I love waking up in North Carolina. My Outer Banks house sits on 12+ private acres surrounded by Nature Conservancy land, thus I have no need for curtains in my bedroom. I usually wake the moment the sun streams through the picture window and spend a few moments enjoying the view of the Maritime forest and sparkling blue water of the Albemarle Sound just beyond my back door. As usual, this morning, I sensed the sunshine, yawned and stretched in my luxuriant king size bed, and sat up.
But something was wrong. There was no view. Nothing but blackness. It took a second or two for the distress signal from my eyes to reach my brain, but I eventually realized my eyes were still shut. Try as I might, I couldn’t open them. My eyes were stuck shut, as if Superglued. I reached up and felt my eyelids. Ick! They were covered in gunk, both gooey and crystallized. Rubbing my eyes only hurt, as hard chunks of the goo came scraping across the tender flesh beneath my eyes, and the lids remained pasted together, despite my efforts.
I crawled out of bed and in my blindness stubbed my big toe on the night stand. I groped for the wall and followed it around into the bathroom, feeling around for the sink. When I was finally able to splash hot water on my eyes, the gunk began to dissolve and my lashes parted. I looked up into my bathroom mirror and recoiled in shock. My eyes are pink. The rims; the puffy, swollen skin around my eyes; even the whites of my eyes have taken on a pinkish hue. I know what this is. it’s Conjunctivitis, more commonly called pink eye. I just call it the creeping crud. It’s how I look and how I feel. Ugh!