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Joy of pink eye
Perhaps you know of which I speak. The voice of experience warns to never, ever, ever go through pink eye again. Not getting it yourself, and certainly, most assuredly, not letting your kid get it again either. My fourteen-month-old son has had his first, but what sadly is sure to not be his last bout with pink eye. I'm not sure if the toll has been worse on him or me.
We were in the middle of Old Navy when I looked at my son, who'd been rubbing his eyes and acting a little more tired than usual, then looked at my husband, then looked back at my son and it hit me. The telltale signs of pink eye were all there: Uhm, you know, a pink eye, gooey stuff coming out of the eyes (discharge), lots of eye-rubbing. It had been so many years since I'd had it--heck, I was a kid myself the one time I got it--that I didn't really know what to look for.
We all have allergies in my house, so I thought that's what it was. We'd recently cleaned the house which stirred up dust, a big allergen in my family. Yet, the symptoms persisted over several days, all of Memorial Day weekend, in fact, before I figured out I should probably NOT be touching my son--at ALL.
Did you know there are several kinds of pink eye, only one of which is normally treated with antibiotics? There is an allergy-caused pink eye, a viral pink eye and a bacteria-caused pink eye, the latter of which will get you the drops to cure it. Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is caused by an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the eyelid.
Thankfully, the drops exist. Getting them in your child can be another matter all together. Not one person I've spoken to has said, "Oh, getting the drops in was the easy part!" In fact, my experience has been downright horrifying. It's taken both me and my husband to hold down my toddler son to get those drops in. And even then, it's a real struggle that leaves us all irritated and breathless. I keep fearing I'll accidentally poke his eye out. I fear I'll hold him too hard and he won't be able to breathe. I fear all his thrashing will result in a pulled muscle, at the very least, or a broken collar bone or something, and we'll take a trip to the ER.
A colleague suggested putting the drops in while the child is asleep. That won't work three times a day, generally, but you can at least have one relatively good experience with the drops. I put them in first thing in the morning, when my son is still groggy, and right before bed, when he's wiped out. There's only a real struggle during the middle of the day.
Most would say the drops are a two-person job, with one person holding down the child's body, the other holding down the face and opening the eyes. It's rough, but it's doable. My son has finally realized that the less he thrashes, the more quickly the ordeal ends. And speaking of ordeals, today is thankfully the last day of treatment. His treatment was seven days, three times a day. We were explicitly told not to skip any dosage. We were also told to make absolutely sure the drops went in every single time--a real challenge, but, again, doable. Luckily they give you extra drops.
So how can one avoid getting pink eye? For adults, it's pretty easy, You see someone with the symptoms and don't touch them. You wash your hands constantly. You change clothes and sheets frequently. For kids, though, who touch themselves and each other without thinking about it, avoiding pink eye can be tough. Frankly, it's likely your kid will end up with it one day. At least it's not that bad and can be treated.
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