Monday, January 28, 2008

Say it Ain't So

I wasn't expecting to hear it, so it took me by surprise when the opthamologist at the Children's Hospital told me the babe needs eye surgery. The babe has had about seven or eight eye infections in her right eye. Strangely enough, she had a blocked tear duct in her left eye for five months after her birth. It wasn't pretty, but it did eventually go away. I never connected that she could also have a blocked duct in her right eye, and therefore hadn't realized there may be a need for surgical intervention.

We had waited a few months for this appointment. It took a few hours and involved about 4 doctor and resident type people poking around the babe's eyes. She was OK at the beginning but started melting down when they checked her out after administering dilating eye drops. When we finally saw the opthamologist we had booked the appointment with, the babe was in no mood. He had a quick look around, poked at the corner of her eye (liquid streamed out), and told me she had a blocked duct and would need surgery to clear it out. It's called "probing." Sounds like fun, right? I'd be OK with this, expect it requires the babe being put under anesthesia. I'm not such a fan of that. The thought of her lying on an operating table knocked out with people poking around her eyes with a wire is not a comforting one.

Healthvisitors.com provides the following information: "This procedure is a very delicate one and is carried out under anesthetic. The child is usually allowed home the same day. It is a relatively simple and quick procedure. A small smooth wire probe is passed through the tear duct and into the nose. The surgeon confirms an open tear drainage system at the end of this procedure. There are no incisions or scarring from this operation. There is no significant post-operative discomfort."

I suppose it's not the end of the world, but it took the wind out of my sails on Friday night. As my Mom reassured me, at least we know what the problem is and can have it addressed. The doctor said it's best to get this kind of procedure done before a child's second birthday as the success rate plummets afterwards. In six to eight weeks, we'll make another trip to the hospital and have this business taken care of. Until then, I'll be grateful it's nothing worse.

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