Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Not a Doctor, Nor Do I Play One on TV...

Photo by [lauren nelson]. I'm dispensing my medical advice for free and you don't have to foot the bill for an addition to my home.

This summer I developed--overnight, it seemed--horribly dry eyes. My eyes felt scratchy. Similar to the feeling you get when you wash your face with sandpaper in the desert at 120 degrees. Only in my eyes.

I'd never suffered with dry, scratchy eyes before, so I was stumped. I bought a popular brand of eye drops purported to "get the red out," but a friend insisted I stop using them immediately (per her eye doctor's instructions) and use a brand that sounds like the word "sustain." I did exactly what Wendy demanded, because she can be pretty scary when she's in "Mother Mode." And the drops did help. But still, I wondered, why was I having this problem in the first place?

Making an appointment with the eye doctor seemed the thing to do. Certainly he could/should/would help me, right? Yeah, not so much. He basically told me (this is my paraphrase), "Gee, that's too bad about your scratchy-as-the-desert kind of eye problem. Keep using those drops, though, okay?" I estimate my bill will be about the cost of one square foot of his new addition.

The next week when I went in to pick up my new eyeglasses, I complained to Debbie--the best Eyeglass Frame Picker Outer and Adjuster ever--that I had no answers to my dilemma. Debbie perked right up. "Let me get Dr. D and see if she has any ideas." Back came Debbie with Dr. D who listened to my complaints.

"Hmm," she said. "How old are you?"


Dr. D raised her eyebrows at me.

"And three quarters."

She nodded. "Could very well be hormonal fluctuations. Do you take fish oil?"

"Sure do. About 2,000 milligrams three times a week."

"Up your dosage and take 2,000 milligrams morning and night, every day. Do that, and I bet you'll see a difference soon."

I promised to follow her advice, and she gave me a prescription for a heavy-duty nighttime eye drop to use as needed. And she didn't charge me. Not for a room addition or a cup of coffee.

I never had to fill that prescription. Two days later, my eyes felt normal again, like I had gone from desert and sandpaper to tropical island and coconut oil.

Here's that free advice I promised you: if you're a 45-and-three-quarters-year-old woman with uncommonly dry eyes, and you take fish oil periodically, up your dosage and see if that helps.

Just remember: I'm not a doctor. So ask yours first before you try this.

After you ask him if he's adding a room or pool to his house.