Have you ever even heard of a chalazion? No? Me neither, but after last weekend’s events, I now consider myself to be an expert. It all started with what I thought was an innocent stye in G’s right eye a week ago. Her eye was a little swollen, but I’ve suffered with styes myself over the years and simply set to bathing it regularly with cooled down boiled water and bicarbonate of soda. I had my fingers crossed that this treatment plus a trip to our GP on Monday would do the trick – why do children always get ill on the weekend? – but luck wasn’t with any of us last weekend.
Whilst Mike and M enjoyed a fast-paced weekend of adrenalin-filled 8th birthday parties, G and I were subjected to 7 hours visiting 3 of our local hospitals. By the time G woke up on Sunday morning, it became abundantly clear that a trip to A&E was going to be necessary. Poor G looked like someone had whacked her in both eyes, which were heavily swollen, red, weeping and extremely tender to the touch. The single stye appeared to have multiplied and she now had a row of them across the bottom of both eyes. We started at our local children’s hospital, a place I’ve visited more in the last 3 months than in the past 3 years due to our bad experience with their previous care of M. The doctor there identified that G had had an allergic reaction to something unknown and gave her an anti-histamine to start to reduce the swelling around her eyes. However, she was concerned about the number of small lumps along G’s lower lid and referred us on to the local eye hospital, who could see G just after lunch.
Fortunately, the hospitals are within walking distance of each other and we were able to pick up the prescribed anti-histamine from the main hospital (the only hospital pharmacy open on a Sunday), grab some lunch from a coffee shop and make our way in plenty of time for G’s appointment. Once at the eye hospital, G was diagnosed as having a series of styes as well as a chalazion, which has resulted in preseptal cellulitis, a severe inflammation and infection in her lower eyelids. Another prescription written, this time for antibiotics, eye drops and eye ointment and a mad dash back to the hospital pharmacy to get the medicines before it closed at 3pm ended our day and G and I were finally back home by 4pm, a full 7 hours after we left it that morning.
The great news is that a few days on, the medicines and continued regular bathing and massaging of her eyes has started to work and the swelling and redness is starting to subside. This morning her left eye looked almost back to normal and her right eye has improved hugely, though the chalazion will take a little longer to disappear and return my girl to her full beauty. G sadly missed her last days of Year 5 due to the infection, but I’m hoping for a great summer holiday now she’s well on the road to recovery.