Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Year of the Hyphema

It was a year ago that little man developed a hyphema in his right eye. It is one of the scariest feelings knowing your baby is hurt, but not being able to do much about it and not knowing how it happened. Our family doctor and the 4 specialists we went to all believe that some sort of trauma caused it, but we'll never know exactly what happened. To be on the safe side, we had numerous blood tests done to rule out everything from certain vitamin deficiencies to cancer and clotting disorders


If you look closely, you can see the blood pooling at the bottom of his eye.

What I do know is that our son was on steroid and dilating drops almost constantly from 4 months old to 10 months old. Those stinging drops they give you when you go in for an eye appointment? Little man had to get those 1-2 times a day for almost 6 months. He had 4 rebleeds, each one worse than the last. The final rebleed was the day after Christmas and his pupil was completely black because of all the blood in it. My husband had to bring the tractor home and plow the road in front of us just so we could make an emergency trip to the doctor.

Still a very happy baby!

I've heard that a lot of babies go through a nursing strike at some point in time. Even though we never had a problem before, at 7 months little man decided there was way too much to do besides nurse. We had to completely stop breastfeeding because he would cry every time I tried to nurse and, if he cried too much, it could make his eye worse. He had to sleep in a swing because if he laid down flat, the blood would pool back up in his eye, making it worse again. He caught a stomach virus a couple times and the doctors had considered putting him on medicine to stop the vomiting because the straining caused by vomiting could make his eye worse. At times my husband and I felt like we were walking on eggshells.

Hanging out at the hotel before we see another specialist.

Not one of the doctors we went to had ever seen a hyphema on a patient so young. Think you can find anything and everything on the internet? I could not find one article about a 4 month old with a hyphema. Thankfully, he is much better now. His right eye is still a little darker than his left eye, but at least it's blue again and not brown, or red, or black. We'll always have to watch for increased pressure in his eye, but as far as the doctors can tell, there's no lasting damage. We go back for a 6 month check next month, so here's hoping for a clean bill of health, which I'm sure we'll get.

His worst rebleed. His whole pupil was completely black.

On a side note: Those six months gave me a tiny glimpse into what parents of chronically-ill children must go through - constant worry, being passed from specialist to specialist, numerous tests, your child being poked and prodded. My heart goes out to all of you with sick children. You will always be in my prayers.

1 comment:

  1. Here's hoping for a clean bill of health with you. You've all been through a lot. Our lo had to have eye drops for 2 weeks once and that was no fun... and I know we missed days because no one wanted to put the drops in.