Posts tagged tear duct

Nora’s Eye Update

It’s been nearly two weeks since Nora’s tear duct probing.  I’m so glad that it is over but honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad or traumatic of an experience as I had thought it would have been.  Here’s how things went:

On Tuesday morning,March 15th, Scott and I got up and ready.  Nora decided that she would sleep in which was honestly a great thing considering that she had to fast.  She couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight.  When she woke up, I quickly dressed her in a sweat suit and we headed for the car. Scott and I drove Nora to the hospital which was about 25 minutes away.  Her procedure was scheduled for 9:30am but we were asked to be at the hospital by 8:30am. Once we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and then waiting in the waiting room.  We distracted Nora with toys and by looking out the windows at the birds and squirrels.  I knew that if she had time to think about it, she’d definitely ask for food.

A little bit after 8:30 we were brought into a pre-op room where Nora was given some toys to play with and we were asked a few basic questions like her height, weight and if she was on any medications.  Nora didn’t seem the least bit phased by any of this.  She played with the toys and during that time we changed her our of her clothes and into a hospital johnny.  She was given a bracelet for each wrist and one for her ankle.  Then a nursing student came in and brought in the mask that they’d be using to administer the anesthesia.  Nora was reluctant at first to touch it but eventually did.  They put strawberry flavored lip gloss inside it and encouraged her to smell it.  This was to help prepare her for when they’d place it over her mouth.

Since only one of us was allowed in with her, Scott and I decided that I would ride into the operating room with Nora and he’d wait in the pre-op area.  I had to wear a white suit, shoe covers and a hat.  Nora thought this was pretty funny.  Then I got into the bed with her and the team of doctors and nurses wheeled us into the operating room.  This was the first time I had ever been inside an operating room and boy was it bright!  You always see them on TV with all the lights and stuff but I didn’t realize how bright it really is.  Once we were in the operating room, I got off of the bed and helped move Nora to the operating table.  She was a bit clingy to me at first, not knowing what was going on, but she eventually got on without a fuss.  The nurses and doctors couldn’t believe how compliant she was being.  I helped her to lay down and then held her hands as she clutched one binky and sucked on another.  She looked a bit scared but never cried.

Then the anesthesiologist put the little mask over her face and she looked up at me and started to whimper.  It broke my heart.  She didn’t fight it, but just looked so sad.  I just held her hands and talked to her and in less than a minute she was asleep.  At that point, I left the room.  It was so hard to do but I knew that she was ok and that I’d be with her in a few minutes.  I met back up with Scott and we headed out to the waiting area.  Within about three minutes after sitting down to wait, the doctor was coming toward us.  She said that Nora was all done and that everything went great.  Nora was in the recovery room starting to wake up and we were brought to her.  She seemed scared but wasn’t crying.  She did eventually start fidgeting and crying when she saw us but I think it was because she wanted to get out of the bed.  She kept asking to leave.

In the recovery room, she got to snack on some Cheerios, apple juice and graham crackers and she watched Elmo on TV.  Coincidentally Elmo’s World was about going to the doctors.  We stayed there for about 20 minutes then got Nora dressed and were ready to head home!

It’s been almost two weeks and her eye looks great!  I had to give her eye ointment for the first week.  On Friday I thought we might be having a set back because some tears were starting to pool on her lower eye lid but I called the doctor and she said it was likely because Nora was developing a cold.  That seems to be the case.  She’s had a runny nose and slight cough for a few days now.  Her eye still looks awesome though.  No goop or wetness in it when she wakes up in the morning and no tears constantly running down her cheek.  Hopefully it will stay this way.  There is a chance it could close up but it’s not common.

Nora was such a trooper and did amazingly well with all of it.  I’m so proud of her!

Today is the day

By the time you’re reading this, Scott, Nora and I will already be in the car on our way to the hospital.  Today is the big day.  After a few visits to the eye doctor and discussing it at length together, Scott and I {along with Nora’s pediatrician and ophthalmologist} have decided to go ahead with the eye probing surgery.  They call it a surgery, but it’s really just a quick procedure.  I guess the fact that she has to be under anesthesia means it’s a surgery though.  But when I tell people about it, I just can’t use that word.  It makes it seem too serious.  Not that I’m not taking this seriously or that I’m not very nervous about it… it’s just that calling it a procedure makes it less scary for me.

I know that everything is going to go great and we’ll be home and done with it before we know it, but I’m still going to be a nervous wreck.  Nora can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight tonight {last night when you read this} and I know that is going to make for a very rough morning.  I don’t even want to think about walking away from her once she’s in the hospital.  I know I’ll probably lose it.

When Brinley had her stitches I didn’t have time to prepare for what was to come and it was just easier that way.  It was awful, but somehow I remained calm for her because she was wide awake and I had to stay strong.  This is different.  Nora will be put to sleep and I’ll have to walk away and I’ve had plenty of time to think about it all.  That’s making it much more difficult.  But in a few hours we’ll be home and it will be behind us and Nora will {fingers crossed} have an unblocked tear duct.

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?

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