Eyeball injections are fun. Really.

When my doctor told me two years ago that she was sending me to an eye specialist who might give me eyeball injections, I just smiled. There was about as much chance of my sitting still for eyeball injections as there was of Donald Trump’s being elected president that fall.

Two years later, Trump has been president for 18 months and I’ve had 20 eye injections. So much for complacency.

But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought (the injections, I mean. Trump, of course, has been worse).

I went to the specialist figuring I’d just get an opinion. If treatment was called for, I’d slip quietly out of the country and move to a place far away where they don’t have doctors or needles.

It’s not that I mind getting shots, as all my siblings will readily attest. It’s just that I prefer to be injected in places a bit less sensitive than my eyeballs — like under my fingernails.

If you really want to know, they practically had to tie me down as a kid to give me shots, and I’ve always had a distinct preference for oral medicine like Flintstone Chewables or that fruity cough syrup Mom gave you as a kid.

Unfortunately, when I got to the specialist, I was quickly outflanked like Napoleon at Waterloo or whatever.  The doctor was reviewing my eyeball scans (like the surface of Mars with bloodshot rivers) when he suddenly said, “You need treatment. Let’s do the first shot right now.”

That really opened my eyes. And before I knew it, he did it.

Miraculously, I didn’t feel a thing.

You probably think that getting an eyeball injection would be like one of those old Civil War movies where they amputate something without anesthesia. There would be about 12 people holding you down, lots of yelling and screaming, and that would be just to get you in the front door, up to the reception desk. The actual shot procedure would involve many more people and a possible negotiated standoff with hostages.

But there is more discomfort from all the drops they put in your eyes than from the shot itself.

They put a gel on your eyeball to make it numb, then they clamp your eyelids open while the doctor hovers over you, looking for a likely spot to plunge the needle in. Looking up at him through the gel is like looking up from underwater in a swimming pool.

But the actual shot is very quick. And the needle is small. Sharp but small. Sometimes you feel a little pinprick, sometimes nothing at all. As someone who takes a dim view of all injections, I can tell you that drawing blood from your arm takes longer and hurts more than a shot in the eye.

Of course, I really can’t be sure that I even have eye damage. The whole thing is probably part of a secret government program of mutant eyeball injections which I figure started some time during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s, a few years after the Roswell incident. The government, in its effort to create a master race of mutant eyeball aliens, finds gullible people, tells us there’s something wrong with our eyes, then starts experimenting on us. I’m just one of their lab rats.

At least I was fortunate in having an old friend tell me before I went in that his parents, both in their 80s, were getting eyeball injections too and found the whole procedure almost painless. Thus I was more relaxed and less litigious going in than normally would have been the case. I’m just surprised that the government is injecting people in their 80s. Do we really need a master race of seniors with X-ray vision?

The specialist says my eyes are much better now, but I don’t see it. I asked him to give me the eyesight of former Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams (purported to have been 20/10), but so far I still can’t hit Major League pitching.

Seriously, though, if you need these shots, don’t put it off. It’s not as bad as you think.

Besides, you’ll be helping the government’s secret alien program.


Mark Godburn is a bookseller in Norfolk and the author of “Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets” (2016).