Friday, April 04, 2008

A Pain In the... Eye

Well, that does it. I hereby declare Matthew's hands to be official, registered weapons. This child's finger nails cannot be tamed, regardless of how often I trim them! It wasn't enough for him to scratch his own head raw when he was a few months younger. I would come in to see him in the mornings and find his scalp all covered with fresh red gouges, inflicted by his own fingernails. Then there was the time he clawed the very tip of my nose (see the blurry shot above) and left a mark that lingered for several days. (Good for the ol' vanity. Sorta painful too--like having a paper cut on the end of your schnoz.)

But this week's incident tops the list. We were at the movies on Monday afternoon, seeing Horton Hears A Who. Matthew was in my arms, facing me, but fighting and craning his neck to see the screen behind him. I tried to dodge his wildly flailing arms as I settled him, but one of his fingers swiped right in my left eye. No big deal, right? Taking a finger in the eye is par for the course in the parenting game, right?

Except that, after that initial, stinging, "ow" moment passed... well, it just didn't pass. It lingered on and on, as I blinked and blinked and teared and dabbed at the eye. Eventually, I began to feel as if something was in my eye--an eyelash, perhaps, or a speck of sawdust. The very instant that this sensation began, the phrase "corneal abrasion" flashed through my head. Having been through a grand adventure several years ago with a certain friend when she received a corneal abrasion, I remembered her symptoms and thought that they were awfully like my own.

According to emedicine, a corneal abrasion is "a scraping away or denuding of the corneal surface resulting from external forces physically applied to the corneal surface. More helpfully, it's "a painful scrape or scratch of the surface of the clear part of the eye." And painful it was. The problem with having one of these things is that every single blink irritates it--it's that touchy. It also made me light-sensitive at times, so that all I could do was lay on the couch with a throw pillow over my face.

Well, to try and keep a short story short... I went to the optometrist the next day, and he confirmed my self-diagnosis. He also put a contact lens in my eye, which allowed me to heal without being bothered by every blink. And he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, in drop form. (The only nasty thing about corneal abrasions, other than how they feel, is that they can turn into infections if they're not treated properly.) The contact cut my discomfort down to almost nothing, and by the next day when I took the contact out, the eye was (according to the doctor) almost healed.

So all's well that ends well. Except that a $30 co-pay for a visit to a specialist, plus a $20 co-pay for a prescription makes for one expensive finger nail encounter! Do you think I should make Matthew wear mittens until he masters his own digits a bit more?


mich said...

have him wear mittens or maybe wear a motorcycle helmet?

The Marcantonios said...

Maybe you should just constantly wear sunglasses until he gains more control...I'm so sorry friend. From experience, this is one nasty annoyance.

Jerusha said...

Oh that is terrible!

Anonymous said...

Matthew is a wonderful little boy. Just remember that you have to be prepared when you are around boys even older grownup boys. Give him boxing gloves. It is really great to watch him grow, learn and reach the different stages of his life. I am looking forward to watching the next few, especially when he gets around 2. Thanks for the time entering everything on the blog.