Monday, August 27, 2007


Where did my contact lens go? After decades of wearing glasses, on Monday I decided – for no apparent reason – to try contacts. Since my right eye is perfect I only have to wear one. I had a lesson after my eye exam and after much difficulty and embarrassment I was able to place the lens successfully in my left eye. Getting it out proved to be more difficult. Then I put it in again. Took it out again. And after the contract lens instructor was satisfied I could insert and remove the lens I was allowed to leave with my new, trial lens and instructions to return in 7 days to be checked again. I wore the lens 5 hours on Tuesday. 6 hours on Wednesday. 7 hours today. But when I tried to take it out this afternoon I couldn’t get it out. After 15 minutes of trying unsuccessfully to extract the lens I decided to go to the contact lens instructor for help. She looked. Her colleague looked. Another colleague looked. They all agreed the lens wasn’t in my eye. “But it was there at 10:00 this morning and I didn’t take it out.”

They looked again. “It’s not there.”

“Close your right eye. Is it blurry?”

“Of course it’s blurry. I’ve been poking myself in the eye for the last half hour.” My eye looked like I’d been on a three day bender.

The three contact lens instructors appeared unconcerned. I was given a lens to replace the missing lens and sent on my way.

Is it my imagination or is that pesky lens curled up in the corner of my eye just waiting to give me a corneal ulcer or worse. Did it dissolve? Do I have some kind of strange eye chemistry that dissolved soft contacts? I’ve lost glasses before, but this is different. This reminds me of being 15 and trying tampons for the first time. I was okay the first few times, then I couldn’t find the string and, after vacillating for a time between panic and resignation I went to my mother for help.

Why don’t contact lenses come with strings?