Posts tagged ouch

Mean Mom

This morning I had a doctor’s appointment and I had to bring both girls with me.  It was interesting cramming us all plus a stroller into a little tiny exam room.  Nora enjoyed slamming on the computer and taking medical supplies out of the drawers and Brinley sat quietly on a chair and played her Leapster.  My doctor loves seeing the girls so even though it’s such a pain to bring them, occasionally I do.

My doctor’s office just so happens to be in the same building as the girls’ pediatrician.  Even though neither girl had an appointment today, we stopped into the office so I could schedule a visit for Brinley to have the three remaining shots she needs before entering Kindergarten in the fall.  The girls made themselves at home at the coloring table while I spoke to the receptionist.  I was trying to draw up my calendar mentally but since I didn’t have it on hand I was having a hard time figuring out when we’d be available to come in (something I definitely should have thought of before deciding to try to make the appointment, doh!).  Anyway, the receptionist asked me, “Is Brinley with you right now?”  I said yes and she said, “Well how about we do the shots today?”  Now I’m sure I’d be hard pressed to find any kid that actually likes getting shots and willing goes, but Brinley certainly is not someone who has an easy time going to the doctor.  Regardless, I told the receptionist that it was fine.  I figured I might as well get it over with while I was right there.

Brinley had no idea it was coming and I feel really bad about it.  She knew that we were going to the doctor’s for me to have an appointment and I know she never in a million years thought that she’d be the one getting poked.  Anyway, a nurse came and called her name and we headed back to a room.  Brinley started to look a little suspicious.  She asked me, “Mom, how come I’m seeing the doctor now?”  I explained to her that she had to be checked and ready to go to Kindergarten in the fall and that they had to make sure that she had all her shots.  She was NOT happy with me, but she sat on my lap and just looked a bit sad.  The nurse started talking and said that she needed a Chicken Pox vaccine, an MMR vaccine and her fourth Polio vaccine.  Brinley immediately chimed in and said, “Wait, I already have a fourth Polio!”  I just smiled figuring she was trying to get out of one of the shots but the nurse looked at her and said, “Oh really, when did you get it?”  Brinley explained that I took her to a supply store and bought it for her so she could keep her drawings and art work in it.  Then it dawned on me.  She was talking about her art portfolio!  (Forth Polio = Port Folio)

Anywho, she sat on my lap and took the shots like a champ.  She definitely wasn’t thrilled about it at all and she did cry but I am amazed that she was so cooperative.  It’s pretty unlike her :-)  I felt bad that I sprung it on her but in hindsight it probably was the best decision.  If she’s anything like her father, and we know she is, she was better off not knowing about it before hand.  I rewarded her afterward with ice cream and a stuffed animal from the mall.


I seem to get a lot of hits to my blog by people searching for dermabond, scars and facial lacerations.  It’s not much of a surprise to me considering the posts here and here.  So, I decided to do a little follow-up, if you will, on how things have turned out for my girls, scar-wise.  If you remember (or if you go back and read those two posts) Brinley and Nora both had accidents involving facial lacerations.  Brinley was just over two years old and Nora was about 16 months old.  Brinley had six stitches and Nora was treated with dermabond.

Over two and a half years later, Brinley’s scar is barely noticed at all.  It’s about an inch long and luckily it’s right in her hair line.  We’ll still be sure to put sunblock on it whenever we’re out in the sun for long periods of time, but for the most part it’s completely off of our radar.  We never see it and it has no lasting effects.  Here is a picture of her scar as it looks today (with me pulling her hair back off of it):

Nora’s scar hasn’t had as much time to heal as Brinley’s but so far I am happy with the results.  If you remember from my original post on it, I was a little bummed that her pediatrician said he’d probably have stitched it instead of using dermabond, but it was too late.  He obviously wasn’t there when we were in the ER and he didn’t see the original wound but that was his opinion.  It made me a little upset that we may have missed an opportunity to have the best outcome for her.  But now that time has passed and the dermabond has long since fallen off, I couldn’t be happier about the appearance of her scar.  It’s virtually unnoticeable!  Unlike Brinley’s, Nora’s is more in the front and center (well a little off to the left) of her forehead.  So a visually noticeable scar there wouldn’t be so great.  I guess she could always opt for bangs, but I’m not a huge bangs fan.  I can honestly say that her scar is never mentioned or noticed by anyone.  Again, we’ll use sunscreen and all that, but it’s a non issue to us.  Here is a picture of Nora’s scar as it looks today:

Nora’s scar wasn’t a nice straight line like Brinley’s is.  But honestly, I had to circle it in the picture because otherwise you’d never have been able to find it.  It’s more of a little bump in her skin than anything.  Hopefully it stays the way it is or gets even better.

So there you have it.  I know the wounds were different and they were on different kids, but that’s my experience with both stitches and dermabond.  I wouldn’t say that one was better than the other because honestly I’ll never know that.  I will say, though, that I am very happy that we went with the dermabond for Nora.  I think that she’d have a much more noticeable scar with stitches.


Highlighter Tears

Remember how cool black lights were?  I’m not implying that they’re no longer cool, it’s just that it’s been years since I’ve seen one.  When I was in college they were all the rage.  All of the parties and clubs my friends and I went to had them.  The best were the highlighter parties where you’d color on your white shirt or your skin {gasp!} with the fluorescent markers and then hang out in a room lit only by black light bulbs.  Totally awesome, right?!  So just think how totally awesome it would be if you could have had that highlighter juice coming out of your eyes!

Ok, so maybe that isn’t the most awesome thought right now.  It’s actually kind of disturbing.  But today, I got to see what that would have looked like.  Back in October I wrote a post about my daughter’s blocked tear duct.  I was having a hard time with the fact that she might have to have it surgically probed to open it up.  This meant putting her under anesthesia.  The thought made me sick.  But now, I’m coming to terms with the idea.

Today I took Nora for her second eye doctor appointment.  The first time, she had a comprehensive eye exam and aside from the blocked duct and very slight myopia {nearsightedness} in one eye she checked out just fine.  So back to the highlighter oozing eyes…  They put these special yellow drops in her eyes.  The drops tint her tears and then the doctor can see how the tears are draining.  The way they do that is they shine a black light in her eye and see where the tinted tears are going.  And since Nora’s left tear duct is blocked, the tears were pooling on her lower lids and glazing over her entire eye.  So when the doctor shined the black light it looked like highlighter was pouring out of her eyes.  It was cool and creepy at the same time.

All of this has confirmed the fact that Nora will have to have her duct probed.  They refer to it as a surgery which makes me cringe, but it takes all of about 5 minutes.  Hopefully once it’s over with I’ll stop hearing, “Oh, poor thing!  Why is she crying?”

A Probing Question

Nora has a blocked tear duct.  She has had it since birth.  Basically the duct in her eye that is supposed to drain her tears is blocked by a thin membrane.  As a result her eye always looks teary as if she has been crying.  Excessive tears roll down her cheek.  It causes no harm to her and does not effect her vision.  The annoying part is that I have to constantly keep cleaning her eye and wiping away the tears.  The even more annoying part is that people, mostly strangers, always make comments like, “Oh you poor thing, why are you crying?” when she is perfectly happy.  It has gotten to the point where I just smile at them and continue on my way.  I used to say, “Oh, she’s not crying, she has a blocked tear duct.”  To which the person would look at me like I had ten heads and ask what I was talking about.  Hello?  I don’t really have the time to stand here and explain to you what it is.  Just Google it, please!  Anyway, they no longer get an answer.

So what’s the big deal, you might ask.  Well, typically a blocked tear duct will unblock itself by the time a child is a year old.  It is recommended that the area is massaged daily and rubbed with warm compresses to help it unblock.  I have been doing these things day in and day out.  Nora is nearly a year and a half old and since the duct has not become unblocked on its own, her pediatrician has recommended that we take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist, a baby eye doctor.  They will want to probe the duct opened.  The thought of it makes me queasy and nervous.  Basically they would take a thin metal probe and stick it into her tear duct.  I’ve been told that it is a very quick and simple procedure that has no lasting effects.  However, silly me decided to look it up and now I’m not so sure what to do.  There are pros and cons to having it done versus not doing it and I simply can’t decide.  Nora has her 18 month well visit in 2 weeks and I’m sure that it will be brought up again (unless of course it happens to unblock on its own by some miracle).

So, I’m reaching out to my readers to see if anyone has any experience with this.  Has your child had a blocked tear duct?  Did it unblock on its own or did you have it probed?  What was the procedure like?  Where there any side effects?  Did it work?  Would you do it again if you had to?

Stitches, Derma-bond, and Scars – Oh My!

After having had to take both of my daughters to the Emergency Room in their first two years of life for facial lacerations (try saying that five times fast!) I’ve done quite a bit of research on the best ways to reduce scarring in young children.  There are lots of helpful tips on the internet and I’ve learned quite a few things both there and from doctors, a plastic surgeon included.  When my girls’ injuries first happened, I was so caught up on how they would each be left with a terrible scar.  It really bothered me and I was, and still am, determined to make them as invisible as possible.

So, I’m going to share with you some of the things that I have learned in case you are ever in this position with your child, or even yourself!  Please note that my experiences are both with facial lacerations in the forehead region so other areas of the body may have different protocol.

First, if you have any doubt in your mind whether or not the injury may need to be stitched, go to the Emergency Room.  If a wound does require stitches they must be done within a certain amount of time, generally six to eight hours, but the sooner the better.  It’s also important to control the bleeding as much as possible by putting pressure on the wound.

When you arrive at the emergency room, be sure to tell the intake person about how the wound happened, whether or not the person lost consciousness, and the severity of the bleeding.  They should ask you most of this anyway, but be sure to volunteer it if not asked.  Then you will have to wait which is the hard part.

Once you are taken back into the room, be sure that you or your child are being treated by a doctor and not just a physician’s assistant or nurse.  In the case of a facial laceration, or would in another very obvious/prominent area of the body, you may want to seek more than one opinion on it’s treatment.  This is a piece of advice that I wish I had known before taking Nora in.  Also, if the wound is going to require stitches you always want to ask for a plastic surgeon to perform them whenever possible.  Remember you are the patient/parent and you have a right to ask.

Whatever the case may be, stitches, Derma-bond or just a dressing, be sure to care for it properly when you get home.  When Brinley had her stitches we had to put an antibiotic ointment with a band-aid on it for a week and then we had to take her in to the doctor to have the stitches removed.  For Nora’s Derma-bond we were told not to put any type of ointment on it and not to get it wet for the first 24 hours.  So be mindful of the proper care because it’s not always the same.

When I took Nora in to see her pediatrician for her follow-up visit, that is when I found out that I should have gotten a second opinion on the way in which her wound was treated.  Her pediatrician felt that since it was a facial wound that it probably should have been stitched.  Though he didn’t see the wound fresh so he couldn’t say that matter-of-factly.  It killed me to know that I may not have done the right thing for her but I really had no idea that I should have pushed back.  Lesson learned.

The most important factor in minimizing scars though, is the care that comes after the stitches are removed or the Derma-bond falls off.  The number one most important thing is to make sure that you apply sun screen to the area every single day for at least a year.  Even if it doesn’t seem sunny out or it’s the dead of winter, the virgin skin can still burn very easily.  You also want to massage the scar to increase the circulation and help promote healing.  It is recommended to use vitamin E oil and massage it into the scar.  It’s not known whether the oil itself helps diminish the scar or if it’s the massaging.  Maderma or some other scar reducing ointment is also recommended.

I am happy to report that Brinley’s scar from almost two years ago, where she received six stitches, is hardly visible at all.  Granted it is in her hairline, but it still healed very well.  Only time will tell with Nora’s but I have very high hopes.  It already looks 100 times better since the Derma-bond has fallen off.  In fact, we were at a BBQ this past weekend and no one even noticed it.

Every time I think about one of my girls being “scarred for life” it really eats away at me.  But I heard something on the radio this weekend that made me look at scars in a bit of a different light…. “A scar is like a tattoo, but with a much better story.”

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I do not claim to be one.  I also don’t play one on TV.  The advice given above is based solely on my experience of having two daughters who have both visited the ER and were treated for facial lacerations.  Please be sure to seek your own medical advice from a professional.

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