One thing after another! Poor little SJ has been falling apart over the past two weeks! We went to Texas for Christmas break and she got poison ivy as always. She tried to be cautious but sometimes it feels like she could be a mile away from poison ivy and still get it. So her face was an itchy swollen mess. Oh well, I thought. She knows the drill and she’ll be all healed up in about 7 days.
Shortly after the run-in with a rash one of her cochlear implant processors stopped working. No big deal, I thought. We’ve had these issues before and they usually send a replacement part overnight. I called customer service and apparently this time the solid orange light on the malfunctioning device indicated that it was an unknown error. I was told it had to be sent in to be diagnosed and they will give a refurbished replacement. They just needed insurance approval. No problem, I thought and proceeded accordingly. Then I got an email saying that our request was denied because SJ has to reestablish care with her ENT in order for him to sign off on it. So I made the appointment, but it’s not until the end of January. At this point I had to take a deep breath. It’s okay, I told myself. She can still hear with her right ear. Everything is going to be fine. Hopefully.
Then a few days before we were going to head back home SJ threw up. I figured she just had an upset stomach because she seemed fine otherwise. Then she threw up again, and again, and again. I lost count of how many times I rubbed her back as she retched every last bit of stomach bile into the toilet. Thankfully it was only one day. A curious thing about it all was that when she vomited her poison ivy resurfaced. It was all healed up the night before. Here is a photo of her.
But this was what it looked like after she puked. It didn’t itch, but every scratch mark was clearly visible again. She had petechia around her eyes (broken capillary blood vessels from all the pressure going to her face from puking) and at one point the poison ivy rash turned purple and was all raised. I still don’t know what in the world happened there. If you have any theories I’m open to hearing them! You can’t google this level of weirdness.
We finally made the trek back home and SJ was excited to be reunited with her chickens. She loves the hens.
Some might call it an obsession. They are her favorite thing to think about, play with, and talk about. Chickens are happiness in SJ’s world.
Yesterday was the last day of Christmas break and SJ was in the back yard with the chickens when Mary Cauna pecked her right in the eye! This was a total fluke. She wasn’t holding her or anything. We’ve never had any issues like this, but anyway her beak punctured her eyelid and broke through to her actual eye ball. SJ started screaming and covering her face. It was really intense. When she calmed down enough for us to examine it J saw that it wasn’t looking good. There was no blood, but he could see that there was a piece of cornea missing and eventually when he showed me what to look for I could see it too. This picture is from when the doctor put colored drops that show where the damage is.
It all happened around 2:30. I know because this is when I called the doctor and we went in at 4:45. Then we were sent to see an ophthalmologist at the Cincinnati children’s hospital emergency room. While there, SJ was having episodes of intense pain. I didn’t know what it was. It looked like a seizure. A nurse from the children’s hospital saw it and took notes. I was told as long as she was responsive it would be okay. That didn’t really help calm my fear though. When your daughter feels fine one minute and then slides into a trance where her eyes roll back into her head and her eyelids start fluttering. It’s scary to watch. SJ said she couldn’t shut her eyes. She also couldn’t open them. The episodes happened about a dozen times yesterday and they lasted close to two minutes each, give or take. Even when all the vision and eye exams were over and they confirmed there wasn’t any severe or long term damage I was still worried about my little girl and I’m sad to say the ophthalmologist wasn’t really hearing my concerns. Thankfully a doctor came at the end to go over her case and I finally got some answers. It was explained to me that the eyes have tons of nerves and are very delicate. The good thing is because they are living cells they heal rapidly! The bad news is that eye injuries are extremely painful so SJ was experiencing blepharospasms due to the pain. I still don’t understand all of it. I don’t know if anyone ever will, but the bottom line is she is going to be okay. She has antibiotic drops and anointment which alleviates most of the pain. She’s doing a lot better today and has a follow up appointment tomorrow. I am appreciative of all the prayers for SJ and I am believing we will get a good report tomorrow and that she can go back to school on Thursday. That girl is full of grit and she’s going to get through all of this!