Monday, August 22, 2011


Ready for your medical lesson, via the family who seems to deal with all these odd issues??

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before or not, but for the past few months Gracie has been plagued by these bumps under her eyes and on her eyelids.  They would come and go, and she didn't complain about them much and I attributed them to allergies.  Then one on an upper eyelid started draining puss slowly.  And a lower eye one started growing.

Finally, I was done waiting it out and Bean took her in to the doctor (I think I'd already made a doctor trip that week with Lily) and we got a referral to a children's ophthalmologist.  The pediatrician said she had a clogged eye duct and it would probably need to be drained.

The ophthalmologist confirmed it was a clogged duct, but said that draining it was a surgical procedure requiring sedation and was a last resort.  Instead, we had to spend $20 on a special eyelid wash (who thinks of making things like this?) and $15 on eye ointment (because of course the pharmacy didn't have a $5 generic version).  He wanted us to do these treatments every night for 4 weeks and see him again in 6 weeks.

The medical term is chalazion.  It's a clogged oil gland in simple terms.  It is similar to a stye, but styes generally resolve themselves and have a different cause.

Do you know how incredibly challenging it is to put eye ointment, that burns briefly, INSIDE the eyes of a 4 year old?  I seriously spend ten minutes a night in the bathroom with Gracie alone brushing, flossing, swishing mouthwash, washing her eyes and applying the ointment.  If she's tired, she's very resistant and there is a lot of crying involved.  It's fun.

Oh, and 20 minutes a day of a warm compress on her eyes.  Do you know that anything barely warm feels like BURNING to a 4 year old?  I don't even think we are successful in applying a compress warm enough to do anything.  And being that it's summer, we're busy, kids are in full-time play mode, we haven't been as diligent with the compresses.

It was looking like this.  See the swollen bump under her right eye?  Not terrible, although not great.

Then last week, this started to happen.

Can you see that it's larger?  And redder?

And this is what it looks like tonight.  It's not pretty friends.

I will say, it's not quite as red as these iPhone photos make it appear.  But it still is very swollen, very large and very red.  (but aren't her freckles so adorable?!)

What's really frustrating to me is that our follow-up appointment isn't until the middle of September.  More than two weeks away.  I called the doctor today and they didn't have any appointments, so I spoke with him on the phone.  I tried my best to describe it, and he was fairly nonchalant saying he's seen them as large as a garbanzo bean (to which I replied, yes that's at least the size hers is) and they can get bigger and keep doing compresses and he doesn't need to see her sooner.

I would feel better though, if he at least saw her.  Just take one look, even in the waiting room.  I'm going to call again tomorrow and find out if there is an email address I can send these photos to.  Or maybe we will just walk in and ask for one minute between appointments.

It may be that we have to wait and there is nothing we can do for her.  She doesn't complain much, unless it gets bumped or touched.  Now when I do her eyewash, I can't even hardly touch that eye because it hurts badly.

Seriously, I don't even want to add up how much we have spent in co-pays this year between Lily's fevers and Maleah's eyes now.  And we still have a whole quarter of a year to go.  I am thankful though that our co-pays are $15, because I know it could be a lot worse.

So now friends, you know what a chalazion is and how it differs from a stye.  Someday, maybe this information will be useful to you.  But I hope not.  Because I would not wish this on any child or adult or parent!


  1. Poor thing :( I hope it resolves very soon!!

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  3. Hi I came across this page and my daughter has the same size on both bottom lids. She has it on the top right eye lid as well so that makes three. Our doctor prescribed oral medicine Cephalexin and eye ointment Gentak which was 15 dollars for each plus 30 for the co pay and this has already been our second visit to urgent care. Thankfully the ointment is making the bumps more noticeable as in they look like their going to burst. Within two days of using the ointment that is. Hopefully your daughters eye gets better soon.


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