One time… I cut my eye with a coat zipper.

(Also, if you’re wondering why I’ve been missing a few days of posts, it’s because I came down with an awful head cold yesterday… and now I’m sleeping every minute that I’m not eating or… falling asleep in the bathtub.) 

But, anyway, today I’m here to tell the tale of… well, when I cut my eye with a coat zipper. 

Let me just start off by saying that pretty much everyone who knows me knows I hate… just anything with eyes. Mostly just when I see people touching their own eyeballs or something like that… it just freaks me out. I’m cringing even thinking about it right now. 

There’s a reason for it, though… 

So, here’s what happened. 

It was a chilly winter day, I was about 8 or 9 years old, I was at school, and it was lunch time. And we always had recess before lunch, so there were shelves and hangers against all the cafeteria walls for everyone to hang up their jacket after coming in from outside. And so, I sat with my friends at the table right in front of some of the hangers, and… well, I after I got done eating, I stood up and turned around to take my lunch tray to the dish station. At the same exact moment that I stood and turned my head, though, one of the boys in my class was throwing a coat to someone else. I honestly don’t even remember much of that part, but I do remember a coat, like, hitting me in the face. And I didn’t feel anything at first… and I think the boy was like, ‘sorry about that,’ or something, but I don’t really know; I don’t even remember who he was. But then I went on and took my food tray to where it needed to go… and then when I came back to my seat, my left eye started stinging. And then it started burning. And then it felt like someone was stabbing it. And then it really hurt. 

After that it was kind of a blur… like, I remember a lot of my classmates gathering around and asking if I was okay, and then one of the teachers in the cafeteria came up to me and saw that my eye was super red and bloodshot, and she pretty much freaked out. I have no idea how bad it really was, but I remember everyone telling me that my eye just looked really, really bad. Probably, like, horror movie bad. 

Anyway, after that, I remember ending up in the principal’s office, and he was asking me what happened and who threw the coat, and someone got me a bunch of wet paper towels for my eye, and I couldn’t stop crying (partially from the pain, but mostly because my eye literally couldn’t stop watering), and I remember actually telling the principal to not punish anybody for throwing the coat, even though I was dying from pain and knew I could be going blind in one eye by the second or something. I guess I’m just that nice, I don’t know, but I also knew that it was most likely just an accident. And then I remember the principal arguing (nicely, though, since I was a crying, injured 8 year old) that someone just had to take the blame for what happened. So, I told him I just didn’t know who it was (even though I actually did at the time; I just don’t remember today, however many years later). 

At the same time as all of this, then, someone ended up calling my parents, and I was lucky enough to have my mom at the grocery store and able to come pick me up within 15 minutes, because, of course, our school was too small to actually have a nurse there to help me. And so, I remember sitting with one of the teacher aids that was really nice (and, sidenote, was the teacher aid that told me sometime the same year that she would be surprised if I didn’t grow up to be an author or a writer… but, I guess that’s a story for another time) until my mom showed up and took me to this random eye doctor 20 minutes away. Why she didn’t take me to the hospital or a walk-in doctor’s clinic or something, I have no clue, because she was pretty frantic when she took me in and was yelling stuff like, ‘this is an emergency! Please help my daughter; it’s an emergency!’ 

And then… I remember seeing the eye doctor, and he was sort of nice… but I remember he put these eye drops in my eye to numb the pain or something… and there were two drops, and the first one didn’t hurt, so he told me the second one wouldn’t, either, but it did… and then I got kind of mad, but it eventually stopped stinging, so I got over it. And then I remember being forced to read about a billion posters and having the doctor constant shining this flashlight on my eyeball all afternoon, until I finally got to go home. 

So, here’s the weird part. There was miraculously no damage done to my eye and it healed pretty much overnight, although I had to put soothing eye drops on it for a few weeks afterward. But… I ended up getting a scar on my eye, and it was freaky looking. That was weird to me, but it also cleared up after about a week and I (thankfully) don’t have the scar today. Sometimes I wonder, though, what it would be like if I still had the scar. Like, a bunch of people would probably ask me what happened all the time… and I would probably make up some great story, like I got attacked by a coyote in the woods or something (even though coyotes aren’t known to actually attack people)… because that would probably sound a whole lot better than, ‘well, a zipper cut it when someone threw a coat at my face when I was about 8 years old.’ 

Well, it’s not the greatest story, but it’s just one painful one that I thought of. Let me know if you’ve ever had a similar experience, or something like that, and/or if you have a thing against… touching eyeballs, too. 

-(eye)Kari

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