The Slit Lamp

May 25, 2006

Today, while studying about the eye, I came across a diagnostic procedure called slit lamp and then suddenly remembered something funny and embarrassing at the same time.


I had this chalazion in my right eye when I came back from Saipan four years ago. It looked awful that I went to my ophthalmologist to have it removed. As he was examining my eye, he led me to the slit lamp area to have a further view. As I sat down in front of the slit lamp, the doctor gestured something, in which, based on my understanding, I took it as resting my right eye in the depressed area he pointed. It was my first time to have my eye examined and I didn’t know what to expect. I felt awkward in my position and was wondering if I was doing the right thing. Then I heard the doctor chuckle and said, “Your chin should be resting there not your eye.”

That was soooo embarrassing…

Hey, what do I know? All I know is that I’m having my eye examined, not my chin…sheesh!

Stupid doctor…


I Spy A Sty In My Eye

This is the second time I got a sty. The first one I got when I was in Saipan and the second one here in Abu Dhabi. I wrote about it in my Friendster blog a couple of years ago entitled, The Slit Lamp. I was too dumb that I don’t know how to use a slit lamp and placed my right eye in a small depression where my chin should be, in which, naturally, made the eye doctor laugh. Anyway, I thought I’d never have it again and I didn’t imagine having to undergo another operation just to get it removed.

Two countries, two sties. What gives?

Well, as it turns out, one cause of sty is the hot weather. Couldn’t argue about it. Saipan and Abu Dhabi both have hot weather. You stay in a very cold building and then go out in a very hot environment. I don’t know how a sty forms but it does find its way around my eyes, pffft!

I decided to have it removed. And since our hospital is too far away from where I stay, I went to see an Ophthalmologist during my duty, which made my Nurse-in-Charge scold me for using my duty hours to see a Doctor. Nonetheless, I asked for her permission in the sweetest way possible with cherries on top and she let me go. Tee-hee! That was too easy!

The Ophthalmologist assessed my eye (left upper lid) and decided right away to have it removed. I didn’t realize he will do it sooner. I thought he will schedule my operation. He said it’ll just barely take 15 minutes. My thoughts were running on how to tell my superior without having to look like I’m abusing her kindness (errr…). So I bravely called her through her extension number and told her what the Doctor told me. I expected her to tell me to come right up to the ward immediately to resume my duty but to my surprise she said, “okay.”

So there I was, lying in the treatment table, in my uniform, with my left eye numb from the topical anesthesia along with some eye drops. I can feel the Doctor excise my eyelids removing the sty, dabbing it with some gauze to make the bleeding stop, and my thoughts were running on how I can best explain to my superior how my simple check-up turned out to become an out-patient surgery, all during my duty hours. I can get a warning letter for leaving my post.

Surgery was done in less that 15 minutes. I was now sitting in the Doctor’s office, pressing a gauze in my left eye to prevent it from bleeding while the Doctor was writing some prescription. The anesthesia was waning fast and I can feel the pain but was enduring it because I know I’d have more serious consequences to face after this. Then the Doctor said he’s going to write me a Sick Leave notification for one day to rest my eye. The doctor was surprised when I said, “No, Doctor I cant! I mean, our ward is too busy I can’t afford to have a sick leave, you see? No one will cover for me if I go home…”

The doctor was shaking his head as if he couldn’t believe I’d be insane enough to refuse a sick leave. He then removed my blood-soaked gauze, cleaned my eye and gave me Alcane eye drops to ease the pain then covered my eye with an eye patch.

I scurried away completely forgotten I have an eye patch and not minding the people staring at me like I’m some kind of a freak. Everyone I meet along the way was asking what happened to my eye. I’m more scared of my superior than what will happen to my newly-operated eye.

But to my surprise, my superior just turned her head at me when I arrived at our station and ignored my eye patch. She just said, “get back to work.”


Is that it? I could just get away with it? I was kinda hoping she’ll take pity on me working with only one eye and ask me to go home and get some rest.

Either I’m just too scared of her or I’m just too nice. Or maybe both. Everybody (even the patients) are telling me I deserve to have my sick leave. But then again, I did leave my post to have a check-up on my duty hours. Analysis of consequences.

I have worked the whole shift with an eye patch and a never-ending question from people on what happened to my eye. I don’t know which one is worst. I did survive not having scolded by my superior and not receiving a warning letter but I couldn’t stand all those stares and the people asking about my eye. I’ve even resisted the urge to scare the children pretending to be a one-eyed monster just to stop them from staring at me and following me. I wanted to shout, “Shoo, shoo! Stay away! Arrr!”

I bet my superior is having her last laugh and enjoying every moment of my torment. She’s really my best (tor)MENTOR.