YOU know the saying hindsight is 20/20?…Well for me yesterday hindsight could have been 0/20.  Why is this you ask?

So two days ago I thought I would try something new in terms of contact solution.  I normally buy my contact solution from on base, so I was a little confused as to where the contact solution actually was in the Japanese drug store.  I found one of the ladies who worked in the store and asked her where I could find stuff to clean my contacts.  She walked me over to the section and showed me the area and pulled off a box from the shelf.  I pointed to the product that I normally get, which looked like the Japanese equivalent to what I bought on base, Optifree and Renu, and asked her “Onagi desuka?” (Is this the same?) She nodded and said yes, so I grabbed the box and took it to the counter.  

I was mystefied by the special case, which had two place holders for the contacts, but attributed it to some Japanese thing.  I followed the picture directions on the side (since everthing was in Japanese)  and went to bed.

The next morning I went downstairs to put on my contacts.  I took the contacts out and put one in my eye, so far so good.  I took the other one and noticed it was kind of dry so I took the bottle and filled it with what I thought was contact solution. 

It. was. not.

A second later my eye felt like this happened to it. I basically shouted the only name that could help anyone in that kind of situation, “Jeeeeessuuuuuuuuuus!” And proceeded to rinse my eye out with water. 

I had like 15 minutes until I needed to go to work so I grabbed my glasses and left the house. At school my eyes were red and raw, so after about 3 hours of this, I did something you are not supposed to do, I googled my symptoms. Actually though it was a really good thing I did, because I found the American equivalent of the product online and apparently TONS of other people had done what I had and with worse results so I felt less stupid since at least since the box I had, had only instructions that were completely in Japanese, even the inside paper was only in kanji.  (Also, I had assumed that the lady at the pharmacy was telling me the truth about this product being the same as the others I had pointed at when I had asked her about the product.)  One of the other people who this had happened to wrote this about the product, “Clear Care is currently running a national (international?) scam in which they cleverly package and sell eyeball-searing acids as contact lens solution. Sure, it looks like harmlessly sterile saline solution; and yes, it’s sold right next to safe and similarly packaged products; oh, and did I mention it’s helpfully sold in travel sizes at a dollar less than other brands? Hell, who wouldn’t buy it! (Especially if you were on vacation, in a hurry to grab something at the supermarket, and blissfully unaware of the danger that lurks within.)”

So I asked my supervisor if I could go to the eye doctor after reading online about these people who almost had lost part of their vision due to this product.  Of course its Japan, so I had to teach two classes first before they allowed me to leave (part of me is simmering that I could have lost my vision due to the fact that I had two classes to teach because clearly according to my school, my job is more important than my eyesight).  Since they wouldn’t let me leave I had to wait until 3pm because the eye doctor closes between 11am to 3pm and is not in on Thursday.  So they allowed me to use an hour of my vacation time (I didn’t even get to use my sick leave for this–even though I have 30 days of sick leave left for this year…I will never understand this system). 

Anyway, after 5 hours of pain and painkillers, and fretting over my eye vision, I was allowed to go to the hospital an hour before work was over. Because I had an eye infection the week before, the hospital staff thought I was there to get that checked out, but I was like umm, no I accidentally put this product in my eye and held it up.  One of the nurses had a shocked look on her face and was like, “Can you seeeeee?” 

I was like, oh great, that is always a good sign, the nurse is asking me if I can still see out of my eye.  She rushed me to the examination room and I skipped a bunch of people, but I still had to wait.  So finally, about 2 hours later, I see the eye doctor.  There were about 6 nurses in the room, because I think they were all curious to see what happened to the foreigner who put contact cleaner in her eye.  The doctor examined my eye and put some medicine in it and then goes, “Almost no damage.”

I was like, Praise the Lord Jesus! Thank you GOD, I have no permanent damage.

And then the doctor goes, “Why did you put this in your eye?”

Then I was incredulous and kind of annoyed, like what the heck he did expect me to say, “Ummm, I was bored and wanted to experience what the first circle of hell would feel like in my eyeball.”

Of course NOT. I told him what happened at the store, about how I asked the lady in the store if it was the same as contact solution by pointing at the other bottles and she was said yes–and how I can’t read kanji…I mean how was I supposed to know–I had never even heard of this product’s name before.

The nurse goes, “We were all surprised you put this in your eye.”

I was like…………. “You were surprised??  I was surprised! Ohmygaaaaash! ”

Then they washed my eye out with this special cleaner thing, the only way I can describe what that was like is like, you know when you are in a carwash and there is water going over the windshield…well it was like that but on my eye.  It was…an experience. 

So then they wanted to teach me how to use this eye cleaner thing, and I was like ummm what! I do not ever want to see this product ever again, and one of the ladies was hestitant, and I was like OMGEE– THROW IT AWAY.    Only I didn’t say that in Japanese, because I didn’t want to offend her. 

 Anyway, the doctor gave me two eye drop medicines to use for the next two weeks and I have learned my lesson…before you ever buy any products in Japan for your eye make sure you use a translator or you are an expert at reading kanji.