I’m sitting on the couch at the moment wearing my sunglasses in a room with the blinds closed and writing this blog post while I normally would be wrapping up at work to head home. Why? Is it because I am just too cool for the room and couldn’t be bothered with work or the many paparazzi that often linger by my house? Not a chance. No, no. The simple truth is that I am recovering from one of those many unexpected events that occur in life. Let me explain.
One of (many) projects I’m dealing with at work is racking up some PS3 development systems (one pictured at right) and while they are often used in our offices, these are the first that my group have ever had to set up in our datacenters. Unfortunately, the rails for the units were unlike any that I had seen before and came with zero instructions. When examining how I was going to get them to work last Friday, I concluded that the slots in the provided rail brackets were too thin for the M5 cage nuts and screws provided. I figured that since there are several ways for server racks to work, the hardware included presumed one type and we used a different one. "No problem," I thought. My manager suggested using a drill or dremel to compensate. I was frustrated that I would have to do such a thing, but fortunately I had the necessary equipment at home so I took the brackets home with me.
On Sunday between church and our last home fellowship meeting for the season, I pulled out my dremel (knock-off, actually) and started working through the bits to find what would work. I discovered that the grinding wheel worked pretty well and so I took care of the lot of them (there were eight).
The next morning when I went to use my modified hardware, I figured out that it wasn’t actually necessary. Eh, oh well. It did take an hour for the two servers (by comparison, I can rack one of our Dells in about 5 minutes) but I finally got them working. Satisfied, I went on with my day which by my luck was filled with vendor meetings.
Around lunchtime, my eyes started bothering me. Not burning, just like there was sand or similar irritation and I couldn’t stop blinking. I was able to get through the day and during the somewhat uncomfortable drive home (blinking, tearing, and aching) I discussed the situation and possibilities with B. She pulled out her trusty nursing books and we went over the options. Pink eye? Ugh, I shook hands with a lot of people (including my manager as a joke). I felt horrible with the possibility of starting a mini outbreak of conjunctivitis. I remembered the metalwork I was doing just a day before, but wasn’t sure as I had no complaints for almost 24 hours. She scheduled a examination by an ophthalmologist to determine what was going on.
That was this morning at 8:30. I had taken my lunch, this laptop, and my other work items with the presumption I was going to be heading in afterwards. The nice gentleman checked my eyesight (still good), and examined my eyes. He discovered two metal fragments (one in each eye). He got the one in my left and half of the one in my right which was more deeply embedded. He called a nearby vision center and was able to get an immediate examination with a corneal surgeon to get the remaining piece and to excise the tissue around the injury as rust was already present. About an hour later of significant examination and (ironically, a smaller dremel like device), he had removed the remaining fragment and the surrounding tissue. He gave me some anti-bacterial drops to use for the next few days and sent me home. As it was already about 11:15 and work is an hour away, there was no chance I could head in. The drive home was a treat with the nice, bright sunshine.
I worked briefly via VPN but was quickly sanctioned by both my wives (my real one and my office-mate) so went low(er) tech and listened to podcasts with my eyes closed. As the afternoon wore on, my eyes got more sore to the point now (at 7:30) I’m thankful the sun as set and am trying to avoid anything bright which would cause my iris to constrict which is still quite unpleasant. The picture at left is the best that could be taken with little ambient light. It’s enough to get an idea how much I discourage the experience for others. I’m hopeful a full night sleep will help considerably and I can get back to work tomorrow which is K‘s birthday.
Now, my lovely wife(wives) criticize me for not using proper eye protection, and while that is true, I have realized, or at least justified, that it could have been from my hair or clothes which would have happened either way. If I really want to point fingers, I should have spent more time examining the rail system to determine that modification wouldn’t be necessary. As anyone who knows me well knows, I tend to take things as they come. I don’t blame anyone (certainly not my employer as I wasn’t doing this under their direction) and the Lord was kind enough to (so far) get me through this. I’m pretty sure it will just improve as the days/weeks go on.