It's been a trying day.
Last night Dad and I were finishing up grinding and polishing the last of tow heads for our engine project. Despite all protective safety measures, including good goggles, I somehow ended up with a large amount of ultra fine metal shavings in my left eye.
After trying all I could to flush out the stuff at home, and after feigning sleep until about 1 am, I had Meg take me into the ER. The doctor on staff took one look at my eye and said it was beyond his ability to deal with there. He sent me home with some Vicodin to let me sleep, and we made an appointment with the eye doctor for first thing in the morning.
With the help of the drugs I actually slept pretty well. 8 am rolled around pretty early after a 2 am bedtime. They were able to fit me in at the clinic right away, so I can't complain. The ophthalmologist said that I had two larger pieces of steel just stuck in the eye, and that she could see at least 20 smaller cuts where other's had been. So I was able to get the majority of the stuff out at home, just not all of it.
It was pretty interesting how they go about removing the metal. First they do all sorts of different numbing agents and dilation type drops to allow them to see what's going on. They then cut out the metal using a very small sharpened needle of sorts. Here's the interesting thing though; apparently the steel actually rusts, creating rust rings on the surface of the eye. These they actually burnish out with the smallest little grinder I've ever seen. Ironic I thought. The doctor was amazing. She was very thorough in describing what was going on, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
So it's all good. I'm rocking the big sunglasses and moving around a bit slower, but it's all good. No permanent damage, and I should be alright in a few days. We are in the process of making a pretty big change at the shop, so at least I'll be able to continue to work on that, albeit a bit slower than usual.
So, moral of the story, wear eye protection. Even when it fails, it could always have been much worse.