CHAPTER 57 The Eye Routine

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copyright 2015 Chris Smith All rights reserved.

That night my eye was irritated. It didn't like the lights on. It was swollen and weeping a lot. Some nights, the light, of any kind would irritate it more and irritating it more was almost unbearable. Some days sunlight was too much. In a nutshell, I wanted to rip the eye right out of the socket and be done with it and all its issues. Fuck having eyes. Fucking seeing anything anymore.

Every day I wanted to run through the forest screaming. Every day I wanted to give up. Every day I wanted to crawl into a hole. Every day I didn't think I could take another moment of being uncomfortable.

But there was nothing I could about it. I was doing as much as I knew how to. I had pulled out all my years with the Doc, opened all my books and energy exercises. And I was barely putting a dent into it. I was going to have to ride out the discomfort and hope and pray that it abated quickly, given the circumstances.

When my eye couldn't handle light I put a bandana on. I would fold up the cotton cloth and wrap it around my head so my eye was covered. It was a bad impersonation of a pirate or a biker chick. Take your pick. But the darkness from the bandana helped reduce the irritation of the light intruding.

I was able to finally go to sleep though, hoping I'd sleep through. But a peaceful sleep wasn't in the cards. I was awakened by the eye at 3 a.m. I couldn't ignore it. I got up and went downstairs to micro the washcloth so I could do the hot compress on the eye.

When I had to doctor the eye there was a routine. It took about ten to fifteen minutes. But it wasn't something I wanted to be spending time on in the middle of the night. If I had my choice I'd rather be sleeping, thanks.

I'd get out of bed, grab my ceramic bowl I kept in my new room for my eye, and walk down the hallway. Then I'd turn on the stairway light, and make my way downstairs with the bowl all the way to the master bathroom. I'd grab my washcloth hanging up to dry in the bathroom. I filled the bowl up with cold water in the sink. Then folded my washcloth into thirds and in half. Placed the washcloth into the water. Then I would walk back to the kitchen and put the washcloth into the micro until it got warm enough for my eye.

This night, like most, I stood in the darkened kitchen, the only light coming from the stairway, holding the compress against my eye. My eye responded with profound weeping. The heat was helping to flush the toxins out. I spent several minutes standing there in the quiet of the dark, before the tearing subsided. When it stopped, I walked to the master bathroom to rinse out my washcloth, hung it up to dry, and washed my bowl out. I wanted the bowl ready for the morning routine.

Once I was done, I took my bowl, turned out the master bathroom light, and walked back through the maze of stuff littering the living room to find my way to the lighted stairwell that would lead me back upstairs. When I finally got back into bed the eye allowed me to fall back to sleep, which was great. My life was a fucking never-ending exhaustion.

"Health problems only increase once people have become homeless...due to harsh and unsanitary living conditions, poor nutrition, stress, substance use, lack of rest, violence and other factors. Access to health care is severely limited by financial and logistical barriers. Chillingly, it is true that persons experiencing homelessness will live 30 years less than will their housed peers. Comprehensive, barrier-free universal health insurance is as important for resolving homelessness at the individual level as it is for preventing new homelessness. No one should be impoverished to the point of homelessness simply because they cannot afford health care."

Foreclosure to Homelessness

2009 Report

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