Eye eye

That’s “eye eye” not “aye-aye” which is a very cute nocturnal primate.

Today I decided that Hanoi traffic was getting a bit dull. There was no edge to crossing the road any more. No danger. No thrill.

Thankfully, then, I contracted a slight infection in my left eye. I woke up with an eye that looked angrier than a KKK member at a rap concert. It was a little weepy, fiery red and needed some attention. Stage one was removing my contact lense – I wear ones that I can sleep in and only change them once a month. Annoyingly, I’ve only had this pair in for a week or so and they’ve been so comfortable.

Out came the left lense and into the bin. I couldn’t re-use it if it’s been in an infected eye. Nasty cycles of pain go with that idea.

Next step – eye drops. I had to go to the Post Office (Bu’u Dien) and there’s a pharmacist round the corner from there. I decided to try it on one contact lens as I couldn’t be bothered putting my glasses on.

Anyone who’s tried this – or wearing glasses with a lens missing – will know the slightly disorientation one suffers when walking like this. It takes a while to adjust as one eye is utterly out of focus with the world while the other is pin sharp.

So off I headed. Boy, was this fun. With one eye working and one eye shot, depth perception becomes something you used to have. And when crossing a road populated by the entire motorcycle production of Japan, this makes the most extreme of motorsports that little… edgier.

I survived. I also survived the pharmacist taking one look at my eye and automatically going for the most expensive eyedrops they sold, which were – as far as I could tell – for one very specific condition. I went for some more general antibiotic ones (Ofloxacin), which were 30,000d less and headed back to the hostel.

Of course, despite the box being English (including basic dosage instructions), the leaflet inside – which the box had urged me to read – was in Vietnamese. I looked the drug up on the interwebnet and got another two conflicting sets of instructions. But I did determine that soft contact lenses should not be worn while using the drops. Ah well. The other lens came out and went in the bin as well.

So, after only 9 days with new lenses in I’m back to specs. As far as I can judge from reading various sites, I have bacterial conjunctivitis. I may be wrong, but it’s the closest I can find to the symptoms. It should be cleared up within 2-3 days which is at least better than the viral version which can take several weeks. In the meantime, my left eye looks like it wants to leap out an murder someone. Perhaps garotting them with all the extra blood vessels that have appeared around the edge.

I’ll try not to drip on the keyboard and pass it on.

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