Thursday, October 29, 2009

Corneal Abrasion

So yesterday Leah's right eye started becoming a problem. It was slightly red, teary and Leah kept it closed for alot of the day.  She was snoozing and just not being as active as she usually is. She was still smiling and playing somewhat; and she had no fever or anything and was eating well. With all the rubbing she's been doing to her face I figured it wasn't outside the realm of possibility that she'd gotten to her eye and irritated it somehow. Still, we didn't know what it was: a simple scratch, something in her eye, a stye, or even a mild case of pink eye. So I was putting a warm washcloth over her eye, and trying to flush it with cool clean water and it seemed to help. However this morning we woke up to a very sore-looking eye that Leah pretty much refused to open. She drank her morning bottle with her eyes closed - something she never does. So I called our Nurse buddy at the doctors office and we took Leah over to the Pediatricians office. On the phone I spoke to the nurse about how EB babies can develop blisters on their peepers; so before we ever got there Nurse MacLeod called around to find us an Opthamoligist that we could go see; if they felt that they couldn't do anything for us at the Pediatricians office. So that's what we ended up doing: but it meant driving all the way into Baltimore to go to Johns Hopkins. Just getting there is a chore, then there was parking, walking to the building, finding out we are in the wrong building, going to the right building, checking in at security, checking in at the registration desk (where there was a very strange and slightly scary man sitting in the lobby demanding to see his eye doctor because it was an 'emergency!!'), going up to the actual doctors office, checking in again, filling out paperwork, then waiting to be seen. After all that, we got called back and the doctor put drops in Leah's eyes that illuminated her corneas, and with a special blue light, you could see exactly where the cornea was torn. And she definitely does have a corneal abrasion, a pretty significant one as well. The drops the doctor used also numbed her eyes so for about 30 minutes Leah could open her eyes, pain-free and look around. She's so stinking cute. She was such a good girl the whole day. I had eye problems myself as a kid and spent many an hour in an exam room and I hated .... HATED .... anything and everything about eye doctors, drops, people glaring into my eyes, pen lights in my eyes, making me track their stupid friggin finger, eye patches, eye charts ... you name it. Even walking into the exam room and seeing that huge thing they swing around to examine your eyes ..... it gave me the chills. And here's this kid with a torn cornea, EB, bandaged like a mummy, a trach, away from her cozy home and beloved Tigger and Pooh show - and she'll still tolerate strange drops in her eyes and strangers hovering over her with weird lights. I don't know how she does it.

So we have an antibiotic ointment to put in her eye (easier said than done) and we go back to the same office tomorrow morning so the doc can look at it again to ensure it didn't get any worse, and to make sure there's still no signs of infection. I can't imagine it'll be any better by the morning but as long as it doesn't get worse, I'll be happy.

Our new challenge, besides trying to get an ointment in a babies eye who doesn't really want your finger in her eye, is trying to keep her hand away from it. This is not the time for her to rub her eye and make matters worse. So for the night, to ensure a rub-free 12 hours before we're due back at the doctors office - we've Tubifasted her right arm to her torso so she can't really move it at all.  She's like a one-armed baby - I asked her if she was the one who killed The Fugitive's wife but she didn't get the reference. 

I feel bad about having to wrap her like that but she really is just sleeping - and her left arm is still free to move. If it works, after a day or so we can give her back her freedom, and just continue to constantly watch her to make sure she doesn't get to her face. And then when I'd have to leave her alone for a minute, to do something crazy like, pee - I'd just super-tuck her arms in with a blanket. 

Alrighty, I just wanted to give everyone an update.



Sara said...

if you put the ointment on her eye lid and corner of her eye, it will melt into her eyes. They also have eye gel that works well too.

Linda said...

I can't believe what a great baby you got there. Leah really is something. Hopefully she had a good night and the Dr's visit will go smoothly. Give her a big kiss from Nana and thanks Sara for the good tip. Take care love and see you soon.

Patrice said...

Jonah woke up with a goopy eye yesterday that looks a little blood-shot and it's a little worse today. So far, though, he's keeping it open and doesn't act like it's really bothering him. I'll see how it goes today and take him the the Saturday sick hours in the morning if it doesn't get better. Sorry for little Leah. That stinks big-time. Love how you handle things with humor! It's the only way, isn't it? I would totally go crazy if I couldn't joke about some of these things. Praying her eye feels all better really soon. Hoping to be able to meet you guys soon!

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