To Amy From Dad
The Pinkeye That Ate Christmas

The Pinkeye That Ate New York City


At some point in the recent past, Ike sneezed. On me. At me. Directly into my face. Being a seasoned veteran of all manner of bodily fluid horrors, this elicited little more than a "DUDE, gross, cover that next time." I can't remember when it even happened precisely, just that it did. 

I woke up on Sunday with a twinge of redness in my left eye. Nothing serious, and I blamed it on possibly not thoroughly washing my eye makeup off, or maybe it was time for a new mascara wand, or maybe I just slept like shit. 

By Monday morning I was willing to concede that ok, fine, looks like pinkeye. Viral pinkeye (clear tears, no yellow goop), which just needs to run its course, just like it has run its course every other time I've had pinkeye like a normal human being. 

And then all. Hell. Broke. Loose. 

My eye quickly bypassed pink and turned an awful, fire-like red. My eyelid swelled up and a constant stream of involuntary tears flowed down my face. I had a sore throat and a headache and the pain was unreal. I'd lie down to apply a cool compress to my eyes and wake up three hours later. I tried every OTC and weird home remedy I could find and nothing had any effect. 

By Tuesday night both eyes were red and swollen and I noticed that really, my whole face looked kind of...strange. Puffy. Like I'd aged 20 years and gotten fillers in all the wrong places. 

On Wednesday morning the light started to hurt my eyes and I couldn't focus properly. I went to urgent care, like "Halp? This doesn't seem right?"

(Urgent care agreed that "NOPE, THAT'S NOT RIGHT AT ALL.")

They gave me a topical antibiotic ointment "just in case" there was something bacterial going on and an oral antibiotic for a suspected underlying sinus infection. I was also advised to double my allergy meds and take extra Advil to fight the inflammation on all fronts. 

And oh, if things didn't improve (or oh God, got any worse) within 24 hours, I should just go to the hospital. 

"Your eye sockets ARE really close to your brain," I was told, super-cheerfully. "So if that swelling gets worse, you'll want to be seen ASAP."

Zombie pinkeye. Actually a thing! Who knew!

On Thursday I could barely see. Fuck it, I couldn't see. I had to keep my eyes closed to stop the light from causing searing pain and oh my God. So red, so swollen. I was crying but you couldn't tell because my eyeballs are ALWAYS CRYING. 

Jason drove me to the ER around lunchtime. And I gotta say, the second I took my sunglasses off I got whisked out of that waiting room INSANELY FAST. Like, they didn't even have a spot for me yet but still had me wait in some empty back hallway because UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN. 

After my initial vitals exam the nurse immediately offered some numbing drops for the pain, and then after the doctor performed an examination that involved actual touching of my eyes and face she upped the order to include a Vicodin. Both together brought my pain rating down to a 4, which surprised everybody that I was still feeling ANY pain but guys, guys I am okay with a 4. A 4 is the best I've felt in DAYS! YAY FOR 4!

And now, the worst photo of me the Internet has ever seen, and will ever see:


ER selfie, sure. Is that the face of someone with any fucks left to give? 

The ER visit resulted in at least some form of "good news": No orbital cellulitis (aka brain infection) and no damage to my corneas. 

The not-so-good news is that, just as I originally suspected, it's just a fucking virus. And there's really nothing to do but "yadda yadda let the virus run its course". And this one seems to be taking its damn sweet time. Ice and a shit-ton of Advil. (They gave me a prescription for Norco but I haven't filled it yet.) I have a follow-up appointment with an eye specialist who will monitor things from here on out because, you know, THIS IS PRETTY BAD. (Possibly EKC, but I'm trying to lay off the self-diagnosing.) Still taking the oral antibiotic for the sinus infection and allergy meds and sleeping upright to fight the overnight swelling and I've turned on all the Person With Bad Eyesight features on my laptop. I'm not allowed to drive until my vision stops blurring (when will that happen? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) and I don't know.

I still don't feel any better. But this morning marked the first morning where nothing seemed...worse? So that's positive. But Ugh. You guys. Everything still hurts and I'm sad and annoyed and trying to accept that recovery and being back to "normal" might be a bit of a ways off.



Tl;dr because gross eye talk: Don't get sinus infections that eat your eyeballs and/or onsidering wearing sneeze guard goggles around small children. 



Is it wrong that ALL I can think of is Knocked Up, where they got pink eye from farting on each others faces?


I have sympathetic eye watering and itching from looking at those photos. YIKES.


You poor thing! Feel better soon, and get the sneeze guard googles.

Ann Uphill

I hope you feel better soon!


I am so sorry. Pinkeye is bad enough--hope you are feeling better soon.

ccr in MA

Ow and ugh and ow and oh you poor thing! You're making me feel much less able to whine about the cold I've had all week, at least it is just a cold. Whew! I hope it gets better fast.


My 1.5 year old sneezed directly into my eye last night from a distance of about 3 inches. It was gross, but I figured "whatever" (kids are gross!). But now I officially have psychosomatic pink eye. My eye itches already. Ack! Feel better! (and ohmygod please let me not get pink eye!)


UGH that looks truly awful! Hope you have a speedy recovery. Also, thank you for posting photos because it helps hypochondriacs like me establish a threshold before we rush to urgent care. :)


Long time reader...probably rare if never commented. I am soooo sorry. i got a bad case of pinkeye as an adult and it hurt soooooooo bad (there are not enough O's) My Mom was like...yes, don't you remember having it when you were a kid. I DID but I DIDN'T remember it being that painful! I hope you heal took a month of persistent doctor visits and "treatment" (steroid?) #usetheforce #darksideeven


Do you get cold sores? Because you can also get that kind of viral reaction in your eyes and it can really damage your eyes. My SIL has permanent damage to her eyes because her eye dr didn't recognize it and waited too long to send her to a specialist. You basically would need an antiviral like Valtrex. Hope you feel better soon!


I haven't had pinkeye in yeeeeeeeeears, thankfully. DO NOT JINX ME; WHERE IS SOME WOOD TO KNOCK?

I currently am owning the party of life with double ear infections and bronchitis. My throat feels like a dragon unable to control its fire is laughing inside it.


I've been complaining for the last 24 hours or so that because my 9 month old insists on sticking her (slimy) fingers in my mouth or nose. I'm pretty sure not being quick enough to avoid her is why I now have the cold I had hoped to avoid. (Seriously. I'm sorry my kids were sick, but we all know its worse when Mom is sick. Especially when the baby is still feeling puny and chants "Mama, Mama, Mama" all day long.) I'm going to go make another cup of tea now and just be really, really grateful she leaves my eyes alone.


I've been complaining for the last 24 hours or so that because my 9 month old insists on sticking her (slimy) fingers in my mouth or nose. I'm pretty sure not being quick enough to avoid her is why I now have the cold I had hoped to avoid. (Seriously. I'm sorry my kids were sick, but we all know its worse when Mom is sick. Especially when the baby is still feeling puny and chants "Mama, Mama, Mama" all day long.) I'm going to go make another cup of tea now and just be really, really grateful she leaves my eyes alone.


I had a terrible, terrible case of pink eye at the same time I had mono, like WTF universe? But anyway, I feel for you and wanted to suggest something that helped me a bit: brew two bags of chamomile tea, let the bags cool, then put them on your eyes. Drink the tea or add whiskey to it or whatever, doesn't matter. It really did help with the itching and the swelling and such. Good luck.

Kathleen W

Don't freak out but you need to see an eye doctor to rule out Iritis...also known as Uveitis. One of those crazy autoimmune things. Mine was misdiagnosed in the ER. Prednisone eye drops will help.


I would say that EKC isn't much of a leap in the self diagnosis realm. Wow. That looks truly awful and painful and I hope that goes away really soon. And I will be wearing nitrile gloves to all public places all winter because now I am totally paranoid that whatever you have is out there somewhere....waiting.


Get well soon!


Eyes are important so I am compelled to comment. I had a virus that attacked my entire UR system, and one day my eyes turned to ketchup, too. The next day was worse so I went to my optometrist who could see me ASAP. My corneas were infected so he gave me steroid drops (or ointment, can' recall) to get the swelling down and give me some relief while the virus moved on through. He monitored me every couple of days, and when I had setbacks I got VIP treatment. He sent me to an opthamologist for good measure and they followed me for a long time to make sure the damage continued to clear. Not to scare you but this is no small thing. Even if your corneas are clear right now; they may get infected if the virus remains strong. Please stay vigilant and do all the follow up they ask of you. Best of luck!


Looks miserable. Get better soon.


I also second the idea of going to the eye doctor and getting checked for Iritis, especially given your sensitivity to light. I was also misdiagnosed with this by an ER nurse. Good luck and feel better!


Ike, you owe your momma BIG TIME.


Pink eye is miserable. Hope you feel better soon!



I'm cringing so hard for you...oh...that looks awful.

Oh...Ike is never going to live this down...


oh poor you. how awful. hope you get better soon. look after yourself


I will echo every commenter who has had Bad Stuff in the eyes and say see the eye specialist immediately, today if not yesterday. REALLY. Don't wait the weekend. Tell them it's an emergency and email them those pictures. ER and primary care and so on will treat it like it's the same as a similar infection of your damn toenail or something but an eye specialist knows that steroid drops for swelling and antivirals EARLY (early is important so DO NOT WAIT) are super important to prevent scarring. Also, because of close to brain-ness, medications don't get inside of your eye very well and viruses can linger for a very long time, so keep those follow-up appointments!




OMG. I had the SAME THING, only in just one eye, about 8 months. I was so ridiculously unwell and uncomfortable. (Though it sounds like I had less pain.) FEEL BETTER! (Also, just an FYI, there was a weird response in my eye to fighting the virus that resulted in small deposits on my cornea - it took many drops and months and visits to the ophthalmologist to clear. I wish you speedy recovery, because OUCH. Be well! I feel your pain!


That is awful! I have no advice, but geez. That. Is. Awful. (As if you didn't KNOW that.)


Feel better, Amy!


Oh. Dear. Feel better soon! That does not look fun.;0(


Oh good gravy, Amy, that SUCKS. I'm so sorry. UGH.

And yeah - see an optometrist, they have the good stuff.


I am just getting over this, seriously I have fucking had it since the week before Halloween when I went to a haunted house and some guy dressed as someone from the Texas Chainsaw movie tossed water in my face as a gag. I had the same kind of thing a few years ago and managed to scratch my cornea - THE PAIN - and my doctor actually had to remove a flap of skin from my eye. It was as gross as it sounds.

Anyway, apparently that has made me more susceptible to this shit going forward. My advice, eye doctor care all the way. That's the only person I see for this kind of stuff now. At the moment I'm weaning off of steroids because even though the infection is gone my immune system is still pissed so everything is still inflamed. Not to make this all about me - LOL - but seriously, I feel you. Get better soon.


I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but I think I got pinkeye just looking at that second picture. Yikes. I hope you feel better soon. And, I am off to bleach my eyeballs, just in case.


I don't mean to alarm you, but I would get to an eye doctor ASAP to rule out uveitis.


I'm so sorry that is happening to you right now and I hope it goes away soon. I have no advice, just sympathy. Get comfortable as much as you can and get better asap!


Ohhhhhhhh Amy I am so sorry girl!!!! That sounds brutal. Hell, it LOOKS brutal, and I am sure it feels worse than it looks! Glad you've got good care, sorry they can't do more for you. I hope it resolves fast!


I am so sorry and hope you feel better soon but I, too, recommend seeing a specialist and have them rule of staph. Someone I know just struggled with a weeks long staph ordeal in the eyes that took forever to diagnose (initial thought was that it was viral too). Look out for other signs of infection like rash, etc... The good news is that it would clear up pretty quickly on the right antibiotics. Again, feel better really soon.


Yes...also recommending the emergency eye doctor appt. I had a viral infection that ate my corneas (scarred them all up)...I think if I had been treated more aggressively early on, I wouldn't have had a..s much damage...feel free to contact me

Sassy Apple

I think everyone's covered all the bases, but I want you to know your eyebrows look fantastic.


Oh, ugh, you poor thing, get better very soon. And also I was going to say that about the eyebrows.


Oh. My. Hell! I've had pink-eye but it never looked like that. I had the itchy, eyes stuck together with mucus kind. That looks so painful. I hope you heal quickly. Geesh!


Remember 10 years ago when we were all desperately trying to get pregnant? And we were like "IT'S GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN".


I have had this zombie pinkeye. I am so sorry. Mine lasted TWO WEEKS. But I do second the iritis comment. I have had that too, and the searing pain from light you describe sounds just like that. Eye doc will know. When I had it I was misdiagnosed in the ER. Hope it all gets better soon-- eye stuff is particularly gross and debilitating.


Ohhhhhhh. Your sad little face. Makes me want to make you a nice big martini. But with all those medicines, probably not.


Echoing what others have said: get to an opthamologist (not optometrist) sooner rather than later. You might need steroid eye drops and you definitely want to rule our uveitis or scleritis. Good luck and hope you feel better soon.


Good l*rd. I never knew pink eye could progress to such awfulness. Hoping you don't have all the awful things people are cautioning about on here and wishing you a full a swift recovery. Feel better!


Looonngg time reader. I may have commented about 5 or 9 years ago but this made me crawl out of the wood work. I had this shit twice in three months. Systane lid wipes and Systane Ultra eyeball lube. I do not work for Systane, promise. The first go I had steroid eyedrops. The second time I just did the "lid hygiene" and it actually went away faster.

But lord. Pink eye sucks hard. I can usually find humor in most things but I think pink eye just gave me PTSD. Go forth with the lid hygiene warrior!


Oh honey. Ow.

You might try sprinkling some turmeric into your food to help with inflammation. I hope things turn around quickly.


I had a horrible case of pinkeye years ago and it went to my child and to my husband and back around to me. It was like 2 months of eye-gunk hell! I think I got it from makeup although the company swears they have antiviral and antibacterial elements in their makeup. They ended up sending me a check for several hundred dollars (just based on my wanting to inquire about a batch of eye shadow) and we used it to pay for the 7 bajillionty dollar eye drops we had to keep filling. Not good memories. Only use white pillow cases and bleach the crap out of them...or burn them...not kidding.


GAH. Get better soon, pretty Amy's pretty eyes!


Oh my! I hope you feel better soon! That last pic made my eyes water just looking at it. So sorry for your pain!


Fool, that second pictures is some straight to DVD zombie shit! Get yourself to the damn eye doctors before your start the zombie revolution.

Ewwwwwwwwww... sorry that last part was mean, but ewwwwwwwwwww.


Just saw your instagram update: I've suffered corneal abrasions and many, many eye issues, including having to wear the annoying protective lens too. I also am allergic to most eye ointments and got terrible reactions (worse than the original infection!) from them, so believe me when I saw I feel your pain (literally). This is all unpleasant stuff but your eye will heal. Steroids are a mofo but they help and while corneal abrasions are something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, they too get better. I hope this helps; it's all so painful and yucky but it seems you are in good hands now and all that's left is the time it will take to heal. Feel better soon!


Damn! Get well SOON!!!

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