Let Sleeping Ninjas Lie

I have chronically bloodshot eyes.

And I know why.

I have this strange habit of sleeping with my eyes open.

I wish I could say it was because during my ninja days I had to sleep with my eyes open, so I could thwart any cowardly attacks. I wish I could say it was because the aliens told me to watch for their secret sign signaling their return for me.

I think it’s just because my eyelids aren’t long enough.

Some nights are worse than others. I can always tell when it’s been a bad night. I walk up to the mirror, open my eyes wide and make a couple of silly faces at myself. There it is. A distinct line on my eyeball. It is clear and white above where my eyelid sat all night, and tortured and red below where the air mercilessly sucked moisture.

I raise my fist and shout, “Stupid air! Stupid eyeballs!!!”

I don’t usually do that, but I think I’ll try it next time. It might be satisfying.

I asked my eye doctor about it once during an exam.

“Mr. Eye Doctor,” I said, “I sleep with my eyes open and they are always bloodshot as a result. What can I do?”

“Tape your eyes shut.”

I laughed. He didn’t.

“You’re serious. Tape my eyes shut?”

“Yip.” He was making notes in my folder. Crazy woman. Most….. likely….. vampire.

So I tried taping my eyes. It was strange waking up, but I could tell right away that my eyes were going to be moist and normal. As I started to peel off the tape, I realized that I hadn’t thought the whole thing out very well. The skin on the eyelid is very sensitive and very….. elastic. After several painful minutes, I had lost a few layers of skin and several eyelashes.

Round two: I had the brilliant idea of using a cotton ball under the tape. So I had medical tape from my eyebrow to my cheek, with a cotton ball protecting my tender eyelid and remaining eyelashes.

As usual, I slept on my side with my face buried fiercely into my pillow.

In the morning, the tape came off beautifully. No ripping off tissue or hair. However, I couldn’t see out of my one eye.

The pressure of the cotton ball had reshaped my eye, and my vision was blurred until about 4 in the afternoon.

So I gave up on the Taping of the Eyes.

Now the ninja world trembles with terror, for Natalie again sleeps with her eyes open.

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15 responses to “Let Sleeping Ninjas Lie

  1. you made me laugh out loud. and i’ve been laugh-out-loud deprived lately. so that felt great. thanks.

    when you try out raising your fist and shouting, “stupid air! stupid eyeballs!!!” be sure you do it with a lisp.

    (have you tried an eye mask? it’s not a complete “seal” but might do the trick…)

  2. That is exactly what I was going to suggest – but the Ninja in you might be against all things piratey; even a patch that covers both eyes – intstead of one. The other thing might be to use medical gauze instead of a cotton ball – or at least stretch out the cotton ball – or use those cotton disks that are designed to remove make up.

    I couldn’t help giggling when I imagined you waking up with the cotton ball and tape and peeling it back to reveal a totally concave eyeball. I hope that it all works out for you. 8-)

  3. yes, yes… get one of those satiny ones they use in spas to make it like a treat every night… I know Bath and Body has a large selection!

    I’m w/ Alece- I enjoyed laughing out loud at your post :)

  4. oh my goodness! i just had to read this to daniel and we were both cracking up — unfortunatley at your eye’s expense. i knew it was gonna be good when i saw the title :)

    oh man…you crack me up! how do you come up with this stuff!? thanks for a laugh.

  5. you should try those little bed time bandana things. oh that is so not what they’re called…they are often on airplanes…umm i don’t know what they’re called.

    by the way! i am so sick of the secret agent man chase credit card commercial too. and we need to watch rif trax soon.

  6. Oh my gosh that was the best blog laugh I’ve had in awhile. Out loud, and harder and harder. :D Awesome. Poor Natalie’s eyes. Perhaps you need a pet Ninja who closes your eyes for you after you fall (safely) asleep. :) Oh my.

  7. Okay, if you do use an eye mask of some sort, do yourself a favor and draw open eyes on the outside of it (ala Capt Jack Sparrow’s eyelids in Pirates II). The enemies will leave you alone while you keep your eyes moist.

    Good luck.

  8. You’re funny.

    Sorry your eyeballs won’t stay moist.

    Keep us updated on what ends up working, eh?

  9. Mark: Fantastic idea! I could even use some of that glow in the dark paint so my eyes would be really eerie.

    You can never be too careful when it comes to ninjas…..

    Annie: Pet ninja? Clearly you do not know how dangerous we ninjas are. Unless I get a pet and train it to be a ninja. THAT might work.

  10. mmmm… idea #2 may work. I had no idea Ninjas were such a pain to work with.

    As a distant third, though, Mark’s option is not only practical, but SOO Natalie. Pity the unknowing person who tries to wake you.

  11. ever see those sport fanatics, like the ones who wear hard hats while they jog, and on each side of the hat is taped a bottle of their favorite elixer, sometimes you see them at football games too,and they,re not wearing any shirts, and they got paint all over their bulbous bellies, and sometimes several of them cling together with letters across their chests, that spell out some silly slogan,like “beat the crap out of those silly losers for the gipper”, of course there weren’t any guys with the ” , I just put those in for clarity , I didn’t want that Freudian guy to get all confused. Besides I understand that most children are not allowed to play with paint, and I certainly wouldn’t want you to paint your eyes shut, no sir, besides the paint remover would probably be just as painful as the tape. Lets see, I was about to say, oh yeah, the hat idea, only fill the jugs with Visine, and you could find a way to set the straws so they drip a drop every so often or sooner if needed. a cautionary note however, if you succomb to heavy snoring it would be advisable to keep the straws to short enough length so as to get to the eyes and not the nose, and keep the straws pliable so as not to poke out any eyes. And the hat may need some super glue applied to it, so that it will not shift around during sleep awakenings. All in all a pretty amazing idea, don’t you think? Some people prefer a chin strap vs the super glue, to each his own I guess. who.

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  13. Pingback: To answer your question: « What I really want to say is…

  14. Hey so did it actually work? Aside from the blurriness? Like when you used just surgical tape, did that work?

    I too have chronically red eyes, and according to others I sleep with my eyes open (in my case it actually IS a throwback from my ninja days) and am sick of all the suckas constantly asking me ‘Yo Ham what’s with the red eyes?’. They’re worst in the morning, and super sensitive throughout the day. Dust, bright light, swimming pools, being poked with sharp things, my eyes hate all that stuff.

    I tried eyedrops n stuff but just found your post and now I think maybe its the sleepy-eye-openy thing.

    So… did it work? (Aside from the shredding of your lashes)

    I might try it!

  15. Blam. Thanks for reading. Yes, the surgical tape did work, but it didn’t seem to be worth the pain in the morning. If your eyes are bothered by being “poked with sharp things” you really DO have sensitive eyes. Lately I have been having some success with a traditional eye mask at night, but by morning it usually ends up around my throat or all the way across the room.

    I wish you luck with eye redness reduction practices. Let me know if anything works.

    By the way… HIGHLY entertaining comment. Thank you so much.

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