April 12, 2012

Eye injury

Don't let your guard down and mind wander, when you handle household cleaning agents, chemicals etc. I bought bottle of Drain Opener- improved formula (!) yesterday to unblock kitchen sink. This particular drain opener is powder-like substance, and I have used it numerous times. I didn't expect any problems yesterday when I poured half of the contents into the drain, let it settle and then- I guess this is where it went horribly wrong- I poured boiling water into the drain.

In a split second it all exploded onto the kitchen counter, my clothes and eyes! One of the worst sensations of pain followed instantly. I knew it was not meant for eyes, and first thing I did was rinse both eyes under the tap. All the time I was thinking who'd I call to take me to emergency room. K, my neighbor came to rescue. I was told I have alkali burn in my right eye, and less damage in the left eye. I was told both eyes will need irrigation and whilst wondering how that would be carried out, one of the nurses took out an awful looking contact lens-like torture device called Morgan lens. It is very much like contact lens, but has tube attachment, which delivers a continuous flow of saline solution to the injured eye, or eyes in my case.. Most uncomfortable, but it was either this or something worse = losing my eyesight. Left eye received local anesthetic drops, right eye didn't. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, ended up doing both, and my face and eyes turned into a puffy Cookie Monster creature.

K took above photo of me, while these lenses were in my eyes, but it ain't pretty sight. Perhaps less as black n white.

I was also told that most drain openers have alkaline pH, and alkaline burns and injuries are almost worse than acidic burns- alkaline burns continue to do the damage and go on until some divine or no so divine intervention stops the burn process.

My eyesight has almost recovered, burn in the right eye is 99% healed, but reading/typing is challenging, It feels as if I've got my head in a cloud, and letters look blurred. Thank God for spell-check.

Of course I did not read small print, as I had used this particular drain opener many times. In hindsight, that's exactly what should have happened, as well as wearing eye protection.

This was not meant as safety lecture, but next time you use a chemical, please read the small print, even if it is the very same bottle you picked up last time. It can save you from hours of agony.

No comments: