Today, Daniel and I went back to CHOP to see the Chief of Pediatric Opthalmology about his eye. For nine weeks, there has been a cyst just under his lower eyelid. We’ve done the warm compresses to death, as Dr. Katowitz advised, and we were back for the check up. I was fully expecting to leave with surgery scheduled.
Surprisingly, there was no wait. He called us back before we sat down. He asked how the eye had been.
“No change at all,” I reported. “Not bigger, not smaller, not redder, and it never oozed pus.” You only get to say this kind of cool stuff when you’re a mother.
“Hmmm.” Out came the giant Canon camera and for a few minutes he maneuvered Daniel’s eyelids as he snapped shots in what I can only imagine were 10,000 megapixels.
“It’s healed, but what you’re looking at now is the callous. It healed wrong.”
Amazing. Here I was, looking at this thing three times a day for eight weeks and it had somehow managed to burst, ooze pus and heal over wrong without me even noticing the slightest bit of change. A medical freaking miracle.
“So no surgery?”
“Well, we need to deal with the callous. I could just numb his eyelid up and snip it now with scissors. It would take about 5 seconds but there would be some bleeding from his eye and that might upset him.”
“Go ahead. Do it. He’ll be thrilled.”
Dr. Katowitz looked at me very strangely, like he couldn’t quite get my sense of humor. Probably, that was because I wasn’t joking but smiling encouragingly at him as I reached for my Blackberry.
“I’d need you to stay and help keep him calm…” the puzzlement in his voice was kind of entertaining. He had no idea what was coming.
“That’s fine.” And the calming he’ll need will be from the excitement, not the panic, Dr. K. But I figured it would be more fun if I let him discover that part on his own.
Again the look, mixed with something like barely disguised disgust at my lack of emotion. Apparently this was an atypical parental reaction to the news that your child’s eye is about to spurt blood. I was not his idea of the Mother of the Year. Oh well. You can’t please all of the people…
He turned to Daniel, and then the fun started in earnest. It kind of reminded me of church, only gorier.
“Daniel, I can make the bump in your eye go away today, but I’m going to need to use a pair of small scissors to cut it and it’s going to bleed a little bit from your eye…”
And that was it. Cause Daniel lit up like it was Christmas and the questions came pouring out.
“Can you video it with your big camera so I can watch my eye bleed at home on my big tv? Is it going to splash blood all over the floor? (giggling uncontrollably) Is it going to get on you? And on Mommy? How much blood? Can we pick it up and put it in a cup and look at it with a microscope? Are you going to cut my eye bone, too? Can I have a picture of it on my leappad?…”
Dr. Katowitz turned to me and I gave him my best “told you so” smile/shrug combo move while he turned from Daniel to me and back again, not speaking.
We’re talking about a kid, who, a couple of weeks ago, shoved a stick up his nose to see what would happen, bled all over the place, thought it was really funny and refused to promise not to do it again. He probably can’t spell c-a-t on demand, but he can point out your ulna, tibia, femur, metatarsals and phalanges, and he can discuss the difference between a compound and a simple fracture. His favorite book, which he pores over, is an Anatomy & Physiology text from when I was in college.
I expected nothing less from him than pure delight at the thought of blood spurting from his eyeball (and if it wasn’t going to upset him, it wasn’t going to upset me).
And then the doctor prescribed us some eyedrops that I’m supposed to put in for two weeks and told me to come back in two months but only if it’s still there and I find it aesthetically displeasing. I kind of got the impression that he never wants to see us again, but I could be misreading him. Daniel is covered by three different, awesome insurance plans, and what doctor these days wants to turn that away?
We left, with Daniel shrieking at the doctor and the receptionists, in total meltdown mode and throwing every child over the age of 3 in the waiting room into utter panic, “I thought you were going to make my eyeball bleed? Why aren’t you making it get bloody? I want to make it bleed…you lied…you said you were going to use the scissors to cut it and make the blood get on you…”
My only real concern is that now that he knows blood can spurt from an eye, he’ll try it at home rather than in the safety of the doctor’s office. I’ve hidden all the scissors and knives, but he’s a bright and creative child.
And yes, we stopped at Wine & Spirits on the way home, and 911 is speed dial #1 on my phone.