After about a million reschedulings, it finally arrived. My intraductal meibomian gland probing appointment. So exciting!!!
Todd drove me to see Dr. R for the procedure that I knew was going to be rather barbarous, due to all the investigative groundwork I did beforehand. You know that about me by now. I always read up on a procedure before I have it done, so I know all the worst possible things to expect. Clever, right? People don’t usually write, “This is absolutely no big deal. Piece of cake. I have nothing to write about, because I didn’t feel anything. I can’t describe what I can’t feel.” Patients who have undergone a brutal procedure seem to get off on passing along all the gory details to those nervously looking forward to said procedure. I’ve researched the sh*t out of enough procedures to know this to be true.
My name was cheerfully called and I was taken back to the procedure room. They were waiting for me. They being the doc and two (!) assistants. Really need three of you working on two little grape-sized orbs? No small talk, this team means business. I received those drops that take away the urge to blink. I’ve had those before. I live for them. Imagine having to blink while someone’s got a needle in your eye, so you can’t, but you really REALLY need to, so your eye starts stinging like a mother f-er, so much that you think you might die, but you can’t blink because there’s a needle in your eye. After the drops goes some numbing cream. Apparently the numbing occurs on the surface of the skin/eyeball only and does not penetrate below, where all the “action” is about to occur.
OK, shall we begin?
Yes, well, I mean, did this cream have enough time to –
Lean forward up against this bar with your chin in the cup.
Okay, but shouldn’t we wait for –
Here we go with the first one.
Oh, OH! THAT hurts. Not really sure I can do this 150 times.
But I did. I could feel those damn needles going deep into each duct on the inside of my upper and lower lids, then a definite pop as it busted through all the clogged gunk. Dr. R had to push really hard to get through some of my glands. Chemo and steroids are fantastic, but they also suck when they cause this kinda sh*t. She said mine were some of the most clogged she’s ever seen. So awesome! She had to ask for the larger gauged needle on several occasions. Each time she did I braced myself in my chair, digging my fingernails into my flesh, trying to absorb the pain. Tears and snot streamed down my face, and a couple of times she let me sit back to mop it up with the Kleenex I held. The problem was that my Kleenex was soaked with nervous sweat, so it couldn’t really absorb much. I could see that my tears were very bloody. She said that was normal, because of all the capillaries in my inner lids.
Once we were done with the probing, she triumphantly announced that the easy part was all done! What? That was the easy part? Holy f! The next part, the squeezing, was what most patients complain about most, she says. Super. The squeezing is done by pulling my lid out, then jamming one side of these clamp things as far into the crevice between my eyeball and the inner lid as possible and the other side on the outside of the lid. Then she squeezes really hard while pulling up toward the lashes, pushing all the crap out of the long ducts, ending with what felt like the ripping out of my lashes. Kinda like squeezing super deep zits. Barely survived part B with lashes and consciousness.
Now she’s asking for syringes. Whaaat? I thought we were done. But I’ve already high fived myself in my barely conscious mind. Now she’s stabbing me with steroid injections in each gland. Big pinch here. And again. And again. Another one here…. Ya, okay – JUST STOP!
They gave me some prescriptions to ward off infections, then left me alone in the room. I caught a glimpse in the mirror. I looked like I’d been stabbed in my eyes 150 times or something. I was a crimson-eyed zombie. I walked out to reception. The waiting patients didn’t know where to look. They were terrified.
On the drive home, even though I was in quite a bit of pain from the procedure, I could tell my eyes were cured. My glands were flowin’ freely and it was glorious. Each day, I’m reminded of what normal eyes feel like. I’d forgotten. It’s a miracle procedure and I’d go through it all over again. Actually, I might have to. About half the patients have to repeat the procedure.
My cocksacker symptoms are almost all gone, save for my feet almost peeling themselves into oblivion. The blisters that first appeared with my hand, foot and mouth disease diagnosis have since broken open and peeled and peeled and peeled. I was unaware that the soles of our feet have 763 layers of skin. Did you know that? Not ideal. I feel this peel is the real deal.
The term Bucket List has always kinda bugged me, having a negative connotation and being just SO overused. So I’m now calling it my Buttkick List. I’m doing my best to kick my new life’s butt, so there you go.
Speaking or writing of butt kicking, here is an update to my Buttkick List.
I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. Like way before it was a thing. We had a trip planned in 2012. The whole thing – flights, hotels, guides, currency exchange rates and simple Icelandic phrases memorized. Then IT happened.
Trip cancelled. Four years later, we revived the plan. Todd, my longtime pals, Karen and Sharon and their hubbies, Scott and Craig and I kicked some ass in the land of fire and
ass ice. We √ice climbed up a glacier hole, thanks to some expert guiding by our incredible friend, Ólafur Þór Kristinsson aka Viking.
We took an amazing √dip in the Blue Lagoon, complete with mud facial masks, in-water cocktails and massages. Viking introduced us to √canyoning by taking us through a pitch black cave, waist high in 34 degree glacial runoff. He wore his Supermans, because he’s Super Viking!
Todd, Mychaela, Rex and I made a quick escape to Napa to celebrate Todd and Mychaela’s October birthdays. We had a great time eating, tasting, laughing and just being together. Perhaps the highlight was √grape stomping at Grgich Hills.
Fifty American soldiers will be receiving holiday care packages, thanks to my many friends who contributed items, then helped me pack everything in boxes. √Sending care packages to our troops has been on my list for quite a while, and I was so touched by the incredible support of my generous friends!
I’ve never √taken a trip by my lonesome, so I headed to San Diego for a few days to concentrate on writing my book. It was soooo nice to get away and spend time with just me, myself and I. We had a great time and got lots of writing done. Stay tuned 🙂