Sometimes I Write To Overcome The Pain Of Recurrent Epithelial Erosion
It feels like a grain of sand stuck in my eye, but I completely forget the pain when I go deep into writing.
Once in a great while, I wake up in the morning with yet another occurrence of corneal erosion. What does this mean? As I opened my eyes to rise from bed, a small part of the skin (the epithelia) of one of my eyeballs gets stuck to my eyelid and as I open my eyes, that part of the skin is torn away from my eyeball. As you can imagine, this hurts like hell, and there is no escaping the pain.
But in the morning, I have an article to write. I want to follow the guidance I received by reading articles of the top writers here on Medium, like be regular, be predictable, build an audience. So I get to work, early in the morning, long before anyone else rises, and I aim to finish my article and get it published and promoted before the first kid wakes up.
Yes, my eye still hurts, but it’s not tearing as much as before (as in waterworks), and a cool feature of writing is that writing seems to be a natural pain reliever for me. I get so lost in writing, that I forget about my discomfort and I smack those keys to make those words come out. I’ve found that writing is a natural pain reliever.
I live in a dry climate, so what else could I expect? I could also get those really nice gel drops for the eyes that help protect against this sort of thing. But I never really know when it’s coming. Best to just drink more water. I usually drink 3 liters of water every day now. One when I rise, two at work or during the day and sometimes a fourth liter at night when I watch a little Netflix or Youtube.
Eventually, I could get back into an exercise routine and drink more water there. Lately, my exercise comes from carrying one of my daughters when I’m out running errands or visiting the fitness center with the kids. If we go to the park, I get a bonus workout. I get to carry my younger daughter and her bicycle all the way home.
Recurrent epithelial erosion has taught me how to transcend the pain with writing. My experience has been counter-intuitive, as I expected the pain to get worse while looking at this screen to write. What I have learned to do instead is lean into the pain and write.
Humans can do that. We can see past our pain to the goal. We keep our eyes on the prize, even when it feels like there is a grain of sand in our eyes that won’t go away.