11 Mar I Will Show You Things You Do Not Know..
So Tuesday morning, just a few minutes after the kids leave for school, a sudden thought grabs hold of my mind. I reach for my phone and call Noni, our first-born, hoping she’s not yet at school and can pick. I’m in luck.
“Noni,” I ask, “is that thingy still in your eye?”
“Yep,” she replies.
“Yes, though it’s not bothering me as much as it did on Sunday.”
Hmm.. we don’t know what that object is, but the thing flew right into her eye two days ago, as we were watching “Gladiator” on TV. We tried our best to remove it, but alas. Eventually, I laid my hands on the troubled eye, surrendered it to the Lord and we turned our attention back to the battle on TV.
I now ask her if she feels like the “thingy” is stuck anywhere on her eyeball. Or if her eye is itchy or producing any sticky stuff. Mums just know some things.
“No,” she replies, “it kinda feels like it’s moving around.”
I think for a moment. The fact that the object is still moving is a good sign, in my considered – though utterly clueless – opinion. At least it’s not stuck somewhere, digging deep into her eyeball.
The same thing happened to me a few years back, I recall. A piece of flint or what surely felt like a log had flown right into my eye as I was in my car, negotiating a sharp corner with my front windows rolled down. The impact had made my eye shut tight, hot tears instantly stinging my eyelids. And for the next few days, I had tried every trick I could think of, to dislodge that thing – moved my eyeball constantly around, asked the hubby to blow on it, tried to drown it in liquids. Nothing. The pest eventually had to be teased out carefully by an ophthalmologist – a specialist eye doctor – with a sharp little surgical blade. It had been extremely uncomfortable, I recall. Truly felt like an actual log was stuck in there.
Noni needs to see a doctor ASAP, I decide.
And immediately, the Holy Spirit gives me an idea.
“Call the opticians’ clinic at Such and Such Mall,” He says, “and ask for an ophthalmologist.”
I know this clinic, having taken my hubby there to collect a new pair of spectacles, a few years ago. It’s a smart but small shop, offering specs and all things to do with visual impairment. It’s located at a little-known mall nearby.
But after reflecting for a moment, I decide that this can’t possibly be a divine idea. Noni clearly needs an ophth who can perform the delicate procedure necessary to remove the offending log. And I seriously doubt if there’s one available at this particular clinic.
So I dismiss the idea as my own and instead do a google search. “Ophthalmologists near Langata Road,” I inquire. I really like the idea of visiting a nearby doc though, because Noni is in her final year of high school, and I really don’t want her to miss any classes.
Google comes up with one solitary ophth in my whole area. But when I call the number on my screen, I discover to my great surprise that it is not the doctor’s clinic but, in fact, an appointment-booking service. As in, the service offers a list of doctors, from which a prospective patient is cordially invited to make a suitable choice. For a fee, I assume.
Haiya, since when?
Anyway, my one and only choice of ophth is indeed available at a hospital near me, I’m told, but only once a week, on Thursdays. Today is Tuesday. I really can’t keep that plank in my daughter’s eye for another two days.
“Are you sure there are no other ophthalmologists in this area?” I ask.
“Unfortunately not, but we can book you one in Upper Hill.”
No thanks, I say, wondering how much it might have cost to partake of this nouvelle service. My curiosity has been suitably piqued, but I move on.
I peruse Google once again, but the only other clinics near me seem to be run by opticians. No ophthalmologists. Alack. This situation has zero to do with spectacles. But I pick one opticians’ clinic anyway, a well-established outfit that I think might have an ophth on call. They’ve been around since I was a child myself and have numerous offices all over town. My hopes are high and I quickly dial their number. My call is routed to a busy call center.
“Sorry, none of our clinics have ophthalmologists – only opticians,” says a pleasant but weary young lady. Few tasks are more draining than handling dozens of incoming calls on a daily basis, methinks. Pure grunt work.
But the voice continues; “I can refer you to an ophthalmologist either in town or in Westlands,” she offers.
I have been seeing an ophthalmologist based in Westlands for years, I tell her. I just need one on this side of town.
No luck, she says.
I do a few more google searches, but can’t find any ophths in this area. Perhaps there’s a deficiency of deserving eyeballs around here.
Then I remember it. The obscure mall and modest clinic that my divine Helper had mentioned.
I head quickly back to Google, drop the name of the mall in the search box plus the word “optician.” Though I know the clinic, I absolutely cannot remember their name.
I’m in for a pleasant surprise.
“Yes we do have an ophthalmologist,” I’m informed when I ask, “but he comes in only once a week, on Tuesdays.”
I’m confused for a moment. “But isn’t today Tuesday?” I ask.
“Yes it is,” she replies, “but the doctor is fully booked.”
Oh no. If we can’t wait two days, we most certainly can’t wait a week to dislodge that tree. Plus my Helper may be willing to arrange something, I suspect.
“My daughter has an object lodged in her eye,” I make haste to explain. “Could we possibly see the doctor later this evening, after school?”
The lady hesitates for a moment.
“Could you please squeeze us in?” I press.
I hear her shuffling what I assume are pages in the doctor’s appointment book. She falls silent for a bit, seemingly weighing the options.
I sense something shift in the realm of the spirit.
“OK,” she says, “as long as you’ll be willing to wait.”
We will indeed, I assure her, convinced that this divinely-arranged appointment will surely come to pass. I know pipo 🙂
Come 4.00pm, Noni and I are seated expectantly at the clinic. There are about six other patients seated with us at the reception and we psychologically prepare ourselves for a long wait. But the lady I spoke to had warned me that the doctor usually has to leave by 5.30pm. So if each patient takes just twenty minutes with the doctor, I surmise, we’re cooked.
The lady is nowhere to be seen, but there’s a friendly young gent chatting away with the patients. I catch his eye and begin to explain that we have no appointment but are here to see the doctor, on account of a certain invasive forest. He smiles and lets us know that he is quite aware of our case and, to my surprise, tells us that we’ve already been placed on the queue. I ask him how many patients the doctor needs to see before us, and he points to a middle-aged man seated to our left. I can scarcely believe it – we’re almost next!
Our turn comes, and the gentleman briskly ushers us into the doctor’s office. We find an elderly man, smartly dressed, silver-rimmed spectacles perched atop his nose in a most doctorly fashion. He welcomes us kindly and motions Noni to a high stool at his examination station and myself to a seat next to her.
We explain our predicament. The doctor trains one of his machines on Noni’s eye and peers into the foliage inside.
“There it is; there’s the object,” he confirms, and immediately instructs his assistant to hand him a pair of forceps. Noni eyes the shiny little tool nervously and throws me a worried glance. I promptly assure her that all will be well, being a proven veteran myself. But Noni is hardly convinced and her rapidly blinking eye refuses to have anything to do with that instrument.
“Hand me the anesthetic drops,” the kind doctor instructs his assistant. And within minutes, he triumphantly pulls out our tormentor – a teeny weeny piece of wood, we assume, less than a centimeter long. We can barely even see it on the white piece of tissue he lays it on.
But the doctor by no means takes it lightly. There are clear signs of infection around the area where the object had lodged, he tells us, on the inner part of her eyelid. He promptly prescribes antibiotic eye drops, to be administered three times a day, and strictly instructs Noni to start using the dawa immediately. Starting now, he repeats.
We leave a few minutes later, grateful that the ordeal is over, and more than a little surprised at how smoothly everything has gone.
Later, I ask Noni why she hadn’t informed me that the erstwhile fiend was still in her eye, two days after it had checked in. The thing had managed to ensconce itself quite tightly and was probably well on its way to causing some damage as well as a potentially serious infection.
“I forgot, Mom,” she confesses, ”But I remembered just before you called me this morning.”
”I was just about to call you myself,” she reveals.
Someone, it appears, had been fully aware of something we weren’t. And He most certainly was not taking any chances with these two.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”