remove my contact, all I could do was stand there screaming. My children ended up grabbing the right bottle of saline and pouring it into my eye for me until I could remove the contact. Now I am left with a throbbing, burning, blood red eyeball that I am rinsing with water every 5 minutes.”
“I ran out of solution last night ( I usually use opti-free solution) and I just grabbed my sisters solution like anyone else would. I have never had to do anything special with solution so I just used my old contact case. This morning I went to put in my contacts and it was like my eye was melting. Who would make such a horrible product!”
“I just thought the red tip was fancy packaging. Oh, look, isn’t that cute. UNTIL IT BUBBLED MY CORNEA LIKE CASSEROLE!””
“My girlfriend just had exactly the same thing happen to her eyes! DAMN YOU CLEAR CARE! WTF!!!”
While reading others’ misfortune eased my pain slightly, my eye continued to ooze a steady stream of tears for hours. At noon I couldn’t take anymore so I called my eye doctor who was on vacation in Chicago. Word of advice to doctors – never give out your cell number even to friends. I told him I got Clear Care in my eye what should I do. He said get some eye rinse and rinse it out. So back to CVS I went.
Trying to be conscientious, I texted my doctor saying, “The pain is still excruciating, what now?” He replied, “What did you say you got in your eye again?” – “Clear Care” – “What is Clear Care?” he texted back. I wanted to reply Satan’s Venom from his pointy red tail, but texting with a flaming eye made that impossible. I replied “3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution.” “For contacts?! I’ll call you in a steroid.”
Relief came 5 or 6 hours later when the steroid kicked in. Out of sheer gratitude I would name my next child after the doctor, or a least give him one of the ones already have. Word to the wise, if you see a red tip on your saline bottle – READ THE #$%#$^ INSTRUCTIONS.