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My Scary Story For Friday the 13th

on September 13, 2013 - 10:38am

Friday the 13th has brought a fall morning to Toronto. Crisp, clean air welcomed me as I opened the door. Welcome Fall. We've all been waiting patiently for your arrival.

What better way to celebrate the holiday than with a scary story. It just so happens I have one. A true one. 

I've been a little slow getting promised pictures and projects posted this week. I appreciate the patience of those who are waiting.

Last weekend I had an accident in the workplace, and didn't want to post about it until I thought everything was going to turn out fine. 

Did you know those long fluorescent light bulb tubes don't just shatter, but actually explode? I didn't, until a hidden bulb in a precarious spot fell to the ground beside me. The brain works quick in those moments, formulating thoughts faster than we can articulate them. Mine was "Oh look. A light bulb. That's a  stupid place..." and then KABLOOM! A shiny mushroom cloud of powder and tiny shards of glass filled the space. The glass flew higher than 6 feet up (found some on top of the filing cabinets) and 10 feet out to each side along the floor.

The shock of it stunned me. When the dust cleared and I understood what had happened, I wondered what to do. My first thought was that I should clean it up before someone gets hurt. Luckily. the voice inside my head said "Hey stupid. Go wash your eyes". 

A number of unpleasant eye flushing experiences and a trip to the doctor later, it was confirmed that I hadn't scratched the corneas and it looked like all the debris had been removed. I'd seen the "debris" - tiny grains and the actual milky film from my eyes - in the bowls of clean water that acted as my eye flush station.

I should point out that I'm not squeamish about personal injury and I'm pretty good at staying cool in unpleasant tests or treatments. But I am a huge chicken when it comes to my eyes. As a child who was very obedient, the only time I ever fought my parents was the time I needed eyedrops and they had to physically restrain me. I warned my doctor that while I was willing to do whatever was needed logically, emotionally I may react in ways he's never seen in the 20+ years he's known me.

I must admit, while getting my eyes frozen and dyed to check for abrasions was unpleasant, seeing my eyes glow yellow and blue in the dark was cool.

Doctor: "See? You did fine." 

Me: "Thanks. Though I was screaming in my head the entire time."

My sight seems to be fine now, but the eyes are sore and aren't producing moisture normally. With the help of a week's routine of warm compresses and artificial tears, BOTH eyes watered a little this morning for the first time when I yawned. Hallelujah. Still waiting for when I wake up with "sleep crumbs" in the corners of my eyes, but I think it's coming.

Scary to think you might lose your sight. Terrifying as an artist.

So kiddies, please dispose of fluorescent light bulbs immediately and properly. 

And sadly, I did not gain superpowers.

My time online is limited because the screen strains my eyes, but I hope to be back full throttle in time for October. 

(sketch by my old friend Cooter)





CrankyAmy's picture

Glad you are on the road to recovery. I read most of this with my hand over my mouth while it hung open. Most accidents happen at home, blah, blah, blah. . .

Ghoul Friday's picture

I had to pep talk myself before every eye flush. I kept the image of having eye surgery in my mind which I think is my worst nightmare. It motivated me to keep dunking. Then trying to do the eyedrops for the first time was like watching a comedy act - getting in place to put the drops in, body slowly moving away from said drops.

Ali's picture

I'm glad there was no damage even if it does make for a great story.


halloween spirit's picture

Glad it turned out okay! I can relate to the eyedrop experience. When I first started wearing contact lenses, I used to have to get up 20 minutes early just to allow for the time it took me to get them in :)

Denham's picture

That IS a scary story! I have the same "eye" trepidation. I'm supposed to get a 99% sure fire cataract operation (procedure) but made the mistake of watching an operation on the web. Bad idea! So it's not gonna happen for a while. Am glad to hear you are OK!!! Hang in there and God bless!

ScaryJerry's picture

I'm so glad that you came out of this cage box fight (Ghoul Friday vs. Fluorescent Monster) alive and well. I'm sending paper mache'd good wishes and fiendishly good thoughts. Here's to a speedy recovery!

Ghoul Friday's picture

Thanks everyone.

HS: Even with all this, I don't know if I could put a contact lens in ;)

Denham: Oh dear! See? There are some things we are better off not knowing, though that would be a HECK of a surprise for you when you got there. While it brings little comfort, a friend of mine had cataract surgery and he's very happy with the results. But I totally get you. I don't know if I could do it.

ScaryJ: I came out alive, but the Fluorescent Monster won by point tally ;)

Cooter's picture

WOW G, that was so experience you had. Yes, those bulbs do explode and you are very fortunate not to have suffered any serious trauma. I'm not fond of eye exams but I force myself to endure them once a year. We all take these body parts for granted so be thankful for them all ... even if it means going to see the Dr when it scares the crap out of you!

BTW ... glad you're still enjoying the sketch! ;)

ShellHawk's picture

I'm so glad you're alright!

dave's picture

That was a close one.

Ghoul Friday's picture

I woke up with sleep in my eyes for the first time in 8 days. Normal sleep. Up until now, I was only getting the occasional angry hard grain in the afternoon. Promising! Eyes still sore but I am feeling a bit more optimistic. Thanks for the supportive comments :)

Bonnie (aka RoxyBlue)'s picture

Glad everything turned out better than it might have. I've had scratched corneas (former contact lens wearer), surgery for detached retinas, and cataract surgery, so I fully appreciate how precious eyesight is.

Hint for putting in eye drops - Instead of tilting your head back and trying to put the drops into your eye from above, look straight ahead (into a mirror, of course),gently grasp the lower lid and pull it slightly forward so a little pocket forms, then (without touching the dropper tip to the eye)instill the eye drop into the pocket. Close your eye and leave it closed for about 30-60 seconds. You should also gently press the inner corner of the closed eye so the drops don't immediately escape through the duct that drains the eye.

Ghoul Friday's picture

Geez Bonnie, you lived my nightmare fully realized. 

I can't do the pulling of the lid, but I manage a sad sorta shallow basin. Thanks for the tip about pressing the corners :)

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