I Receive Very Disturbing News

Farmers get hurt in their work a lot. I’ve collected my fair share of bruises, cuts, and sore muscles, but as a result of one particular injury several years ago, I received some very disturbing news.

That fall I was feeding corn to a bunch of young sheep, and had to walk through the trees. I couldn’t see in the shade with my sunglasses on, so I took them off. Bad idea. I was so busy watching the ground to avoid stepping in sheep poop that I walked my open eye right into a tree branch. Ouuwweee!

“You have a corneal abrasion,” said my partner, Queen of Corneal Abrasions. “We should go to the hospital.”

“No, I don’t. I’ll be fine,” I replied My eye burned all evening. I went to bed and writhed around so dramatically I was soon entangled in the sheets. “You have a corneal abrasion,” Melissa repeated, “and I’m taking you to the hospital.”

It’s a small town and a small hospital, so things are pretty quiet at night. The nurse was happy to have a visitor. I walked in with my hand over my eye.

She smiled. “I have to give you a vision test.”

“You’re kidding. I can’t open my eye.”

“Let’s test the eye you can open.”

When that was done she called the doctor. He looked about fifteen, and possibly had LED lights running around the base of his sneakers. He had a head cold and runny nose. He stood directly over me and my poor eye, sniffed loudly, then told me to open that eye. Don’t think so. It took both the nurse and the doctor to pry open my eye, then he dropped in some orange liquid.

The doctor then explained that when he shone a black light in my eye, the orange drops would make any scratches on the eyeball look green. Cool.

“Yup, corneal abrasion,” the doctor said. “You have a small green scratch.”

I didn’t know much about eyes and corneas, and began to worry. What if my eye never healed? What if I went blind?

“You’ll be fine tomorrow,” the doctor said. “Visit your regular doctor and the scratch will be gone.” Then before I could ask any questions, he was gone.

The next afternoon I visited my doctor. She put in the orange drops and shone the black light. No green anywhere. My eyeball was just fine.

“How did that happen?” I asked. “How can the scratch go away in just a day?”

My doctor explained that the cornea is always replacing itself. Enough new cornea grew overnight that the old stuff flaked off and the scratch was gone.

“But where does the old cornea go?”

“Some of it comes out your tear ducts,” my doctor said, “but most of it comes out your nose.”

Thanks so very much, Doctor.

Now I know that every time I grab a tissue, I am blowing my eyeball out my nose.

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