It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye!
This phrase rumoured to have originated with Roman wrestling in reference to eye gouging, was once just an idle parenting phrase of mine used to describe those moments where kids injure themselves not too seriously while rough housing.
That was until last Wednesday.
The day started like any other day, in mad chaos and panic as we tried to get out the door for 9:30 for our commute across town for 10:00 o-clock basketball. I was armed with coffee, and a stoic resolve to tackle the Mancunian Way with every other deluded, ‘I will just wait for the commuter/school traffic to die down’ lunatic in Manchester.
I did in fact know that had I have been ten minutes earlier, I would have caught the magical wave, of not quite as awful traffic, and my journey across town would have been ushered in by a parade of unicorns and fairy dust or something like that. It is a wonderful window of opportunity to catch, if you are only always ten minutes earlier.
While I quietly and self indulgently mourned the loss of clear, rose petal covered roads, my son Joey, had been contemplating his small now frozen bottle of promotional Irn-Bru that his dad had brought home from work the night before.
After watching a YouTube video (he is home educated remember, we watch YouTube videos about EVERYTHING), about how to make the perfect slushy, he had shaken his little bottle and placed it in the freezer before trotting off to bed.
Of course, Wednesday morning amidst my whirlwind efforts to get us out the door was the perfect time to reassess the consistency of the slushy. Taking it out for careful examination, and inspection, I had asked him with my very nice words to please put it in the fridge were it would defrost to the perfect temperature by that afternoon, after basketball, after choir!
Now faced with the prospect of missing my magic travel window, knowing traffic would be worse, needed the loo. It’s not so much that I needed the loo, but I have developed a disorder (Dr Google said so), where knowing that I might be faced with traffic jams, zombie apocalypses and the end of the world as we know it I need to panic wee.
As I left the room, I saw Joey place the bottle of Irn-Bru in the fridge as requested. As I commenced said panic wee, I heard what I thought were squeals of delight from the kitchen next door. Joey has this fascinating happy/excited/I am in near death pain squeal. One that is impossible to differentiate between unless you are standing in front of him and can read his body language and expressions. He has always had it. He was born with it; his American Indian name is Talking with Dolphins.
Only when the squeal become punctuated with ow’s did I struggle to do my button up fly up (a wonderful invention, until you are tipsy or panicked) only to give up, rush out of the bathroom to find Joey writhing with pain on the stairs covering his eye.
Of course he wouldn’t let me look, he didn’t want me near it, and the force field he created with his sonic squeal ‘almost’ kept me at bay. Thankfully I am stubborn, and I managed to lift his hand off long enough to see a glaringly red-eye. Knowing it wasn’t blood as it hadn’t dripped, but not happy with the colour red and an eye, we headed off to the hospital.
To cut a long story short, Joey had decided that he didn’t want to wait until after basketball, after choir to drink his slushy, he wanted it then. So he put previously shaken bottle of Irn-Bru under the instant boil hot water tap to melt it.
To his amazement, the lid flew off the bottle with incredible force and found momentary refuge in his socket, before falling back into the sink.
He is a very, very lucky boy!
Monday we went to the doctors for our return visit and while his eye is looking significantly better, there are some real ‘potential’ causes for concern.
If you look at the bottom left hand side of the eye, you will see a dark patch. This is where his Iris has lifted off the eye-ball. The hope is this will naturally heal and fuse back, as the operation to manually attach this is not an easy one.
The red dots are blood spots (clots) and are causing his eye to experience high pressure. Something to definitely be watched. He has been asked to refrain from all physical activities until it has healed.
Unfortunately he is also experiencing some vision blurriness/issues. This may well be to the pupil dilating drugs, or they may not. Time will tell us this. He eye is now pulling slightly to the right.
While we are playing the waiting game, I am giving thanks for the fact that this could have been far worse.
He could have lost his eye.
These are the sliding door moments of life. Where playing the if only game is not really beneficial.
It’s not great to dwell on what might have been in this scenario. Nor am I borrowing worry from the future.
We will deal with each new daily challenge as they present themselves. Thankfully he is well in himself and in no longer in any pain.
I am thankful for a little boy who still has an eye, and for Doctors and a health care system that have been most excellent too us this past week.