My name is Sarah Ryan and I’m 20 years old. I’m a student from Donohill near Tipperary Town, doing a Bachelor of Arts in English and New Media in UL. I will be teaching English abroad in Spain until the end of June and writing about my adventures for The Nationalist.
Going to hospital in general is usually awful. However, being told you have to go to hospital in a foreign country by someone who doesn't speak English is worse.
Let me explain.
A week ago I got a sliotar shot at my eye (by accident of course) by two Spanish lads (they wouldn't make county is all I'm going to say).
At the time I apparently blacked out even though I don't remember doing so. My embarrassment from this kept me going for the day. I told everyone I was fine even though I was clearly shaken. Everyone had assumed I was going to get a black eye as the ball had more than likely hit the outer socket of my eye. Little did they know, or I for that matter, that a black eye would be the least of my worries. Looking at myself in the mirror trying to look for a bruise to help soften my embarrassment at how I reacted to the incident (i.e I couldn't stop crying from shock) I actually saw what you can see in the photo.
At first I wasn't worried about it, I assumed it was just blood shot. However, as the day went on, the pain got worse. I couldn't look at any light, my eye kept closing on its own accord and I couldn't look anywhere without it causing a shooting headache. I also started to feel really sick which I believe to have been from shock.
The following day I still felt awful. I sent my mother a picture of my eye as she is a nurse and I was hoping she'd tell me it would be fine. She then told me I needed to see a doctor to which I protested. I didn't want to cause a fuss. To go to a doctor here I would have to ask my boss to make me an appointment and take me there which I didn't want to do. My mother wouldn't give up though and told me it was my "responsibility to look after yourself since I am not there to push you" (that is a direct quote from the mother). Afraid she'd then tell me that she was disappointed with me (a phrase that everyone can agree is worse than a slap to the face), I quickly asked my boss to take me to the doctor.
Flash forward to sitting alone with a nurse who doesn't speak English who is then calling in a doctor who tells me something in Spanish and the only word I understand is hospital. I ask them with fear all over my face am I going to hospital and they said yes.
The next few hours were hectic. I had to be collected by a Spanish colleague who was then told to take me to a hospital in Girona, a good fifty minute drive away and be my translator.
I can honestly say I was terrified. I didn't want to go for fear I would be told I was going to go blind or something awful like that.
At the hospital, and after a stressful check in at reception (they didn't understand my address or the fact I didn't use an area code) I was quickly seen by an eye specialist (who used some strange contraption to keep my eye open) that my eye would be okay but I had a concussion.
I was so relieved but not as relieved apparently as my two roommates and new best friends who had been so worried about me. But in the end, all was good.
A good lesson was learnt this week: Do not under any circumstances look away when two Spaniards are trying to play hurling!
Read part 3 of Sarah's Adventure here