I was one of about 9,300 people who are injured by fireworks every year in the U.S!
We spent the Fourth of July at a very sedate party hosted by some friends. They’ve been throwing this pot-luck party for years at their lake home. The highlight of the evening is a big display of aerial fireworks. Five or six of their neighbors also launch fireworks around the edge of this shared lagoon. It’s quite amazing and we love going each year.
Toward the end of the display something went wrong. Instead of shooting skyward, a mortar exploded on the platform sending dozens of fragments in every direction. One of those fragments struck me in the left eye. The glasses I was wearing absorbed some of the brunt but the force broke my frames, shattered my lens, cut my eyebrow, and deposited some tiny particles in my eye.
The firefighters that responded to the 9-1-1 call covered my eyes and wrapped my head in gauze. (I think that look helped me get in to the ER a little more quickly!) While my wife sat with me the dr.’s removed the bandages. I could see! They then conducted a thorough eye exam and removed some of those floating particles that had scratched the surface of my eye including the cornea. That was followed-up by a CAT scan and an uncomfortable flushing of my eye. The prognosis? No permanent damage! I would not become another statistic: 400 people every year lose their vision due to a fireworks related accident.
Five days later the swelling and redness are diminished. The fuzziness in my vision is getting clearer and there is little or no pain. I’m grateful for those who prayed, for those who cared for me, and for the many friends that expressed their concern. I’m grateful that my injury was not more serious and that our eyes were created with the capacity to quickly heal themselves.
It is pretty amazing how quickly things change. One moment I’m sitting there watching spectacular fireworks and then – in a blink – I’m clutching my eye! And now, at a much slower pace, things are returning to normal. And in this case, normal is good!