You know how when you wake up in the morning, you sometimes have gunk in the corner of your eye? Imagine having that off and on your whole life. Annoying, but that’s what was happening to Abbie – all because of a clogged tear duct.
Abbie’s had a clogged tear duct on and off since birth. She nearly always had discharge coming out of her left eye. It would get better, then worse, then better again – and it always came back. If you look back, you can see in some pictures that her left eye is irritated or red – all a result of the clog. I asked the pediatrician about it multiple times in Abbie’s first year, and each time they told me to wait it out. Wait it out, they said…because for most kids it clears up on its own in the first year.
Abbie wasn’t most kids, and it persisted. Last month, I finally took her to a pediatric ophthalmologist, and he confirmed what I’ve known for a while – Abbie would need surgery to clear her tear duct.
When you find out your child needs surgery – well, it isn’t fun. Thankfully, the procedure is super simple, and the only part I was really nervous about was the anesthesia. The procedure itself only takes about 10 minutes. After Abbie was out, the doctor inserted a probe down through her tear duct to clear the blockage, then flushed and irrigated it… and that was it. As a precaution, he prescribed antibiotic eyedrops to put in for the 5 days following her procedure. If you want to read more about it, you can do so here.
I was with Abbie until the moment they wheeled her back. I think she thought it was fun to ride in the bed and she barely noticed me walking away. I sat down in the waiting room at 9:04. By 9:15, I was talking to the doctor, and by 9:20, I was by Abbie’s side. Such a quick procedure!
Her eye has been clear ever since. I’m so thankful that she handled everything so well – she was a little scared beforehand and disoriented afterward, but a trip to the playground helped with that.
Have your kids ever needed surgery?