Friday, January 22, 2016

Eye, yai, yai!

Rachel came inside crying because she had something stuck in her eye. I helped her strip out of her winter gear and then examined her eye.

"Look up, look down, look left, look right," I said, but I saw nothing.

Fortunately, thanks to a rather traumatic eye experience from my youth, I thought to look under her upper eyelid and there I found a lovely fleck of something. She'd already been crying, but the speck hadn't budged so I helped her flush her eyes out at the kitchen sink—literally running the water on her eye—but the fleck stood its ground. It was lodged in there pretty well.

So I prepared to repeat what the doctor had done to me (after reviewing how online since it's been nearly fifteen years since my incident).

I got a paint chip stuck in my eye at work while I was stacking chairs. Because I worked at a pool and was around dangerous chemicals, I had to do a chemical eye wash in addition to flushing my eyes with water before I went to the ER where the doctor flipped my eyelid over and fished it out with a Q-tip. It took like two seconds. And half a million dollars.*

My eye, he said, "look[ed] like an ice rink," with little lacerations all over it from the paint chip skating up and down my eyeball every time I blinked. It was super painful. I had an antibiotic to prevent infection and couldn't wear contacts for, like, a month (which really wouldn't be traumatic now because I haven't worn contacts in years but in high school it was kind of a bummer) and my eye was puffy for quite a while. It was not fun.

Rachel's speck was much smaller than my paint chip and, though I don't know how we didn't ever think to look under my eyelid (too bad YouTube wasn't a thing back then), I luckily knew to check under her eyelid early. We tried flushing it out with water again, now that we knew where it was, but to no avail, so our next course of action was the Q-tip method.

She's old enough now that she understands that staying still is important, but she had a hard time relaxing enough to let me flip her eyelid inside out. Once it was flipped over, though, I had Andrew stick wet Q-tip in there to pick up the speck. It took us like two seconds (once we figured out what we were doing). And now she's feeling much better.

It's amazing how much pain a tiny foreign object can cause!

Here's the method we used, in case you ever need to flip an eyelid inside out one day.

*A slight exaggeration. And work paid. But still.

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