I awoke in the late night or possibly the wee early morning hours.  Actually, I don’t know that I had yet managed a genuine sleep. What time is it? I threw my wrist across my face expecting an answer from the lighted watch face. Nothing! Black dark! What’s wrong with my watch? I tapped, swiped, and punched the button – still nothing. Is my phone working? Maybe the two had mystically, mysteriously, magically managed to un-Bluetooth themselves. Reaching for the phone on the bedside table, I repeated the tap, swipe, punch routine. Again, utter black!  Mumm! It is darker than usual in here. I wonder if the power is off. But the power being off would not affect the phone or watch. So, just what is wrong with my watch, and what time is it?

Falling back on my pillow in confusion and growing frustration, I threw my forearm across my face. What’s that? Oh, my! I have my eye mask on! No wonder it is so dark in here. Pushing the mask up, and again throwing my wrist across my face, my watch glows brightly. The phone is working as well, but I don’t remember what time it was.

So, what’s my takeaway other than a good laugh at myself? First, upon waking or near waking from a sound or near sound sleep, one’s mind – mine at least – is apt to be muddled and lack clarity regarding one’s current location and/or condition. In my case, perhaps even more muddled than it is routinely. Second, upon rousing, I might want to allow a few moments to orient myself before engaging in any earnest thought or movement. Finally, yippee!  After several months of trying numerous patches, guards, and eye masks, I have devised something that is undoubtedly comfortable – I can’t tell it is there – and protects my eyeballs.

After a couple of eye operations in the last few months, the need is not about blocking the light, but protecting the eyeballs from pressure while sleeping. I have discovered that I often sleep on my face, and the resulting pressure on my eyeballs feels like a boatload of gravel in them the next morning. Not a good thing! A regular eye mask doesn’t provide the protection from pressure. The guards provided by the surgeons after the operations offer protection, but the globs of tape on my face is a sticky wicket.  

So, when nothing is working – create what you need. Using a discarded face mask – there are plenty around the house after Covid – and the surgical eye guards, I have been successful in creating a workable solution.  So successful in fact, that I can’t even feel it on my face!! Ha!

By Brenda McWilliams

Brenda is retired after nearly 40 years in education and counseling. When not traveling, she fills her days with community, charitable, and civic work; photography; writing and blogging at Pilgrim Seeker Heretic; reading, and visiting with friends. She enjoys walking at Rose Rudman or hiking at Tyler State Park. Brenda and her spouse, Lou Anne Smoot, the author of "Out: A Courageous Woman’s Journey," have six children and seven grandchildren between them. https://psheretic.com/