Sunday, May 1, 2011

There's Porcupine Tree's "Blackest Eyes," there's Jaundince "Yellow Eyes" and then there's me with "Red Eyes"

Even in my wildest dreams, I did not think this possible. Not that I thought I was immune, but this was something that wasn't even in my vocabulary anymore. One evening, everything's normal; and the next morning I wake up to see the reflection of a girl with bloodshot eyes in the mirror! I could've expected that, had I gone off to sleep in drunker stupor or woken up without the requisite amount or sleep or (worse) both. But I had done neither of those. I was sober and well-rested! What the hell was up with these red eyes then? In a few minutes, I was about to be told!

Omkar was returning to Australia on Friday night after being here for almost three months and I really wanted to go see him off. I went to his house in the evening with the others, but I hadn't planned on going to the airport since his flight was at midnight and I had to come back home. But I should've known that the others wouldn't let me go so easily and I would have to go to the airport whether I wanted to or not. So I ended up going to the airport and I had decided that after he checked in, I would take an auto to Kurla station (as I had missed the last direct train from Anderi, that I had originally planned on taking) and then take a train from Kurla.

Of course, I wasn't going all the way from the airport till Kurla station alone at 10 PM!! Sandeep and Amit decided to drop me off till the station. But everyone was so hungry that they wanted to eat first. If we waited to have dinner, I would reach home by midnight and the guys wouldn't have been able to come back home because they would've missed the last train from Churchgate!!!

So in the interest of convenience (read: the easy way out) it was decided that I would stay back at Amit's so that no one would have to go through the trouble of dropping me off anywhere! We went to Pop Tate's at Saki Naka for dinner and all of us came back to Amit's place for a sleepover.  

Everything was fine, I was how I always am; nothing different. Except a little bit of redness in my left eye, which I dismissed because it was just a tiny little red cluster that was probably due to the fact that I had rubbed my eyes sometime ago (maybe!) So I ignored it and went off to sleep.

The real shocker came in the morning when I couldn't open my eyes. Normally, I would attribute that to laziness because sometimes when it's just 7.30 in the morning, I don't want to open my eyes. But Saturday morning, I wanted to open my eyes, but I couldn't!!! It was as if they were welded shut!! I tried to slowly peel away the goop that was dry and when I had successfully managed to get most of it away, I got off the bed to wash my face.

Once I looked in the mirror, I was a little surprised. My eyes were all red and quite frankly, they hurt! I went to the living room to yell at Sandeep for waking me up at 7.30 before I had finished my 10 hour quota! :P

He looked at my eyes and said I looked like Dracula! That's something I wanted to hear from him early in the morning! He asked me if my eyes were sore. Definitely not, I thought. I went back to the basin to splash some more water on my face but I thought my eyes had become 'redder' than I had seen them two minutes ago. I turned to face Amit and his parents and asked him to look at my eyes.

He was the second person within a span of two minutes to tell me that my eyes were sore! 

"Yedi! Tujhe sore eyes hua hai!" were his exact words, and I reacted with a very casual, "Oh!"

You would think I would be scared or I would panic when I realised I had conjunctivitis, but I was quite amused really. The last time I remember when I had them was 1994 (one or two years give or take) when I was in the third standard (that I'm sure of!) and I remember not even being able to open my eyes because they were sticky, and burning and it was always as if there was something stuck in between my eyelids. In short, they were troublesome and I always considered myself fortunate that I didn't have to go through that again. Until yesterday.

But when I discovered what it really was, I wasn't disturbed because my eyes weren't watering, they weren't sticky and they weren't burning! So far, it had been a breeze! I was enjoying it and at the same time freaking the others around me! Everyone was scared they would catch the infection.

Now let me explain how this thing really works, because people do need to know (and this has been verified by two doctors, so I'm not kidding!) 

Conjunctivitis DOES NOT spread by merely LOOKING at someone with a red eye!! It spreads if you touch your own eyes with infected hands. How will your hands get infected, you ask? Well let's say I rub my red eye and then hold on to a pencil, then you hold the same pencil and then rub your own eye without washing your hand, that's how it's going to get you!! So wash your hands! Always... I cannot emphasise on that enough!!

Then why do people with sore eyes wear dark glasses?? Well, it's mostly for our (yes, OUR!) own benefit than anyone else's! To protect the eyes from sunlight and dust. And if you count protecting others from freaking out when they see our eyes, then yes, you can say we wear sunglasses for others' benefit too! ;)

Anyway, as soon as I realised what I had, I asked Amit if he had a pair of sunglasses because my sister had borrowed mine and I left to come back home. I went to the doc and he said it was due to a viral infection (my throat was sore and I had a cold as well!) It's been two whole days and my eyes are still not burning the way I remember they're supposed to! They aren't watery or sticky either. So I guess I lucked out that way. But they're still red enough to scare a really timid person.

Oh, and I even took a picture! This is how my eyes were yesterday morning. The picture is taken against light, so I'm not sure the redness in the eyes (as well as the extent of it) is very evident. But that's all I have as of now! Don't be scared!! And ALWAYS wash your hands! Just in case...

I had just woken up about twenty minutes ago, that's why the drowsy look! Oh.. and my eyes are swollen too!! I hope the redness is evident! :)
- Nikita.