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Pennsylvania's Most Interesting Blog

26 Juli 2005

Eye say there: yet another bodily injury...!

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin, where the weather is humid-hot, the rainstorms are intermitent and the accents are too precious for words. I'm here to present a paper at AILA (World Congress in Applied Linguistics) which I'm excited about (also excited to get it over with so I can enjoy other peoples' presentations...) I'm starting to get more into being here and appreciating the meeting of the minds but have had a slow start, as outlined in this little ditty here:

I drove here from Most Interesting Pennsylvania with two fellow applied linguists. It was 14 hours of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and then finally Wisconsin. Lots of fields, some traffic in spots, and generally all things in order. Around 11 AM I start feeling this pain in my left eye, like there's a grain of sand in it. We even pulled over to a WalMart so I could get some drops. Long story short, by the time I arrived in Madison at about 10 PM, I was in such severe pain and my vision was so freaked out that I went to the emergency room, to be looked at my a few nurses (male, and all hot, I might add) only to wait for what seemed like an eternity of cringing in pain in the 'eye room' to then finally be told by the (handsome, incidentally, from what I could tell out of my right eye) doctor that I had a corneal abrasion. Putting together what little remained of my deductive reasoning skills at the time, I determined that that washcloth I thwaked my eye with accidentally waaay earlier that morning must've been it. Like a dried up crunchy one, must've had thorns inside the terry cloth. Nast.

If you've never had corneal abrasion, let me spare you: it is pure hell.

So I got drops in my eyes to numb the pain but which only stung for longer than the doctor thought and then finally I guess -sort of- made me feel better. Then, dye put in to determine the abrasion, and then given a prescription for two kinds of drops as well as vicodin.

By now it was about 1:30 AM and my friend who so graciously had been waiting through it all with me and making me feel better and I got a taxi with a local gal driverwho turned out to be a total psycho...I had her drop my friend off at the dorm that many of us are staying at and then had her take me to the 24-hour Walgreen's Drug..which I thought would be near by but was on the -north- side of town a.k.a. an eternity away. So I get my prescription and I guess the fact that one of the pharmacists was charming and hot AND helpful (what is it about all these Midwestern boys? Too bad they were all married...damn) made it remotely bearable. Meanwhile, meter's running, but I'm waiting for the $59.00 worth of my drugs to be filled, so I buy some cheese 'n brat snack (I am in Wisconsin, after all), cause I'm so hungry and just tired. So I get out of the drug store and Crazed Taxi Girl Who Has By Now Told Me Her Entire Life Story takes me back to the dorm. The taxi bill was super high. I had been toted hither and yon and there would have been no other alternative. But what was I gonna do? On a bright note, I have some extra vicodin...

So my left eye has been dialeted all day which causes it to be so sensitive to light that I have to wear my shades, even inside. I got to bed around 3 AM so didn't get in to register at the conference til around noon...I was walking around without shades, squinting but then when I saw my reflection in the ladies' room, I opted to put shades on. So I'm talking to people with my sunglasses on: I hope no one's like 'who's that freak who thinks she is so rock star?" I say better than letting you see my ugly EYE situation, people. At least I don't think many others at the conference can claim to having only ONE pupil dialated at a time. It's one of those things where no one else can really understand how truly physically painful it is, and meanwhile you have to go about your day for the most part sucks.

So it's been very tough to read smallish print and to get my power point presentation into final working order, but I do have it done and I feel good about it and I hope that by tomorrow the eye madness will have died down and that I don't ramble too much or that no one asks me questions after my presentation which I can't answer asutely.

But this has not been the usual type of conference entrance so far, no siree.

Tomorrow should be a full day of presentations and meeting new people and such and then on Wednesday I'm taking the train back to Most Interesting Penna via Chicago and Pittsburgh. It's the only option, as driving a rental car alone is kind of not a good choice now since you need both eyes and flying is like a zillion dollars. I treated myself to a sleeper car because the ticket was reasonable considering it includes all dining and a very good chance that I will get some sleep. Besides, gotta enjoy AMTRAK before it disappears in to the great abyss.

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