Some random observations about recovering from my accident and living with one eye:
- Apparently, lots of my friends have been walking round with one eye covered, to see for themselves what it is like. I am very touched by this.
- For the first time in my life, I now own a cosmetic mirror. Not for the application of make-up, but so that I can apply my own eye drops. Thanks to Cath, and particular thanks for getting a slimline, square, brushed-metal one. Nothing girly about it at all.
- Victim Support is very good - it is helping me with counselling and with practical stuff. It is bad that it has to rely on charitable donations to top up its state funding.
- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority's website is the least reliable website I have ever used.
- My eye has become itchy, sore and swollen over the last five days or so. This is a combination of the stitches on the eyeball scratching the inside of my eyelid, feeling returning to the nerve endings around my eye, and possibly a reaction to the preservatives in my eye drops. So, another hospital visit, and a prescription for new eye drops (see below).
- Today I had to wait one and a half hours at Bart's hospital pharmacy for a prescription, only to be told that they only had two of the three types of eye drops in stock and I would have to go back tomorrow to get the others.
- Apparently, I should have been lying on my left-hand side when sleeping and resting. I wish someone had told me this before I made my eye more sore by resting on my right.
- When I rub my good eye, everything goes dark.
- I am becoming very wary of overhanging shrubs.
- I can now pick up a drink without knocking it over. I suspect that years of practice have helped with this.
- With a great deal of assistance (thanks Jean), I got to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (featuring Mad-Eye Moody, pictured) the other day. Very good it is too. Note to self: in future, sit on the right hand side of the auditorium.
- I need to have a sight test to get new, up-to-date specs. No-one has yet been able to tell me whether I will have to pay for this. Not that anyone should have to pay for sight tests.
- I love the NHS. What the surgeons did to my eye was brilliant, and has meant that I can keep my own eyeball, even though it will not work and is sewn together like a football. They need more pharmacists at Bart's though.
- As The Who would sing, the kids are alright.
...and that I didn't offer my sympathies earlier.
One hears all sorts of awful things about the NHS on this side of the pond. My response is always that if one can't get quick service then it's the fault of the underfunding of the NHS since the Thatcher era. Is it still underfunded?
And what's more, much of the money that does go into the NHS goes out again into the pockets of private parasites. There are the pharmaceutical companies and the PFI building companies, for starters ...
NHS under-funding would be even worse under the Tories. And whatever criticism you hear of the NHS from people in Britian is from the standpoint of believing in its fundamental purpose and wanting it to be better. Only right-wing fruitcakes (and those who would financially benefit) slag it off from the viewpoint of believing that a private market in healthcare would be better.
More about the NHS here.
I now know that I do have to pay for sight tests. This is despite needing to have my sight tested much more frequently due to the loss of the other eye. My next tactic will be to ask for the test to be half-price due to testing only one eye.