Monday, 10 June 2013

Eyeball Freckle

Did you know you can get freckles in your eyeballs? No? Neither did I until a couple of months ago when I had a routine eye test and midway through the optician announced ‘you’ve got a big freckle in your eyeball’. She said in all likelihood I’ve had it for years but that it’s just because they’ve got better equipment now that they’ve been able to spot it.

Regardless of how long it’s been there, it meant that I needed to get referred to an ophthalmologist to get it checked out. Just like a mole or blemish on your skin you need to keep an eye on them to make sure that they’re not growing or changing. Obviously you’re going to notice fairly quickly if that innocuous little freckle on your arm has doubled in size, but a freckle inside one’s eyeball is slightly harder to monitor.

I’m not a big fan of hospitals and doctors and things. I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that having IVF is going to involve quite a few invasive procedures and I’ve come to terms with that (but I’ve had over a year to get used to the idea), the eyeball thing has been sprung on me suddenly. My biggest worry about the eye appointment was that they were going to want to put drops in my eyes. And they did!

I’d only been in the waiting room for a couple of minutes and Mr Click had gone off to fill in a form on another floor, when a nurse called me in to the treatment room. She gave me this thing to cover one eye and had me read the bottom line of an eye chart, then again with the other eye covered, and then, as I removed the cover from my eye she suddenly loomed over me with eye drops in hand and said ‘I’m just going to put these eye drops in your eyes, they’ll dilate your pupils and make everything go a bit blurry’. My first thought was ‘I’m just going to be going then’ but I thought I’d look a bit babyish if they had to drag me back into the room kicking and screaming about having some eye drops put in.

Honestly though, I wanted to cry. They really stung and made my eyes water and then I had to go and sit in the waiting area with things getting blurrier and blurrier waiting for Mr Click to come back. It was a very strange sensation because they made my eyeballs feel warm, that’s really the only way I can describe it.

Luckily Mr Click came back quickly and held my hand. Then when the blurriness had reached such a level that I couldn’t read anything on my phone any more I was called through to get my eyeball freckle photographed. The nurse actually struggled to find it so after about ten minutes of staring at this blinking flashing light while a big dazzling white one snapped and flashed away she seemed to get what she was looking for.

Except it wasn’t. When we were called through to see Dr M he said it was just a photo of the back of my eye and not the freckle at all. He and a student had a good look at both my eyes though. It appears that the freckle is only visible when I look right up and they both kept saying ‘look up, look up’ while I tried to stare at my eyebrows. You try doing that for ten minutes, it’s hard work.

Dr M took me back through for another photo and found the freckle right away. He even printed out a copy of the picture for me to show off. It’s kind of gross and reminds me of photos of Mars.

My Eyeball Freckle
And that’s me for five months. I’ve got to go back for another photo (which’ll be worse then because I know I’ll get the eye drops again, whereas this time I wasn’t expecting it because the optician took her photo without putting drops in). And then providing there’s been no change then I won’t need to go back again for a while.

The eye drops were easily the most unpleasant part of the day. It was lovely and sunny outside and so of course the moment I left the hospital I was blind. I just couldn’t stand to open my eyes more than the tiniest fraction. We had to made a quick course to a petrol station so Mr Click could buy me some sunglasses which I then couldn’t take off for the rest of the day. I even wore them at home until we had the sense to draw the curtains to make things easier on me.

At least that’s out the way now and I’ve got my gross-but-cool photo to show off to people.


  1. Can't do eye drops. Or anything that has to come into contact with my eyes. I would have ran out of there as soon as they were mentioned!

    1. I think the eye drops thing would've been easier if I'd been allowed to do it myself. One time when I had to put some stuff in one of my eyes I was taught this technique where you lightly close your eye, put the drop right at the corner of your eye by your tear duct and then slowly open your eye. I suppose it's not as measured way of getting drops into your eyes but it's not quite as bad somehow.

      But yeah, I think I showed great restraint in not legging it out as soon as she produced that little bottle!


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