Monday, July 26, 2010

In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed Seattleite is queen

I can now say that I’ve seen the inside of Paris’ oldest hospital, Hotel Dieu. My Hotel Dieu adventure began Friday night when I felt like I had something on my right eye. I tried rinsing the eye with water and when that didn’t work, the big Brit was sweet enough to find a pharmacy that was still open (this was around 11 pm) and got some eye drops. Unfortunately, the pharmacy didn’t have an eye bath.

We tried flushing my eye several times with the drops but I still felt like something was stuck under my eyelid. We went to bed and I hoped that the problem would work itself out during the night…It didn’t.

Saturday, we tried the drops again and when we still had no success, the Brit insisted that I go to an eye doctor. I called a few ophthalmologists, but of course, since it was Saturday they were all closed. That meant one thing – a trip to the emergency room.

I did some googling and found out that Hotel Dieu has an emergency ophthalmology department, so that’s where we headed and spent a large portion of the afternoon. I waited over two hours before the doctor saw me, all the while wondering if I would go blind because the urgences wasn’t so urgent.

At first, I had a student doctor who spent a few minutes looking at my eye and trying to fold up my upper eyelid. The “real” doctor entered and took what seemed like less than a minute to show the student how to fold the lid and discover what the problem was.

Turns out there wasn’t anything stuck under my eyelid, but I had extreme dryness (probably from the heat combined with aircon in the office) and irritation from something that was on my eye, but had vacated. So basically something got onto my dry eye and scratched it a bit.

The good news is there’s no permanent damage. The bad news is that I lost a Saturday afternoon and have to put in eye drops 3x a day for a month.

I also discovered that the hospital has rather nice inner courtyard and garden. Here are a couple of pics.

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