Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let It Snow VII

Over the last couple of months my left eye has been giving me some minor trouble. It itched, it burned, and even when it didn't do that it often felt gritty. These sensations would come and go, and I've had them before; it's usually due to my photo sensitivity or simple eye strain from reading too much or staring at the monitor too long. Sometimes my symptoms would clear up for a couple of days or even weeks, and then they'd come back. I really didn't pay any attention to them until three days ago, when I woke up in a significant amount of pain from what felt like a grain of sand in my eye.

I didn't panic. I irrigated it, inspected it, had my guy look in it, but we couldn't find any dirt or debris causing the pain, and nothing made the irritation go away. Every time I blinked, it hurt, and my eye turned red, and then I saw some swelling starting. It wasn't conjunctivitis; I've had that. It wasn't a sty, either. The only really suspicious thing I found was a tiny lump in the corner of my eye socket, about a quarter-inch from the spot where my eye surgeon removed a cancerous tumor two years ago.

I've always known there was a chance the cancer would come back, but I didn't want to know for sure this week. At least, not until after Christmas. So I walked around for three days in perpetual pain, with my eye swollen up and tearing and burning, and me looking and feeling like hell. This morning I simply couldn't take it anymore, and called the eye surgeon and got an emergency appointment.

I did my meditation before I went to the appointment, and got to the point where I could accept that I was going to get bad news. This lump would probably mean more painful surgery right away, and months of treatment, and maybe even losing my eye for good this time. I'd just get some meds to get me through the holidays and then deal with it. It sounds awful, but I felt pretty calm. I've been through worse and survived, and I was determined not to ruin Christmas for everyone else. But right before I left, I asked God if as a Christmas gift for me that he would just make it benign this time, and let me keep my eye. I didn't feel like that was too much to ask.

The surgeon took me in right away, and carefully went over my symptoms, and performed the exam. This kind of exam is not fun under ordinary conditions; this time it was really painful. He then reached for a pair of tiny-tipped tweezers and used them to extract something that felt like a tree trunk out of my eye.

The relief was instantaneous; the pain was gone and I almost wept with gratitude. He then showed me what he'd removed: a twisted, almost invisible white hair he found behind my outer lashes that had grown backward and curled up under my eyelid. Damn thing was about a quarter inch long, too.

He's going to recheck me in a week, but he's pretty sure the lump is just swollen tissue from the irritation the hair was causing. So what I got for Christmas this year was basically an ingrown eyelash. And as much trouble as it's caused me, and as silly as I feel for getting so worked up over it, this gift was better than a platinum crate filled with twenty-carat diamonds.

Today I'm putting the final additions in the Let It Snow tote: a trade paperback edition of my Rebecca Kelly novel Portraits of the Past; a hardcover edition of Winter Lights ~ A Season in Poems & Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines; and a hardcover copy of Enjoy Every Sandwich by Lee Lipsenthal, M.D. As for the final mystery gift, it's a little something that reminds me of what I found this Christmas, and hope it does the same for the winner.

If you'd like a chance to win this giveaway, in comments to this post make a wish for yourself, the other visitors here at PBW, or anyone else (or if you can't think of what to wish for, just toss your name in the hat.) I will draw one name at random from everyone who participates by commenting on this or any of my other Let It Snow giveaway posts from now until midnight EST tonight, December 21, 2011, and send the winner the tote with all the contents. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

68 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:28 AM

    It is my birthday today so lucky me, I have already got the thing I wished for this year! Yeah. But I would still like to wish for books because you can never have too many and .... world peace! I am very glad your eye is ok. Hope the good news keeps rolling in.

    L

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  2. I'm so glad you got your Christmas wish!

    My wish for everyone this holiday season is that they find what makes them truly happy -- whether it is a momentous love or a simple moment with a cup of hot cocoa while looking at the snow.

    Happy holidays, everybody. :)

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  3. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Glad to hear that the new appears to be good. We always tend to go towards the darker end of the spectrum when the types of events happen. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a happy & HEALTHY New Year.

    Marie

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  4. R.M. White7:46 AM

    You shared a lot of yourself in this post, my friend. Someone who opens her heart in such a way for all to see is a gift in and of herself. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
    My wish is a double one (can I have two? can I, huh, mom, please please?) -- number one, that you continue writing without end, both in your books and here in the blog, and number two, that somewhere someday I'll write well enough so that someone else will tell me the same thing.
    We are blessed to have your voice and to hear your courage. Keep on keeping on!

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  5. I already entered your draw on an early post, so I don't think I this should be counted again. But I just wanted to say that I'm so glad that your medical scare turned out to be so quickly and happily resolved.

    I hope that anyone else out there who is facing their own frightening event will have a similarly relief filled ending.

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  6. I don't need to be entered in the draw. I just want to say I'm so happy you're all right. May everyone else have their Christmas wishes granted.

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  7. I wish PBW and all these great commenters a very Merry Christmas!

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  8. SandyH8:53 AM

    My Christmas wish is that someone with maturity could get our country back on track. Foolish I know but I live in hope. I like William Faulkner's words for his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. I read it often. It lifts my spirits.

    "I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance." I would love to see more of this.

    Best wishes to you and your family Lynn for a Happy Holiday season.So glad you eye problem was resolved successfully.

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  9. My wish is for everyone to know peace of mind.

    Also, I am incredibly relieved and pleased that it was only an errant hair.

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  10. My Christmas wishes are all about good health and happiness. So glad yours turned out that way.

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  11. What I would wish for is something irrational and impossible so instead of wishing for the impossible I wish that everyone has a happy, healthy and safe holiday.

    I am glad you are alright and that your holiday wish was granted.

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  12. Same as Darlene - I don't need to be entered in the draw. I just wanted to tell you that I'm happy this turned out to be something "small" and that your eye is going to be fine. Far too often medical news isn't so good, so it's nice to hear a story with a happy ending. Happy Holidays to everyone.

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  13. I'm not here for the tote. Just wanted to say I also have an eye condition that makes me worry about losing my vision--which makes me extra thrilled to know you're going to be ok.
    My wish is that you may thoroughly enjoy your holiday, lady.

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  14. OMG, I'm so glad for you that it was just an ingrown eyelash. Here's hoping the irritation it caused goes away fast.

    My wish? I'll send it out to all the unpublished writers out there (including me): may 2012 bring you the success you've been working toward. =o)

    Happy Holidays, Everyone.

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  15. I'm so happy for you that it was just an ingrown hair. That is such a relief, isn't it?

    As for wishes, I wish for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday, and that everyone gets something that makes them as happy as your ingrown hair made you.

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  16. Anne. V.9:55 AM

    I'm so glad that it was fixed! My husband goes through something similar with an ulcer on his eye every now and then. It reduces a grown man to writhing in pain.

    I hope you have a healthy and happy new year and I'll keep it in my prayers.

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  17. I wish for health, peace and happiness for my family and yours too.

    Thank you for sharing and I will say an extra prayer of thanksgiving tonight for you and your family.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
    Jennifer

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  18. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I don't have a wish - so please leave me out of the contest. I just want to let you know your good news made my morning. I was very worried reading that.

    Merry Christmas to all,

    JulieB

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  19. Margaret10:09 AM

    Hurray for relatively simple (if painful) fixes! I hope your eye feels much better soon.

    And for everyone, I wish simple fixes to their problems, and the best possible outcomes for any sticky situations.

    Happy holidays and pleasant winter to everyone!

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  20. I wish everyone happiness and love, and a life well-lived. Happy holidays!

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  21. Christmas is a time of miracles and I'm hoping my mom will be blessed with a miracle this holiday season. She has a serious health issue that only a miracle can cure.

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  22. So glad that God let what might have been a major issue be just a small thing.

    I want to wish eveyone a Merry Christmas and that at some point during the next week everyone would have at least one moment when they are reminded of the hope and joy Christmas truly represents.

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  23. Best wishes and the best of health. I wish that your writing continues to be successful. Also for peace and happiness.

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  24. I wish for all to have great health, happiness and a wonderful holiday. thanks for this special place to visit.

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  25. GayLee10:23 AM

    First my gratitude for your good news. I had a breast lump scare a few years back and I felt an amazing sense of freedom and relief that I wouldn't be following in the steps of generations of women in my mother's family who died of breast cancer.

    Second, my wish: peace, justice and respect from all for all in this world, and in all others, since we're finding more every day!

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  26. I wish everyone here good health for all of 2012. . . including myself. I wish all the aspiring writers out there make some progress toward their ultimate goal.

    Happy holidays to all!

    DiDi

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  27. Sheila11:14 AM

    I wish better health for friends and family. That everyone, not just friends and family, gets what they need to make their life easier and happier.

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  28. What a relief - so glad to hear that you are feeling better. Isn't it amazing how something so small can cause so much trouble? When my husband had a kidney stone, we were SHOCKED to see the little "stone" that had cause his 9 out of 10 pain level. It was no larger than a grain of sand.

    Speaking of little things full of trouble, my Christmas wish is for my precious 4 month old daughter to cut her mother some slack and sleep for more than a few hours at a time at night! I know it's probably too much to ask for, but judging from her thigh rolls, I think she could skip a feeding!

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  29. I wish for a job. I hate all the anxiety it causes. Plus I want to stop being a burden to my family and pay my own way. So, that's what I wish for.

    Happy holidays everyone. And hope your new year is bright and wonderful.

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  30. Fran Kane11:22 AM

    In view of your scare, and thanks to the man upstairs that you're ok, I wish you and everyone out there the very best of health for 2012.

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  31. I'm just so glad your eye is fine. Isn't it awful how such a tiny thing can set off our worst, yet sometimes well-founded fears.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{Lynn}}}}}}}}}}}

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  32. I'm glad your okay and that your eye is fine. My wish for the 2012 year is to have a book that's ready to be queried, released into the world and hopefully picked up.

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  33. For myself, I wish to get over whatever sickness I have before Christmas (even though it probably won't happen).

    For others, I wish for a happy and safe holiday.

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  34. Wow, so glad it was something simple!! Sorry for the pain!

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  35. I wish for everyone on this board to have a healthy and happy year in 2012.

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  36. I'm so glad your eye problem was just a lash not something more serious. The best gifts really do come in small packages.

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  37. Not entering, just had to say Thank God you're okay! What a horrible thing to deal with and what a relief.

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  38. I wish that the spirit of Christmas that makes this time so special would be carried with all through out the year.....the world would be a much kinder place.

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  39. Anonymous12:10 PM

    I wish good health and happiness to everyone. May we all take upon the following years with a sense of hope, brightness and freedom to live this life to the fullest.

    Glad to know about your eye to:)

    Happy Holidays!

    Lia

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  40. I am so glad to hear the problem with your eye was something easily fixed. I was worried when I started reading your blog. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

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  41. Thank goodness you are okay!

    My wish is to figure out how to handle my allergy to several food items.

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  42. Thank goodness it wasn't anything but an eyelash that was causing you so much trouble. Your calmness though when you imagined worse was inspiring.

    I wish everyone a healthy, happy New Year.

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  43. Thank god it was "only" a hair!

    I wish with all my heart (and this is very selfish) that the lump on my mom's head is nothing serious and that it's not a new tumor. Since she's too stubborn to go to a doc I can only wish with all my heart it'll be ok.

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  44. I'm really glad your eye is okay!

    I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  45. I wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season filled with lots of laughter and love.

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  46. So glad you eye is ok. HOw amazing that something as small as a lash could be that painful. argh.totally sympathize with you. now you can focus on enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.

    my wish is to enjoy christmas as well with the kids and hubby

    reese

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  47. Margaret Z.1:39 PM

    How can something so small be so irritating? A little like life , huh?
    My wish is for some time to read all the books I have stacked up near my chair.

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  48. Delia1:45 PM

    My Christmas wish is for the unemployed: may you get a very wonderful Christmas gift in the form of a job. May the new year be kinder to us all than the last. Delia

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  49. Lynn, I have a similar-ish story. I've been having weird hand pain since oh, mid-July, which came out of nowhere and slowly abated from July to November...then a few weekends ago it started to really hurt in an entirely different location. I didn't want to go to the doctor for anything (I've had issues with unpleasant GP's at my HMO being completely unhelpful for anything that doesn't require antibiotics), but it hurt badly enough Monday morning that I caved and called...

    Within two hours the pain had gone away entirely. GO FIGURE.

    Of course, I went to the doctor and got told I am probably getting carpal tunnel so I need to start sleeping in a brace...and the brace has given me a lovely full-on hand rash... but oh well, giant rash from hell beats surgery.

    I wish us all the best of health, especially with the body parts we need to do our work.

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  50. Is it terribly hypocritical of me to say... you medical types, you make awful patients? ;)


    My wish for others? Peace.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas, PBW!

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  51. It's a classic for a reason- wishing everyone a happy and healthy holidays and new year.

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  52. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Lynn,
    How wonderful that your wish was fulfilled. Sometimes it is the smallest things that nag at us the most. Now, my Christmas wish has already been fulfilled. Soldiers are coming home including some friends and family. I am thankful!
    Tami
    Jacksonville

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  53. I wish everyone health and prosperity for the new year. For whatever life throws your way, I hope we can all find our way and overcome them. Happy Holidays.

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  54. So glad it was just an eyelash!

    My wish is that everyone -- friends, family, the nation as a whole -- finds its way past economic hardship in the coming year so we can all move forward together to create amazing new things.

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  55. So glad your eye is okay!

    My wish is that my parent's health continues to be good and that we all have a safe and happy 2012,

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  56. So glad that it didn't turn out to be anything more than an eyelash (although painful). When I had eye problems which the doctor first thought was conjunctivitis, I was sent to an eye doctor.

    It turned out to be the first symptom of my vasculitis disease that I have been battling now for almost 9 years.

    Take care - have a great holiday season.

    Cyn

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  57. Glad to hear it wasn't something serious. I do wish for health and happiness.

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  58. Tammy S6:19 PM

    Glad to hear the eye problem wasn't more serious.

    My wish? that everyone have a save and happy Christmas!

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  59. My wish is for you! I hope you go back and everything has cleared up from the alien ingrown eyelash invasion.

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  60. So, so relieved to hear you and your eye are all right. MUCH better to be embarrassed. Definitely.

    My wish is for a safe, happy, healthy, productive year for everyone who follows PBW. :-)

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  61. a safe and happy new year for everyone.

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  62. My wish is that any who have been sexually abused or molested and haven't spoken out about it, but who have held it in, maybe feeling they were somehow at fault, people who have been scared to talk to anyone and just let the pain grow inside them...that these people (many in my boyfriend's family, including my boyfriend until he met me)...find the courage to seek help.

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  63. I am so glad things turned out so good for you and that everything was great. My wish is that my family stays healthy and employed and with the stuff going on at my and my son's work that might take a tiny miracle. And for god to give me the strength to go back and finish up my bachelor's degree. Hope your xmas is merry and bright.

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  64. I can't tell you have relieved I am for you, Lynn. Wishing you and your family all the best over the holidays.

    xxoo
    lisa

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  65. We're all busy - so my wish is for people to be able to find and appreciate moments of wonder.

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  66. My wish is for my father who has just completed his second year of being cancer-free. Two years ago, my brother and my grandmother passed away within a month of each other right before Christmas. Shortly thereafter, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a difficult time for my entire family, but we joined together and grew stronger in spite of everything. For this Christmas, I wish that father will remain cancer-free and that both of my parents will experience some Christmas magic.

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  67. My wish is that I get what I need in the upcoming year, not everything I want. As long as I have what I need, I won't have to worry about anything.

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  68. No need to include me in the draw. I just wanted to say, Phew! what a relief it was just an ingrown eyelash. And to wish you and yours a happy Christmas and new year. And good health.

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