A few years ago, I found myself in a pickle: The contact lens in my left eyeball refused to come out. No amount of saline solution, eyedrops, or gentle rubbing of the lid could get it to move, though I could feel the thing just out of reach. As I leaned my face into the bathroom mirror, I recalled a story from 2017, about a woman who had inexplicably been living life with 27 contact lenses in one eye, going about her day with mild discomfort, but associating that discomfort with the vicissitudes of aging. According to the doctor that eventually freed this woman from her prison, she felt “an uncomfortable and gritty eye”, as if there was something in there, but thought nothing of it. The cruel twist, of course, is that there was—27 items, to be precise, a hefty stack of disposable contact lenses, bound together by mucous, like a horrible layer cake.
This was a fate I hoped to avoid, so I turned in despair to the one person I could trust, who was also (thank god) willing to help me out. “I can see it in there,” my roommate said to me, as I stood in front of him in the dining room with my eyelid peeled back. “Want me to grab it?”
This intimacy violated our unspoken contract of, uh, not doing shit like this, but nonetheless I was grateful for the help. He plucked the thing from my eye with little effort, locating a corner of the lens that I had not seen. “Here you go,” he said, proffering my lens on the tip of his index finger. “All set.”
I was reminded of this story when I read the following tweet, which is similar in spirit, but confounding just the same:
Seven years for a seemingly-unremovable eyelash in the eyeball? How! Why! I’m happy for Annie Shields, who has managed to find a modicum of peace and comfort, but now I must know: What is the strangest thing that you’ve had to extract from your body? Were you able to handle it yourself? Did you require an assist? (Children and penises don’t count).
Let’s do an old-fashioned open thread and have a chat about it, shall we?