The Pink Eyed Monster

About a week ago I noticed my eye bothering me. It didn’t seem too serious so I did what I usually do – I went to bed and hoped it would go away.
It didn’t.
The next morning my eye was a little red and slightly puffy. I held warm compresses on it and googled possible causes. It looked like it could be a blocked tear duct and it should clear up on its own.
It didn’t.
By the end of the work day things had escalated and my eye was bright pink. I knew something was wrong and the internet had failed me so I grabbed my jacket and headed to Urgent Care.
As I signed in at the front desk I received what I can only describe as a partially-sympathetic, mostly-petrified look from the Urgent Care receptionist. Clearly I was in the right place. At this point I was pretty sure it wasn’t a blocked tear duct and the only other possible cause that came to mind was pink eye. I didn’t have a fever so it seemed unlikely but the situation had escalated fast. Maybe the fever got stuck in traffic or something and was going to show up fashionably late.
I plopped down on a chair in the corner of the waiting room and tried to leave some distance between my possibly rapidly developing, contagious eye infection and other people’s eyeballs. If someone moved to sit close to me all I had to do was look at them and they abruptly changed course.
I was a pink eyed monster.
Finally my name was called. The nurse who held the door open for me took a full step back as I walked past her, staring wide eyed at my pink eyeball. A refreshingly positive nurse practitioner came in to treat me and asked, “Have you been around anyone who might have been exposed to pink eye?”
Had I been around anyone who might have been exposed to pink eye? Most days I was working from home with only my husband and puggle to share germs with, but a few days earlier I had traveled downtown to meet my boss for lunch. She has two kids and kids are carriers of all kinds of germs and diseases! Plus, I took public transportation and who knows what I could have picked up there!?
I started to panic.
“I’m going to check you for a scratch,” the nurse practitioner said after I explained my theory of children and buses being germ ridden carriers of disease. In less than 30 seconds she numbed my eye, dyed my eye, wove a black light in front of it, and announced, “Yep, you have a scratch!” Huh. A scratch had not occurred to me.
With a script for antibiotic eye drops in hand I was on my way. As I walked past the receptionist I felt the need to announce loudly, “It’s not pink eye! It’s a scratch!” She looked relieved. Maybe because I wasn’t contagious or maybe because I was leaving. I’ll never know. From Urgent Care I headed to the pharmacy at the local grocery store where I was told it would be about 30 minutes until my eye drops were ready.
30 minutes?
The grocery store was full of people shopping for Thanksgiving. I grabbed a basket and put my head down, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. My hair fell in front of my face and as I tried to fix it, I stumbled. I didn’t fall, just wobbled around a bit. As I regained my balance I looked up. People averted their eyes, turned away, or stopped in their tracks and waved me past them.
I was a pink eyed monster.
There I was, a wobbling mess, my hair in my face to cover my bright pink eyeball, just trying to kill time without scaring other shoppers. I was failing. “It’s not pink eye! It’s just a scratch!” I wanted to shout. I quickly finished my shopping and spent the rest of the 30 minutes sitting on the bench in the pharmacy like I probably should have done in the first place.
I’m feeling much better now. I’m sure I will always be a bit of a wobbly mess, but I like to think I’m less wobbly when my baby blues are both shining.



  1. Beth on November 29, 2017 at 10:39 am

    LOL I am so glad it was just a scratch. My son just had a raging case of pinkeye a couple of weeks ago. The doctor we saw wasn’t our usual doctor and she was like “that is a really bad case of pinkeye!” I’m like thanks, I brought him in as soon as I saw it but you can make me feel bad anyway! Oh doctors.

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Eye issues are so icky! Mine got bad fast after being ok-ish for a day. I kept telling the nurses, “It wasn’t like this all day I swear!”

  2. Heather on November 29, 2017 at 11:14 am

    It’s funny how the pharmacy bench feels like a time-out area, huh? Lol glad you’re all better!!

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      It kind of did feel like a time out! I just sat there and stared at the floor. I was so glad to get home. 🙂

  3. Cara on November 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    As the mom of two kids who are indeed carriers of all germs and diseases, I’ve had pink eye more than I wish to admit. Now there are two kinds of pink eye: bacterial (“ew, I got poop in my eye”) and viral (“I have so much snot in my face it’s coming out of my eye”). Neither is fun, and neither seemed as gross UNTIL I WROTE IT OUT JUST NOW! Excuse me, I’m going to go sanitize my house and find my safety goggles. Maybe it’ll just be easier to disown my kids :p

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      You’re right Cara, pink eye sounds slightly less gross when you don’t think about the details! Considering all of the germs and how much we touch our faces it’s kind of amazing we don’t get eye infections more often. My house needs a deep clean for sure!

  4. Kimberly on November 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Oh man! I had pink eye that showed up just in time for a wedding. My son had pink eye just a week or two prior to mine so I could use his drops but I mean, it was still too late. My eye was flaming red and gunky the whole night. In pictures it was awful. I couldn’t even hide it with my sideswiped bangs. OY! I feel ya on the embarrassment factor that’s for sure!

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Ugh, I think I would have stayed home! I thought about staying home for Thanksgiving but my eye had cleared up a little by then. I think the only way to hide it is sunglasses but then people would have been staring at you for a different reason! 🙂

  5. Shann Eva on November 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I’m glad to hear it wasn’t pink eye! All three of my boys and husband have had it, and it’s not fun. I have been lucky enough to avoid it….partially because I wash my hands like a freak all the time because I live with all these germy boys.

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I would wash my hands constantly with 3 boys too! They love to get into the germs. 🙂 I’m glad it wasn’t pink eye too but I have no idea how I got a scratch!

  6. Akaleistar on November 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better and that it wasn’t pink eye!

  7. ShootingStarsMag on November 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    We have got to get better at our reactions to people!! I’m glad it was just a scratch though, even though that’s still no fun. I’ve only had pink eye once but it wasn’t too terrible – no fever or gunky stuff! lol


    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Eye stuff is no fun! It was kind of a jarring sight for awhile!

  8. Erinn on November 29, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    That’s quite an experience!! So glad it wasn’t anything serious. I have a major eye phobia…a few years ago I had a sinus infection so bad one of my eyes was crusty and swollen shut! I literally looked like I had been punched in the face. Not a good day!

    • Courtney A. Casto on November 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      I have an eye phobia too!! The first time I put contacts in my eyes it took me a full hour and half!

  9. Anthea on November 30, 2017 at 12:23 am

    You must have been so glad it was a scratch! Hope you are feeling much better after using the eye drops.
    I had to laugh at your “It’s not pink eye! It’s a scratch!” announcement 🙂

  10. Penny Struebig on November 30, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Oh man — I’ve had this happen to me before and I didn’t have my glasses prescription up to date. Totally could not see for a couple of days! Makes you very thankful for your eye sight! lol

Leave a Comment