Around 6AM yesterday, as my shift at work was winding down, I noticed that my right eye was hurting a bit. As it didn't seem likely to be transient after a few minutes, I looked in the mirror and saw this:
As if all the snot and bubbling sinuses and coughing from my Christmas cold weren't enough.
Now, I know most people associate this with unsanitary children rubbing their grubby little hands in one another's eyes, but I don't generally have a lot of interaction with children in my line of work and I certainly don't let them rub their hands in my eyes. Aside from that, I wash my hands about every five minutes over the course of my fifteen hour shifts, so "grubby" certainly doesn't apply to me. So WTF?
Of course, I do deal with animals, who are almost as dirty a group as children*. Still, it wasn't initially apparent to me what had most likely happened, but as I pondered the answer finally came clear. Several hours prior to the onset of symptoms - in fact, pretty much exactly the length of time a bacterial infection would need to take hold - I had seen a young pit bull bitch who was rather inclined to bite and in need of chemical restraint to enable me to evaluate and treat her heavily bleeding leg.
In the course of restraining her in order to administer a sufficient dose of a morphine/tranquilizer cocktail to ensure everyone's safety, she released a considerable amount of bodily fluids. I won't elaborate, but suffice to say that some of them became airborne and some were apparently aerosolized sufficiently to bypass my glasses and land in my eye without my noticing it.
Aren't you jealous that you don't have such glamour in your career?
*Some of you may protest this assertion. I'm sure many of you are grasping your chair screaming, "Animals are not as dirty as children, you #*&%)*$&^!" I assure you, though, I have spent plenty of time around both and the matter is very, very debatable.