And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Oh hell, you're thinking: Joy's done gone over to the evangelical's at last. Well, it was bound to happen. After all a woman who wanted to be a nun as a child... Gotcha! I may not be gettin' any, as the kids say, but I'm not ready to check into the convent just yet. (give me a couple more years... at least.)
The Bible quote above, which of course is a part of a larger piece bashing hypocrisy, reminded me of a story. So I thought I'd lead off with that because... ya know, been away for a while and I'm not really sure how this blogging thing works any more!
A few weeks ago I finally got my ass to the optometrist for an exam. Reading has become a nightmare of squinting and holding books up to my nose, it was clearly time for new glasses. What a shock. Happens every year, just like taxes. I got a new scrip for glasses (which I have yet to fill because I've been, as mentioned, preoccupied with other health concerns). But I did get a new contact lens prescription and even ordered a supply of lovely, comfortable disposable lenses. I can even (sorta) read with them - which is a new development for me with contacts. Usually they are for social events only. Some of you may remember the last time I socialized in my old contacts and the hilarity that ensued from that little foray into blindness. So now I have new lenses that I can actually use to SEE! Fun! But I also still have a couple dozen of the old not so much good for anything lenses. I HATE waste. Rather than ditch the semi-useless lenses I did find a use for them. I wear them when I work out! I pop 'em in to go running, when I'm done I pop 'em out and throw them away (they are daily disposables after all). This saves me 'wasting' the old lenses and also saves me cleaning the new ones (they are weeklies). It's been working out really well.
Until last week.
I came home from a really hard run on a really hot day. I got into the shower and then remembered to remove my lenses. No problem it's not like I need a mirror to do that I can just reach into my eyeball and pull those puppies right out. So I did. But when I took out the left lens I felt a searing burning pain. Clearly some shampoo had gotten into my eye while I was removing the lens. I rinsed and rinsed and it finally felt better so I finished my shower, dried off and proceeded to collapse on the couch.
About 4 hours later - out of nowhere - the searing pain was back! WTF??? I ran to the bathroom and started rinsing my eye again and could find no relief. I was sure there must be a dog or cat hair in my eye, because they are both white it's often hard to spot a hair that gets in my eye. Yes, yes, this has happened before. Life with domesticated animals, it's a given. But no matter what angle I tried I could not spot the hair that was causing my eye so much pain. Then I spotted it. Something that completely freaked me out. There, in the white of my left eye, was an air bubble!
All I could think was somehow my eye was popping a blood vessal, or something like an optical aneurysm was going on. I was terrified. I tried to stay calm - no health insurance in this country means no E.R. without careful consideration and/or impending death. I stared into the mirror looking at the air bubble in my poor eye wondering if it meant I would soon be doing a Sandy Duncan/Sammy Davis Jr. and possibly having a really cool party trick to do in future when I noticed the jagged line. There was a jagged line in the white of my eye! DEAR GOD WHAT IS GOING ON???
Yeah. You've probably figured it out. Took me a bit longer. Seems the air bubble was not in the white of my eye but instead trapped under the half of my contact lens that had torn off when I removed it in the shower. When I pulled it out I didn't look at it I simply reached around the shower curtain and flicked it into the trash. What's to look at? Well, if I had looked I'd have known that the searing pain I felt and thought was shampoo was in fact the torn edge of the lens scraping against my poor delicate eye. Ouchie!!! D'OH!
Unfortunately the lens was now pretty hard to get out - being in half and all so it took some extensive, one-eyed, internet searching (Google: "how to remove a torn contact lens") and then a lot of flushing with contact solution and laying flat (laying down with your eyes closed apparently moves the lens back into position so you can get hold of it if it has migrated up under your lid. Good to know.) I finally managed to get the torn bit out with no lasting damage to my eye. It was a bit red the next morning from all the poking an prodding, but by the evening it was fine again.
Had I LOOKED at the lens when I removed it I would have saved myself a world of pain, trouble and desperate web searching. Look first to your own eye, before you can remove the mote from your brother's. See how that ties into the Bible story?
Yeah. I thought it was a stretch too. But you know I had to try.