Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Day An Eyeball Ruled My Life

It's something how a tiny speck can rule your life sometimes.

I'm not very good at quoting scripture, but after yesterday's dramatic events, I have had a few Biblical references come to mind. One of them is when Jesus suggest that people don't go around looking to remove splinters from other people's eyes until they have gotten around to getting the planks out of their own eyes.

The other one is where Paul talks about the tongue being like the rudder of a ship- a small piece with a mighty ability to move things in any direction.

In the home of the Hildebrands, it was the eye that moved the ship. Or Cheri's mini van. Or my butt into action to try and solve the problem of the boy's eye that would not stop irritating him. Roughly three weeks now, we've inconsistently treated Micah's eye with polysporin to try and help his hurting, irritating, inflamed, teary left eye. It just wouldn't get better. It didn't spread either, and didn't get crusty, so I was pretty confident that it wasn't pinkeye we were dealing with here.

Sometimes my mommy guilt-o-meter spikes because it is so challenging to get my kids to the Dr when they are having problems. I have to think of all the children I care for. I have to think of all their parents; some of whom prefer not to have their children left with a sub. I have to think of how to get around without a vehicle. I have to think of who is coming over when, and who comes for lunch, and what parent comes when, and at least twenty other things that I haven't remembered to think of.

But I do have Cheri.
Who is pretty clever.
And helpful.

Cheri figured that Micah had some foreign body in his eye and suggested that I get him to the Doc. She stayed with the kids so I could get him over there, and why-oh-why did they simply write up another prescription for another eye drop when it was pretty easy to see that if he had an infected eye for three weeks already, it REALLY would have spread to his right eye by now??!!

Which always makes me want to beat my head against a set of stirrups and scream WHY-OH-WHY did I just make fifty million arrangements to get over here to be told something that even I know is not going to resolve this problem?! Why-oh-why do I get the feeling that the medical clinic is set up to frustrate me and to be told to come back in three days if this doesn't help when I have already been using antibiotic eye drops for three weeks without any progress??!!

Which again makes me grateful to have Cheri. She knew that the boy needed eye dye and some serious magnetic looks into the eyeball instead of more drops. She straight away phoned the eye Doc in town and arranged to have him take a look at Micah's eyeball later that afternoon.

More arrangements.
More subs.
More anxiety.
More adults sticking drops in and poking around in Micah's eye and insisting that he must have some crusty discharge? (please, oh please, be pinkeye. We know how to treat that).

But Dr Lecker came through for us. Thank you, Dr Lecker. One drop of dye. One look into that left eyeball and those magical, sensible words: "He has a foreign body stuck to his eyeball that needs to be removed". Ahhh... The sweet words of truth.

Then that gross feeling in the pit of my stomach-- Just how does one remove a something-or-other stuck to your son's precious eyeball?

Dr Lecker got right to the phone to contact an eye specialist in Winnipeg. Within twenty minutes, he had made arrangements for us to meet the Doc in his office, downtown Winnipeg, just moments before rush hour. Whew.

right. No car. Kids at home with sub.

Cheri is an adult, WITH a vehicle. Get her on the horn, tell her in a no nonsense tone that I need her body in my house, and her van keys at my disposal. Threaten her with the withholding of coffee and porriage if she doesn't cooperate fully and immediately. Thank her humbly and most sincerely for being so smart and assertive and making the arrangements for us to see Dr Lecker.

Place said eyeball in vehicle, and head to the Winnipeg Clinic. Hope that children in my care have been accounted for, fed, changed, loved.... accounted for.... Did I mention that?

Arrive at medical clinic. Meet fourth medical professional of the day. Endure more eye drops, more questions about discharge, drops, itches, and pains. More magnifiers up the eyeball.

Then the big cahoona. A pair of tweezers brought directly up to the cornea without a word of warning or explanation. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Well, my son did what any normal, red-blooded, self-protective human being would do. He jumped back, melted down, and began to weep. He was scared. The Doc looked mad. I wanted to hurt someone. I wanted to use tweezers, without warning, in creative and unloving ways to grown-ups who don't think about what its like to be a kid who has just had four people poke at his eye in the space of five hours.

But what I did was to speak soothingly and lovingly and by the grace of God, CALMLY to my son. I explained to him what was happening. That we were all tired. That the doc was just a guy who knew how to make him better and that we had to trust him, even if it was scarey. That I would stand up at the end of the room and that he should just look at me, be brave, and let the doc take that freeeeeeeeking foreign body out of his poor eyeball.

How proud could I be of my sweet son? My sweet son who has a history of being terrified of strangers? Who as a toddler could not tolerate strangers looking at him, never mind speak to him, or God forbid.... touch him?! This brave ten year old rested his chin back on the eyeball magnifier and did what the doc told him to do. (grumpy, miserable, out-of-touch-with-his-emotions Doctor) That doc used his super duper steady hand, super duper magnifier, and super duper teeny weeny tweezers and lifted out a teeny weeny piece of plastic that was glued to my boy's cornea like so much saran wrap.

That microscopic piece of plastic that ruled my life. That mystified the professioals. That brought out my mother bear. That gave me keys to my hero-friend's van. That little bitty piece of plastic that ruled my son's eyeball for weeks. That gave him a couple of days out of the grade five classroom.

That scrawney piece of plastic that for a short time, was the boss of my life. That became the rudder of this ship. That tempted me to point of various planks in eyeballs around me. That little speck that thankfully, is no longer the boss of us.


Judy said...


I just got up from rolling around on the floor moaning in agony.

Poor kid.

Poor mom.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor little guy, give him extra treats today. ( for Mom too) That Dr sounds like my eye Dr, only mine is at Manitoba Clinic. Maybe they get grumpy training. hugs to you both. BBNM

Melanie said...

I especially liked the part about banging your head against a pair of stirrups...hilarious. I'm glad to hear that Micah is on the mend. :) PS - I hate getting to the doctor with only 1 kid, a prego belly, my own van, and no daycare kids.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Micah - you're my hero.
And way to go mom - when I grow up I wanna be you.

Anonymous said...

What I'd like to know is... How in the world do you get a piece of plastic STUCK to your cornea???? Glad all is well.

svea said...

oh my gosh! Poor thing, I am glad you had a Cheri... she is a lifesaver, and I a so glad to hear that plastic is out! whew. You are very brave, I know how scarey it is watching those eye people diggin gin your childs tender eye.........

gloria said...

eyes are special things...

jb said...

i'm so glad the problem was solved, even though it must've been torturous watching them poke and prod your son's eye.

Anonymous said...

what micah needs is climate change, humidity, especially at a beach with white sand and crystal blue water and no plastic.Just sand.
Uncle Mel
I can´t remember my new email that I set up so that I could check in with family to make sure all is well at home......!!!!!I´ll try again tomorrow.Right now I need to get another pina and head over to theatre for tonight´s entertainment.We sure do not have any sunburns.My jean shorts from this afternoon are drying from torrential down pour, a romantic walk in the rain on the beach.Honestly, it´s been raining both days and we are still getting along.We´re not mad yet.I know for sure that ALL your readers wanted to know ALL this.Can you say hi to our kids¿I have not found Sammy a red turtle yet. Love,K &M

Linda said...

I guess it's a good thing that the socially disturbed eye doctor fixed Micah's eye. However, I CANT STAND insecure, arrogant doctors who hardly know how to speak to a frightened child. They should be reported.

Valerie Ruth said...

too funny! i'm reading your blog all the time but my computer won't let me comment for some reason :(

joyce said...

oh! good to know, VR. I read about your shingles the other day... Hope your husband is not afraid of heights...

Kathy- in case you come back here to read again...
Tell Mel that we've gone ahead with the climate change for Micah- rain and ice. hmmmm.... seems to work well, as he can play hours of video games once again.