It started out as a perfectly normal day. The kids went to school, came home, and began doing what kids do. After a little homework, I gave permission to Morgan and Trevor to go play for a little bit at "the big hill" before I took Trevor to karate. It soon was time to go to karate and Trevor was late getting home so I was annoyed and was already waiting with the van running in the driveway when he got home. He told me that he and Morgan had been playing stick fighting when the stick broke and hurt Morgan's eye. She was still over at the hill with Trey so I didn't think that too much could be wrong and I took Trevor to karate. When we returned home, Ken had just finished teaching his piano lessons and was checking out Morgan's eye.
It was worse than I had thought. The stick had broken while they were dueling and scraped up Morgan's eyelid pretty badly, it was swelling, and she was already getting a black eye. We tried looking in her eye which looked a bit irritated but she didn't seem to have pain IN her eye. She said it didn't sting or anything and we were thankful that the scrapes were just on the outside. We gave her some pain meds and iced her eye, which seemed to help. We also let her stay home the next day because she had quite the shiner. It was rather lucky timing that it was the end of the trimester and she had a three day weekend so she would have extra time to heal.
Morgan was healing nicely and by Friday afternoon the swelling was going down and the back eye was even fading to a lovely purplish, green color. We were thinking all was well so Ken and I decided to go on a date up to Loveland for a choir concert. Just after the concert ended, I got a call from Morgan that her eye was really starting to hurt badly. I instructed her to take some advil and that we were on our way home.
We we arrived home 30 minutes later to find Morgan writhing on the floor in extreme pain. The outside of her eye was looking so much better that we were really surprised she was hurting so badly. I got her more ice as we debated whether to take her to the ER. Of course, it was 9:30 on a Friday night. Isn't that when all emergencies happen? She was miserable and just kept saying that she wanted to go to bed. I decided to call our wonderful friend Haley, who is an ER nurse, to see if we could come over to see what she thought.
We got over to Haley's house which still had some people from a party she had hosted that night. (She and Sarah had held a hair party where they were teaching mom's how to do cool braids and styles on their daughter's hair. I desperately need help in that area, but when Ken really wanted to go a a date instead, I passed up the party to spend some time with him.) Morgan was having a hard time keeping it together because of her pain level. Haley gave her some stronger meds and then got a flashlight to look in her eye. (Why hadn't I thought of that?) We were both shocked by what she saw.
Morgan hadn't really opened her eye in a couple of days because it was swollen shut. When Haley shown the light in her eye we could see the the pupil of her eye was filling up with blood. The top half of her eye was green and the bottom half was crimson. No wonder she was in so much pain, the pressure in her eye was causing it. Haley told us that we needed to take her in right away, but was concerned because most ERs wouldn't have an ophthalmologist there that could actually help her eye. Haley called the hospital were she works to see if there was one on call and told us that most likely, we would need to drive down to Aurora to the main children's hospital. By this time it was almost 10:00 and I was seeing a very long night ahead of us. Then I had an epiphany.
I remembered my friend Becky that I sing with in Take Note, and that her husband is an eye doctor and one of the nicest men you could meet. I decided to give it a try and call him. I felt really bad calling him so late, but we were having serious concerns about Morgan's eye. The phone rang and rang. To my extreme relief, he finally answered it. I told him what had happened and what we were seeing in her eye. Without hesitation he said he would open up his office and see her. I was almost crying in gratitude!
We called Ken to let him know what was going on. (He was at home working a maintenance window for work.) He came over quickly and he and Doug, Haley's husband were able to give her a blessing before Morgan and I headed to Rex's office. There was a crazy thunderstorm and it was raining like crazy on our way and we finally got there at 11:15. Rex greeted us and took us in to give Morgan an eye exam.
I think Rex was even surprised how bad her eye was (he later said it was the worst case of hyphema he had ever seen in 30 years of practicing) even though he gave the good news that her cornea was not scratched. Basically the trauma of the broken stick made her eye like a big bruise. More than likely, her quick blinking response saved her eye. There were lots of tests and a ton of different eye drops to regulate the pressure and to keep her pupil from dilating so more blood would not accumulate. We had to even administer the eye drops every couple of hours throughout the night and day and she had to sleep at an angle to encourage her eye to drain. Morgan also had daily eye appointments for almost the next week and she was put on bed rest and not allowed to even go to school. He didn't want to risk the bleed reopening because that becomes even more serious.
We were very blessed. Every day showed improvement and after a couple of weeks Morgan's vision had returned to normal despite a few "floaters" in her eye (small specks in her vision). Her iris is still not very quick to respond and is usually dilated. In fact, when we returned to school the school police officer stopped to talk to her. It seemed he was wary of her dilated pupils. :) We are hopeful that this returns to normal over the next year or so. I still get a little choked up when I think about Rex and his care for Morgan over those first few weeks. Many times he came and opened his office just for an appointment with us. I don't know what I would have done without good friends to help us in our hour of need. So blessed!