This morning my son got up and jumped in the shower like he always does. I was slowly getting out of bed when he came in and said, "I don't think I can go to school today, my eye is killing me."
Ummm, yeah , nice try pal. I quickly tried to think if there were any tests or anything going on today or was he just tired from having basketball practice last night. Then I looked at him. His left eye was slammed shut and he was struggling to keep the right one open as well.
So the questions began. "Did you get soap in your eye?" "Did you get scratched or anything?" "Is it itchy?" "Can you open it at all?" The answer to all of these questions was, "No."
That exhausted my limits of what to ask when your child's eye hurts, so I had him lay down, I applied a warm compress and called the school to say he wouldn't be in.
I went with the assumption that he had pink eye, since that's all I really know that can be wrong with eyes. I thought maybe a scratched cornea, but I would think he would remember something happening to him to cause that.
I waited for the doctor's office to open and called, assuming they would just call in some eye drops and we'd be on the mend. Well you know what they say about assuming....
They said that they would like to see him and said we should just head on over. We arrived about 30 minutes later and were told it was not pink eye. Our doctor thought it might be more of an inflammation, but where the remedy for that was steroid drops , he wanted to send us to someone to be sure.
It's worth noting that my son's eye was incredibly sensitive to light during all of this, so he was wearing sunglasses the whole time and slouched over from the pain. I'm pretty sure people thought I was dragging my hungover son all over town today.
It's also worth mentioning that I have an irrational fear of getting around Worcester. It's a city that makes no sense to me, it's my Everest, and someday I will conquer it.
So at 10:10 a.m., my doctor's office is asking if I can get to Worcester for an appointment with an ophthalmologist at 10:45. My inner dialogue follows...
"Sure, that seems like enough time"
" I wonder where it is?
"Crap! My husband has the GPS!"
"Wait, my new phone should have something"
"Oh it does, but I can't look at it and drive at the same time, maybe my son can...oh yeah, he can't see..lovely."
"Okay, there's something here that says I can download something to talk to me"
"I hope this works"
So, a small freak out later, I have my phone basically telling me to drive straight for 10 miles and take a right. Of course.
We arrive at the next doctor's appointment and I am getting nervous. In walks the doctor and let me tell you, this man was amazing. He immediately set me at ease. He was so kind and funny with my son. He told him what he was going to do and he was honest when things would be uncomfortable.
He sat down with me and explained that my son had an inflammation in his eye called Iritis. Apparently there are white blood cells in his eye and they're not supposed to be there (who knew?). So basically his eye is freaking out.
As I sat there while he explained that there's no real reason why my son got this, I suddenly found that I had a lump in my throat. I was so overwhelmed in that moment. I was grateful that we had been so lucky to get 2 appointments for his eye by 11am. I was relieved that there was a diagnosis. I was nervous that my sometimes catastrophic imagination got away from me and got nervous when I heard terms like "lupus" and "arthritis".
No matter how old he is, I will worry about my boy. He was such a trooper today, especially when I have to put drops in his eye every hour. He's rocking a pretty sweet eye patch and he even gets to stay home from school tomorrow. We go back for a follow up on Monday and I look forward to the opportunity to really thank the doctor who may have just been doing his job, but he did it well and I am so grateful.