I woke up this morning with crust in my eye. Crust in your eye is gross.
For the last few days it’s been very dry here in my neck of the words. My nose has been stuffed and my eyes have been dry. Normally I take care of this by drinking outrageous amounts of water, but I haven’t been as diligent as usual. In an effort to discourage this dry feeling I stopped taking the Claritin I usually take for my allergies. I’ve been sneezing a bit more, but that’s a small price to pay to keep from being dried out. Yesterday my eyes were REALLY dry. I did the best I could to drink a lot of water, but it didn’t work – I just didn’t have access to a lot of water where I was at. “Besides,” I thought to myself, “I’ll be home soon and Rene has eye drops that could lubricate a steam engine.” I headed back home, blinking a lot to try and keep my eyes moist. Once through the door I immediately doused my eyes, first with saline tears then with astringent anti-allergy drops. Finally my eyes felt normal again! It felt a bit like there was an eyelash in my right one, but that didn’t surprise me – they’d spent the whole day dry! Just to be sure I had Rene look and see if she could see anything. She didn’t see any foreign objects, but immediately quizzed me with a series of questions related to the level of irritation associated with my eye.
See Rene has had pink eye before. Her nieces have had it. She’s seen pink eye. She knows pink eye. She hates pink eye. Her questions did not match my symptoms and with the exception of some swelling around my eyes, swelling that is completely in line with my allergies, I showed no signs.
Then I woke up this morning. As I rolled over from my stomach I asked Rene how my eye looked. I could feel that there was crust in the corner, but my eye was far from sealed shut.
She made a face and a noise, “Ewwwwwwwwww.”
That didn’t sound good.
I sat up, used a Kleenex to wipe the crust away taking note of it’s color and texture (light yellow, almost clear and thin and crumbly) and then figured I had pink eye. Rene was pretty sure I had pink eye. My eye’s were definitely pink. The picture above was taken right after I wiped my eye. It’s pretty much looked the same the rest of the day.
Being an actor/producer is great. The job is creative, you can set your own hours and it presents opportunities to do really fabulous things while getting paid for it(when you get paid for it) . The only problem is, it’s a tough gig to maintain. The acting unions offer insurance coverage, but there is an ever rising minimum base earning that you must make on top of a quarterly payment of between $100 or $200 depending on your plan. If you can’t maintain either of these you can’t participate in the plan. Personal insurance for me costs around $140/month for a decent plan. I don’t really have the spare income to spend on that. I don’t get sick very often and I don’t do anything that puts me in real or present danger. Most of the time I’m very healthy and when I do get sick it usually only takes some NyQuil and a couple days before I’m back up to snuff. On the rare occasion that NyQuil won’t do it I am in a bit of bind.
Enter CVS Minute Clinics.
I found out about these from Rene and on the internet today. In select CVS Pharmacies are small clinics staffed with RN’s and physician assistants who can diagnose and treat basic ailments, including pink eye! I visited a branch close to my parent’s house, only had to wait about 30 minutes (there were four people ahead of me) and got out with a diagnosis and my meds for $99. That’s pretty good.
The Minute Clinics aren’t a fix all, they’re mostly for preventative medicine and small, easily treated things – see the web site for full details – but for the easy stuff, the stuff you can usually diagnose at home, it’s a great solution. Although I don’t have insurance they accept all major forms of it and, as I found out today, my family doctor is the medical supervisor of the clinic I attended! Kind of like going to the urgent care in his building, but it didn’t cost me $300. I went form being really worried this morning to only mildly inconvenienced and coming home with about $40 of other stuff that I picked up in the CVS as I waited for my prescription. Not much else happened today – I ended up having to wash a bunch of stuff and disinfecting everything else – but it’s a Saturday and sometimes that’s what you do on a Saturday.
Oh, and since I’ve never had pink eye before it counts as something new for “Doing New Things in January.” Yay for maintaining a theme.
See you tomorrow! A little less pink.