I have done what any normal person would do under the circumstances. I have packed a slab of thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon on my face. Of course.
That’s what my grandma did when my grandpa had a stye.
Of all the indignities a person must suffer! A stye! Really. A flippin’ stye!
Well that’s just great.
On the bright side – because there is always a bright side, right? – I am happy this thing rose up from hell and settled on my face after I took my out contacts. Because now my face is swollen enough to ensure that no contact lens could escape from the slit that was once my eye. My baby blue. My window on the world.
Now, instead of presenting as the erudite person of letters that I am, I look like Popeye! I’m in a perpetual wink. I look like Roberto Duran after acouple of rounds with Sugar Ray Leonard! No mas!
And it hurts! It’s red and yucky and, and…OK I’m whining. Let’s get a handle on this thing. To heck with this bacon! It’s cold and greasy and pointless and I keep having to fend off the cats.
Oh all right. I didn’t put bacon on my eye even though I remember my grandpa with a slab on his face swaddled in a tea towel. What was the rationale?
We all know that bacon makes everything better, but are there truly healing properties to bacon? The Cure.com includes this unsolicited testimony from a woman in Alaska: “My husband had this cist on his temple that kept getting bigger. When he had infected his finger once when he was younger his mom had taped a piece of bacon to it overnight and it had drawn out the infection.
“We decided to try it, that night we taped the bacon to his temple and by the next morning the lump was way down, he continued it for two more nights and I am proud to say we were able to stop any scarring from occurring. I believe it is the salt that does the trick.”
I am skeptical, but who am I to say that the bacon didn’t heal her husband’s cist? It’s the taping that has me stumped. Maybe they wrapped his head with duct tape to hold the bacon in place.
I moved on to Home Remedies for You.com. In their gentle, pragmatic and non-committal way they offer a string of crapola reminiscent of the inventory of ye olde apothecary and snake oil establishment.
Here we go: Add a teaspoon of coriander seeds to a cup of water and bring to a boil. Use the solution to cleanse the eyes thrice daily.
Or, add a couple of alum granules to one cup of water and use the solution to wash the affected eye. Place slices of cucumber over the infected eyelid to reduce swelling and soreness.
You can apply tomato slices to the affected area. Or a wet tea bag or “paste of potato.”
Maybe you could boil a handful of acacia leaves and pour the liquid over a clean washcloth to use as a compress.
Alternatively, add a teaspoon of turmeric to two cups of water and boil. Strain the solution and use as eye drops twice every day.
At the very least, make an anti-bacterial eye wash of dandelion tea.
Here’s what I’ve learned: None of these will do anything. Trust me. The stye comes and goes in its own good time. You brought it home with your wanton hands and now you have to live with it.That’s right. I did it to myself. The ultimate insult.
I’ll spare you the particulars, but forensic science would show that I touched my eye with my hand. The hand that had been out in the world cavorting with shopping carts and hand rails in public buildings and God knows what.
WebMD recommends over-the-counter remedies including eyelid cleansers and eyelid scrubs and sundry other items intended to scour your eyelids plum off.
I bought them all and began applying them in sequence. They aren’t going to fix the stye either.
So, Olive Oyl and I are just gonna hang out and make the best of it. Maybe eat some spinach.