Yesterday, X-man made a new friend "X-man +1." We knew there was another X-man in town because we saw his name on something in one of the elementary schools that we toured. X-man +1 is one year older than X-man. He's a very sweet little boy who loves to go swimming and play Legos. Mmm, sounds familiar.
Yesterday, we went to X-man +1's house. He has a pool in the backyard and the boys played Legos for an hour and then swam for 45 minutes. When X-man got out, his eyes were bright red from diving for rings. This has been happening more and more lately. At Grizzly Jack's I had to hold a cold compress to his eyes to help him out. And he had some eye rubbing issues at Sholem when we're there for a while, he had them after Magic Waters, too. Well, it turns out the home pool was the last straw, and X-man couldn't open his eyes because they itched so bad. He sat through snack okay (because really, who passes up the opportunity to try a Ho Ho for the first time) with the cold compress on his face. X-man +1's grandfather kept apologizing. But we were doing okay, until we weren't. So I swept X-man away to Walgreen's to get a sterile eye wash. He was holding his own until the pharmacist said, "If he starts to have trouble seeing, taking him straight to the hospital."
Great. Thanks. My child had a total freak out for the next 35 minutes. As he's panicking as we leave Walgreen's, I'm trying to call my husband to put him on alert that he'll be holding down our kid while I try to wash out his eyes. (It's a weird feeling if you're not a contact wearer.) I rinsed out both eyes very, very good when we got home, but he was still panicking and screaming, so I called the Ask-a-Nurse line at Carle.
And guess what -- I didn't get a nurse. Why do you call it the Ask-a-Nurse Hotline if there's not actually a nurse at the other end. If I wanted to get put on hold while someone found a nurse, I'd call a main switchboard. But apparently, all the nurses were with patients and busy. Wait, what? It's an Ask-a-Nurse hotline. They offered to "take a message" while my child screamed in the background.
So, I took him to Convenient Care. Because, as with all things X-man, I have to balance his emotional anxiety over things with what I know from First Aid to be true. I knew his eyes stung. I knew that he wanted to keep rubbing them. I knew that as soon as the word hospital came up he thought bad things were going to happen to him, and it was clear that as much as he loves his father, MacTroll was having trouble convincing X-man to calm down. He offered to rinse out X-man's eyes again, but X-man kept screaming, "It's not working!"
So I picked him up and carried him to the car. MacTroll drove us. On the way, I was describing to X-man where we were on the way to the doctor's. That calmed him down immensely. When we got there, I put his flip flops in my purse and carried him in. I let MacTroll register him at the desk and then we went to the waiting room, where X-man sat in my lap and listened (and then 10 minutes later watched with a lot of blinking) Spongebob Squarepants, which he'd never seen.
Some time later, the triage nurse came and got us. X-man still had 1" round circles around his eyes, but the whites of his eyes were -- white again. Goooo eyewash!
He was able to tell the nurse his birthday and answer her questions. He had no idea what to do with an under the tongue thermometer though. We had the ear one before I just upgraded us to the kind where you don't have to touch the child's forehead.
Then we went back to the waiting room... and then we saw Dr. Kirby. I like Dr. Kirby. He's my favorite Convenient Care doc for kid stuff. We've seen him plenty of times for strep throat and pink eye. He's efficient and thorough and polite. So thorough that after he did his physical and eye exam, HE came out to the pharmacy to find us when he noticed the medical assistant didn't do a vision test.
We have a prescription for steroid eye drops, and we now know for sure that X-man has a sensitivity to chlorine. So, now I just have to find a pair of goggles that he'll keep on his head.
As for X-man +1, chlorine sensitivities aside, the playdate was a hit. We'll be contacting them when we get back in town from the Virgin Islands to see if the boys want to come over to our place. :-)