“You basically lit your eye on fire.”

You basically lit your eye on fire” is what my doctor told me.

Long story short, my normal contact lens solution was switched with the contact lens cleaning solution, which has a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide and requires a filter lens case to neutralize the solution after 6 hours. When I placed my contact into my eye, it burned so much that I began to scream incoherently on the floor. If there is any humour to my story (aside from the handsome doctor I got to meet later at the hospital), it may perhaps be the scene of my family running upstairs to see me in that possessed state.

The backdrop story to this event and even my little (by little I mean less than 3 hours… which is pretty darn good for anybody who doesn’t require an ambulance entrance) hospital adventure is not what upset me the most while I was seated in different waiting areas, answering the same questions from different nurses, surrounded by other patients who had been there for lord knows how long. I was most upset at myself, but not for the reason most of you may think – that I was stupid enough to use the wrong solution. No, I was upset at myself because after I wriggled on the bathroom floor, finally opened my eye long enough to take out the contact, I went to work.

No eye-washing or rinsing. No appointment with my family doctor. I just put on my glasses, a few eye drops, and rushed to work.

And then my eye burned for the next six hours.

So, I finally went to the hospital. And while I was sitting there with my mother next to me, she whispered, “Your eyes are the most important.”

Annoyed, tired, and in pain, I snapped back, “Yes, I know. That’s why I’m here.”

And she replied with, “You should’ve gone to get help first instead of going to work.”

And that was when it dawned on me that she was right. And even though I do think (obviously) yes, my eyes are important, I realized what I realized was more important even in a situation such as this: work.

My friends who said, “You’re such a trooper.”

I’m not a trooper. I am someone who has my priorities mixed up.

Don’t get me wrong – work is up there. It’s important. Responsibilities are important, we all know that.

But you see, putting myself first before others and being selfish is already bad. Putting work in front of myself and other people is just sad.

And I had to give myself a chemical burn in the eye in order to realize that.

Sincerely, Loewe

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To Loewe:

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