“I need an eye doctor,” said the caller. “A big red spot came out this morning!”
The guest added that the eye felt fine. The spot didn’t affect his vision but looked terrible.
I’ve encountered several dozen subconjunctival hemorrhages, a fancy name for a bloody patch on the eyeball. Googling turns up a dozen causes from injuries to coughing, leukemia, high blood pressure, and clotting disorders. In reality, if there are no symptoms and the person is in good health, the blood appears for no reason and disappears in a few weeks. That’s happened in every case I’ve seen, including my own.
The guest was staying at the Mondrian, a luxury hotel. He was in room 500 which I knew was a suite. If he’d been at a cheap motel, I might have been more reassuring, but I confined myself to suggesting he might have a subconjunctival hemorrhage and that this was probably not as serious has he thought. He wanted a visit.
It was, of course, entirely satisfying. I examined the eye, paused thoughtfully, and then assured him that it was a subconjunctival hemorrhage and that he had nothing to worry about. He was thrilled. I collected my fee. Everyone was happy.