I'm not an exceptionally squeamish person. In grad school I did laryngoscopies until I was blue in the face, spent hours watching x-rays of people ingesting barium applesauce and pudding (and refluxing them, if I was lucky), cut open the vocal tract of a dead guy, and did a jillion oral exams, and trust me, some people have very bad oral hygiene. Granted, I wasn't into that part of my job, because um, hi, I'm not in medical school, but I'm just making a point: I'm not overly squeamish.
Except for one thing: I have a total eye issue. You know how sometimes people will touch their eye while they're talking to you, like they'll rub it or try to get something out of it? Yeah, that makes me want to die. I always have to look away because it totally squishes me out. And I can't touch my own eye... I have to put eye drops in by lying down, squeezing the drop onto the corner of my eyelid, and then opening my eye and letting gravity do its work.
There aren't a lot of times in your life when not liking to touch your eyeball is a problem, until you find out you need to get contacts. I'm far-sighted and wear glasses sometimes, and I used to have contacts, but I haven't worn them for years because I hate them so freaking much, and I can see fine without them. Or could, until recently. Lately I've been feeling like I don't see as well without my glasses so I went to the eye doctor, and she confirmed what I was dreading: when I'm not wearing glasses, I need to wear contacts. I don't want to wear my glasses all the time but I also want to be able to see, so this is where we are.
"I can't touch my eyeball," I tell her.
"How did you used to put the contact in and take it out?" she asks me.
"Putting it in was okay because I could just sort of slip it in without direct touching. But when I'd take it out, I'd just flick it so I didn't have to touch my eye."
"You'd flick it?" Now I feel a little ashamed.
Then she tells me she can teach me how to do it the right way. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I think it bears repeating: "I really can't touch my eyeball."
"Really, I can teach you. Next week, we'll set up a time and we'll sit down and I'll teach you how to do it. Without flicking."
She's confident. "It WILL be okay!"
Anxiety attack. "All right."
Now she's bordering on cocky. "It'll be a breeze, you'll see."
So, next Thursday, I'm going to touch my eyeball. Both of them. Wish me luck, or come over and get me a little drunk beforehand. It may take longer for me to find my eye, but I bet I won't be as anxious.