I put a contact in and it immediately disappeared into some dark nook of my complex eyeball system. This happens with regularity. In fact, that very morning I'd found a fingertips-worth of sticky lens at the corner of my eye. It was a sliver that went missing more than a month and a half ago, but managed to rest in a place where I couldn't feel it. I didn't spend a month and a half craving the comfort of the cool metal prong of a rescue fork. No. I knew it was there and I waited for it to eject itself.
The new lens was an immediate problem. I clawed at the socket until my vision was blurry and the whites of my eyes were Clive Barker red.
"Oh, yeah," Chuck agreed when I faced him puffy lidded. "That does look irritated."
There are a few ways to find a missing lens.
1. Insert another. The second one might attract the first. They call this science.
2. Monkey around with acrobatic eye rolls, natural lighting, a mirror and freshly washed fingers.
3. Flood it free with eye drops.
4. Wait it out. It might surf to safety on grains of sleep crust.
5. Seek professional assistance from someone who doesn't see you coming, cringe, and say: "Didn't you also once lose a tampon in your body? What a mysterious fort for your soul!"
The doctor doused my eye with a numbing agent. She looked into my eye while I rolled it this way and that. She found the debris in an upper quadrant, so she had me stare forcefully in the opposite direction. Everything became a sort of salmon color. I stared so hard I swore I could see the branches of my own system of optic nerves. She worked the piece free with a Q-Tip. The "Do Not Try This At Home" was implied.
Quick aside: I did learn on the internet that a lens cannot travel to the back of your eyeball and stick to your brain. Phew.
"It's torn," she said. "This is half of the lens."
She seemed to think she was done.
"There's more," I told her.
If there is one thing I understand in a princess-and-the-pea way, it's my personal temple.
A bit more eye rolling and she found it in the other upper quadrant. This one was a trickier little sucker. She dug with another Q-Tip and pulled it free. There was an immediate relief. Like, cartoony-style itchy back and tree bark relief.
"You'd have never gotten this on your own," she told me.
I'm always looking for some kind of superlative at the doctor. ("That's the smallest hernia I've ever repaired. We actually had to make it bigger.") This one will do for today.
And now I wear glasses until my eye muscle memory forgets and I accidentally cram another demon lens into my face.