There is a certain zen when it comes to the taking in and out of contacts. When I first started taking them as part of a study at the Southern Tech University College of Optometry, I had so much difficulty getting them in that I was almost booted from the experiment. Then, for no real reason that I can recall, I started getting them in. I think that I started doing something differently. Maybe looking away from the big giant finger making near-contact with my eye. I don’t know, but if I thought too much about it, I don’t know that I’d be able to put it in right. That’s the guts of it, much of the time. You can’t think about it.
The same thing is true when it comes to taking them out. Even when I was able to get them in, I had a lot of difficulty getting them back out again. Often, my solution to this was not to take them out at all for week and even month-long stretches at a time.
Then I went to see the eye doctor and he managed to get it out of me that I was pretty relaxed when it came to my eye-care. He brought out a big giant book and showed me what happens when Contacts Attack. One picture of a person with a cloud in the eyes like something from a movie or something particularly stuck out. Not because of the picture, but because the doctor said that her eyes had gone from normal to permanently damaged both in form and function in the course of eight hours after an infection. That was all that I needed to hear. After that, I made a point to take my contacts out on a pretty regular basis.
I guess with practice came the zen, because after a while taking them out was as easy as putting them in. Well, practice wasn’t all of it because logic would dictate at no point was I getting more practice taking them in than taking them out unless I was putting the suckers on top of one another (which you can’t do anyway - don’t ask me how I know). I guess there was some Confucian Way that I was able to do it without thinking about it the same way that I was previous able to get them in.
That being as it is, when things go wrong, it gets difficult to put them right. You can’t think about it! You just have to do it differently without the ability to consider how you did it before and how you might do it differently because, well, that’s thinking, and that’s not allowed.
Unfortunately, I went into a slump last week taking them out. This despite my putting them in and taking them out with increased regularity because of some problems I’ve been having with my prescription. Actually, I can tell you exactly what the Confucian
trick was when it came to taking them out. I slid the contact to the corner of my eye and then plucked it out from there, away from my direct line-of-vision and the natural flinching that would occur. But for some reason I kept flinching. When you flinch with a contact in your eye, the contact re-centers around your iris. The result was that instead of pinching the contact for extraction, I pinched my eye.
That, by the way, HURTS! With the pain comes an increased tendency to flinch, which takes the contact back to the center, which leads to pinching your eye again. And, to further add to the problem, this always seems to occur when you found the Way of Confucius for the first eye. It’s not even a right-left eye thing. It’s the dastardly deed of the Little Ghost that puffs on a cigarette in the back of your head to screw you over because when you have one contact in, you can’t get by with your contact nor put on your glasses because no matter what you do, you’re screwed in one eye.
I finally managed to get the contact out and put the contacts away for a week. In addition to avoiding the pain, the glasses drew attention to the fact that the vessels on one of my eyes had expanded and made an entire side of an eye red. Then, after a week’s worth of rest, I put the contacts in and I removed them. Without incident. And once again, my little pocket of optical zen was restored.