My partner has chronic dry eye problems, which wouldn’t cause the disruption they do if he were anyone else. He is a stubborn person, something I usually admire. If you have ever seen a bear paw its way determinedly into a hive for the delicious honey, ignoring the stings and the work involved- that is who he is.
He started off wearing a blindfold to help assure his eyes would remain closed while he slept. I was amazed he agreed to even that much, as his long history of Buddhist practises have caused him to ignore most bodily discomforts. Parts of his body can be bleeding, cold as ice, purple from lack of circulation and he won’t care or notice. In fact, he gets crabby if I comment and fuss over such meaningless things.
The blindfold was something he was accustomed to from our many years working overnights. While I could easily sleep on the surface of the sun and not be affected by the light, the smallest sunbeam ruins him for the morning. In his mind, wearing it again probably didn’t count as a treatment.
Still, the blindfold failed. Every other night he would awaken and find himself in terrible pain. Of course, he brought some of it on himself. When he noticed his eyes were dry and kind of stuck, he’d try to force them to behave. I told him he’ll tear something if he keeps doing that.
The worst part for me is that while his eyes won’t moisten, his sinuses will, so I have to listen to hours and hours of sniffing and blowing (and moaning about the pain). As a light sleeper, this was driving me crazy. He grew more restless, something I would have said was impossible. I think that Seinfeld skit named restless leg after him.
For MONTHS I have suggested we get some drops or tape or ointment and for months he has dismissed that idea utterly. Until a couple of days ago. The burning and strain finally wore him down. That night, he went to put some of the ointment on. When I came to bed, I found that he hadn’t used the medicine. Why? It wouldn’t come off the tube. I said, even the directions tell you not to jam it in your eye. You put some on your finger.
I had to hold him down to get the cream onto his eye, but he was amazed to wake the next morning in comfort. His eyes have been in a cycle of drying and discomfort for a prolonged period. I bet they were happy to finally have some rest and real relief. He has had this before and it came and went. I’m hopeful that having found an effective treatment, he can finally heal.