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The Grody Bloody Eyeball

The 1,200 people ticketed so far, for my Boise, Kennewick, Portland and Seattle classes later this week deserve to be warned that I look like a vampire. And also, I’m hoping a medical professional of some type can explain this to me.

A week ago I got hit, hard, in the eyeball with a tennis ball, in a Saturday league I play in. It was a minor injury considering that we forfeited after being up 4-1, when my partner fell on her wrist and sprained it, couldn’t keep playing. I didn’t think anything of it until I was driving a couple of days ago to soccer practice and looked at my daughter in the rear-view mirror–and gasped out loud. It was a…..Grody Bloody Eyeball!

I said: “Libby! Have you seen this?”

“Yep,” she said.

“Why didn’t you tell me?!” I asked.

“I figured you knew. Don’t you ever look in the mirror?”

I then texted or showed 3 of my 5 BFF’s that day:

“Did you see my Grody Bloody Eyeball?” I got exactly the same response from Matthew, Kristin, and Jamie:

“Yeah.” And then, when I asked why the heck nobody filled me in:

“Sorry. I figured you knew.”

Where is the Love? The Compassion? The Sympathy?

If you ever have a Grody Bloody Eyeball, I will say this to you:

“Awwww, I had that once! Does it hurt? I’m so sorry! It looks painful.” This is good Grody Bloody Eyeball etiquette.

I googled “Grody Bloody Eyeball,” and learned about Subconjunctival Hemmorhage, caused by injury–but also by sneezing or vomiting, or eye rubbing, or high blood pressure! The conjunctiva, or outer layer of the eyeball, is WHITE. Why do no capillaries show in the white part—until one breaks? Is that how the Grody Bloody gets there? It looks like a blood vessel broke and spread out over a square inch.

Is the Grody Bloody the ‘eyeball equivalent’ of a BRUISE? If so, why can’t they just call it Eyeball Bruise?

I remember the aqueous humor and vitreous humor and stuff like that in the eyeball, from university Zoology 260, Human Anatomy in college. We memorized, on the cadavers and in giant jars of body parts, every bone, ligament and tendon, muscle, organ, lobe of the brain, and major blood pathway.

My granddad died of eyeball cancer. The M.D. told him he’d had it for 30 years before it even caused a problem, because of the raw diet he went on with my grandmother. (They were religious about it for a few years. After that, not so much. Healthy eaters still, but I remember them eating ice cream cones in their later years.) A friend of the family had said, decades before, “Something is wrong with Hank’s eye. It bulges!” (Weirdly, photos bear this out.)

The cancer books I’ve been reading, by oncologists and other docs who treat cancer naturally, often say that you have more time than you think, and you should take it. People who are diagnosed and told by the oncologist to be in their office for chemo on Monday, should take the time to research their options rather than making that cataclysmic decision too quickly. (You don’t get to take all those poisons out of your body, once they’re in. You can’t put those body parts back once they’re cut off.)

By the time the lump or bump manifests, it has likely been doing underlying damage for YEARS. Then the modern treatments of surgical removal—causing cells to spread in the bloodstream—or feeding it lots of free radicals in the form of chemicals or radiation—sometimes cause the cancer to go into hyperdrive (the opposite effect intended), while maybe (or maybe not) eliminating the lump or bump that is showing on the surface. It’s almost never the original tumor that is discovered that is the cause of death. It’s metastatic cancer moving to other organs.

Anyway, back to the GBE. Every day it morphs, moves. Today it’s touching my iris.

I roll my eyes to the left, hiss and snarl and pull my lips back, and make my fingers into claws, to make my children scream. Except for that, the GBE isn’t all that fun.

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