The entire trip went almost perfectly. I had an excellent time after the 'In Conversation' at the nearby pub with Kylie and various friends from the online world, and then more fun the following day having breakfast with Kylie and her son, and later lunch with my aunt and cousin.
The problems came in between. And yes, there are always problems at some point. At least, there always are for me.
Kylie and I got back to her house about midnight, which is rather late for me. We'd also been drinking very heavily, which in my case meant two glasses of Cab Sav. It took me a little while to fall asleep in Kylie's daughter's bed, but once I did I slept the deep slumber of one pleased with a job well done, much as I suspect Oprah does after a satisfying interview with Tom Cruise.
Suddenly, at an unknown hour in the middle of the night, I woke with an agonising pain in my right eye. It felt like someone had taken a shard of glass, inserted it beneath my eyelid, and was punching my eye with a blunt fist. I was blinded with the pain, except that I was blinded anyway, because I couldn't open my eyes.
I covered my right eye with my right hand and opened the left eye. To my surprise, I was blinded anyway. Kylie's daughter's room was pitch black. I put my left hand out in front of me to feel for a landmark and groped around in the dark. I literally couldn't see my hand in front of my face, not that I could actually put my hand in front of my face, because one hand was clutching my right eye and the other was feeling around in the dark.
|Eyepatch: Attractive and practical|
I tried turning the handle but nothing happened, which could have had something to do with the fact that I was turning it with my left hand, and perhaps was turning it in the wrong direction. I tried to focus, foggy with sleep and pain, but to no avail. Finally I just pulled the damn thing and fell into Kylie's daughter's closet.
I was tempted to give up, but the pain in my eye was searing, and I needed to fight on. I negotiated myelf backwards back onto the bed and tried again. I plotted out the room in my mind, remembering that the door was to the left of the cupboard. I held on to the cupboard and felt my way along the wall, frogmarching through the bedroom until I hit the door. Thank god!
Now, I knew I had found the door because I could feel its outline, and Kylie's daughter's dressing gown hanging on a hook on the back. My problem now was to find the handle, because there didn't seem to be one. Or at least, my left hand couldn't find it.
After about a year, my hand found the door. Finally,with overwhelming relief, I tripped into the hall and made my way into the bathroom. Once there, I turned on the light, which was another shocking mistake. I nearly fell over in fright and agony as the glaring light burned into my one exposed retina.
When my eye finally adjusted I began the horrible task of flushing out my eye. It didn't work. I couldn't see anything in there, and it was making the pain worse. I tried crying, but that felt bloody uncomfortable too. I considered waking Kylie up, but I didn't know what she could do except for putting a bandaid on my eye, so I decided to let her sleep.
In the end, I took a couple of Panadol and went back to bed. By the morning, my eye was still sore but manageable. Today, it is all better.
Of course, there's something to learn from every experience and I learned something from this. For one thing, my body is utterly unpredictable and never fails to surprise with its range of ailments and discomforts.
For another thing, I should always travel with a night light. I'll never know when eye might need it.