Erika Diaz's life changed forever after she sat down to do some arts and crafts with her young daughter. A piece of glitter got in her eye and ruptured the cornea, leading to infection.
Doctors tried to save her eye with two corneal surgeries, but it had to be removed because she was at risk of developing sepsis, or blood poisoning.
"There was a chance that [a] f***ing piece of glitter in my eye could actually kill me," she wrote in a series of nine detailed updates and photo albums posted to Imgur, adding that it was caused by craft glitter and mold coming together to make "horrible moldy babies" in her eye.
"I beg you, please wear eye protection when dealing with glitter."
The extremely graphic photos document the whole process over the past year, from the first doctor visits to her most recent post talking about her prosthetic eye.
"I wish I could say I got the prosthetic and lived happily ever after with no issues," she wrote on her latest update, posted earlier this week. "That's not the case."
Her big eyes made creating the prosthetic difficult — and her insurance company wouldn't cover a "cosmetic" item.
"The prosthetic is a piece of acrylic sitting on top of muscle and Erica-insides that aren't used to being touched," she wrote. "It's also not breathable or any of that good stuff. Which means there's rubbing. So much rubbing. Which leads to irritation and infection. It's not uncommon that it does this glamorous swelling and crusting combination."
Diaz stays positive despite the setbacks, adding that she now does an "awesome Fetty Wap" impression, referring to the rapper who also lost an eye.
Losing her eye also put things into perspective. She wrote that she quit performing several years ago because she was "too fat and too geeky and too funny looking and wrongwrongwrong (sic)."
"Then I lost my eye and very easily could have lost my life. Over glitter," she continued. "I am generally an upbeat person but when you've always thought you were a sideshow freak in the looks department and now the reflection you're looking at is a bald fat cyclops — well it messes with your head."
Her husband and friend helped "guide her back" to her love of music — and now she has an awesome perspective on her individuality and what she has to contribute to the world.
"I didn't get any taller. I didn't get any thinner. I didn't get any more normal, shit if anything losing an eye made me even more of the odd one out. I'm not like everyone else," she continued. "I never will be. But there I am, up there with the band back doing the things I love to do."
"So yeah, I lost an eye but it was the sucker punch that I needed to remember who I was."
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