Dealing with Dry Eye During an Emergency

My husband’s truck was stolen from a paid parking lot next to a convention center in Dallas, Texas. My family and I had just arrived for the weekend for my daughter’s basketball tournament. We made the four-hour trip from our hometown and drove straight to the first game, not stopping at the hotel to unload our things.

Realizing our car was stolen

My husband dropped me and my two kids off at the door and went to find a parking spot. He paid the parking fee on his phone and met us inside. We were there for less than two hours. Unfortunately, her team lost, and we hung our heads a bit as we made the hike to our vehicle. At 5 p.m. the hot Dallas sun beamed down on us. We got to the lot, and my husband acted confused.

“Where’s my truck?” he questioned. At first I thought he just forgot where he parked. Then, he showed me how he had taken a picture of the lot address and of his spot number. Now, there was another vehicle in his spot. We walked around, trying to figure out what had happened, and he called the lot attendant.

A man showed up and verified that we had paid for the spot and that our truck had not been towed. “It was here,” he confirmed as he looked at our receipt. The only logical conclusion that we could come to was that it was stolen.

My dry eye treatments were inside

We tried to track the vehicle, and we called the police, and I began thinking of all of the different things we had inside, including my dry eye treatments. The only thing I had with me now was my purse, and in it I had some eye drops and a tube of Optimel Manuka Honey Eye Gel. But my Cequa that I take twice daily was in the truck, and it was time for me to take it. I could tell, too, as my eyes were beginning to feel irritated.

Also in the truck was an expensive device for my eyes that I paid for out of pocket. It’s called the Quantum, and it’s used for meibomian gland dysfunction. And it too was gone.

I began to feel a little panicked, not just because we were stranded in a big city with no luggage and no ride home, but because I worried about how my eyes would begin to feel. How could I stay the night without my prescription drops? What was I going to do?

Trying not to panic

I had to put those thoughts out of my mind and just focus on the situation at hand. The police came after about an hour, and we filed a routine report. I tried calling multiple rental car companies, but most were closed, and none would rent a car one-way. We ended up just getting one of our fellow basketball team families to drive us to the hotel where we were supposed to stay.

We came to the conclusion that we could not stay without our things, so we found an Uber driver to drive us all the way home – four hours. On the trip, I used both my eye drops and my Manuka Honey Gel to soothe my eyes until we could get home.

We made it home about 1 a.m., far past the time that I normally use my Cequa. As soon as we got home, I went to my bathroom and applied the drops. Then, we crashed into bed.

Thinking about dry eye during emergencies

The next few days we began dealing with our insurance company. Fortunately, our insurance would cover both the replacement value of the vehicle and its contents. I had to go out and purchase basic toiletry items that we were missing, but I wanted to wait on bigger items like my Quantum device. After a few days of not using it, though, I could tell a difference. So I went ahead and ordered another one.

Emergency situations like this are stressful enough without having to deal with dry eye. What I found interesting was that my dry eye was one of the first things I thought about during this difficulty. That just shows how life-altering dry eye can be for a person. A change in circumstance and in what we have planned can bring on stress and anxiety. But that’s life! We can’t always control it. We just have to keep pushing, even when it’s hard.

Have you had to deal with your dry eye during an emergency? How did you cope?

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