Maria’s Blue Eyes

Well … this blog is supposed to be about our move to Singapore and our adventures and life in Asia as we settle in.  BUT … this week has thrown us for a loop and may put a kink in our plans, so it’s only fitting to share.   I have had a crazy day .. .but I am sitting at  a quiet coffee shop while the boys are are swim practice,  and Maria is home in bed.  Bed?  Why you ask??

In my last post (Allergies in the USA vs Singapore) I wrote about how we had a very windy day last Saturday and something blew into Maria’s eye.  Her eye was swollen, watery, and painful, so we went to the ER.   The doc there said he could see a small white speck but he didn’t have the equipment to get it out, and referred us out to see a medical eye doctor.   Dr. Flynn saw Maria on Monday, and by then it was a full 48 hours since the onset of symptoms.

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After examining Maria’s eyes,  Dr. Flynn gave us the news that Maria doesn’t have a speck of something in her eyes, but instead believed that Maria had a severe allergic reaction, which resulted  in a “shield ulcer on her cornea” and “iritis” along with inflamed underside of her eyelids.   That tiny speck that could barely be seen on Sunday was now so big that it could now be seen without special equipment.    Basically, its an ulcer on the blue part of her eye.  Here is a photo that I took to send to Trent:

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It doesn’t look like much, but that tiny white speck causes excruciating pain every time she blinks.  You cannot tell from the photo, but it is also raised up off the eye.  And every time she blinks, the inflamed bumps underneath her eyelid scrape on this ulcer.

Dr. Flynn added a steroid drop regimen to the antibiotic drops already prescribed, plus she added a once-a-day drop in the morning to dilate the pupil, making the iris smaller and less painful.  (the side effect of that is any light was extremely painful).  We made an appointment for Wednesday and off we went.   On Wednesday we saw a third doctor, who examined Maria’s eye and told us there was slight improvement!  Yea!  We made an appointment for Friday and off we went.

Well, last night (wednesday) her eye started watering again, and became extremely painful.  This morning it was worse.  So we headed to our clinic, we were there the minute they opened up.  Unfortunately, our both of our docs were out today, and unavailable to come in to see Maria (despite my best efforts to get them to forget their day off and tend to my child) .    By now, I am in a near panic because Maria cannot even open her eye because it was so painful.  After refusing to walk away from the front desk of our clinic as they frantically made calls to find someone to see Maria, we were finally told to head over to Stillwater, where we were fortunate enough to be “squeezed” into their full line-up.

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As we were sitting in their waiting room, I sent out a series of texts to my sisters & cousins,  who live throughout the USA, asking for prayers for Maria.   I was maintaining a calm exterior for Maria, but inside absolute panic was threatening to explode.  As my two sisters, Michele & Rachel, cousins Stacey, Megan, Jonah, and Aunt Vera all began to pray for us, Maria and I were suddenly whisked into an examination room and tended to.  Answered Prayer!  No long wait!!  Turns out our new physician, Dr. Lang, is the husband of Dr. Flynn, (she saw us on Monday) and he knew all the details of our case ( apparently this condition is pretty rare and she went home and talked to her husband about us).   Answered Prayer!  He was familiar with Maria!   He decided he needed to do a biopsy, and sent someone to the hospital to pick up culture dishes.   I guess they don’t do eye biopsies too often!   Answered Prayer!  Aggressive action!  We were sent to sit in the waiting room for a bit, and next thing we knew, our sweet neighbors walked into the waiting room!!   Answered Prayer!  Family to be with us at a scary moment!  Some of you may know our adopted grandparents … Jerry & Sheena Peterson.  They love Maria, Shane & Cale as if they were their own flesh & blood.   They wrapped their arms around Maria and reassured her, loved on her, and distracted me.

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Before we knew it, Maria was having her FOUR biopsies done, more prescriptions ordered, more appointments scheduled, and we were on our way home.

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We have an appointment tomorrow, for results of the 24 hour culture and a recheck, and one again on Saturday.  Maria has a regimen of 5 different drops, each with their own schedule.

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I want to end this post with a quick story … about my father-in-law.  Dale Ritz.  He is a tough old-school farmer from southern Minnesota.  He taught himself how to weld at the young age of 14, and make a career out of “fixing” farm equipment.    He  is an amazing man, and I love him to pieces.  Of course, when this all happened over the weekend with Maria, I made my calls to all the family, Dale included.   He told me that throughout his years of welding, he would sometimes get pieces of metal in his eyes, especially as he aged and his blinking reflex wasn’t as quick as it was when he was younger.  I asked, what would the doctors do?   I mean, metal in your eye?  Yikes!!  His answer … he would take a high powered magnet, put it close to his eye, and it would come right out.

Now that’s a tough man!!

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4 thoughts on “Maria’s Blue Eyes

  1. OMGosh! Never a dull moment in the Blinkman household! We will pray for a fast diagnosis and speedy recovery for Maria!

  2. Magnets work – I just had a patient with a sliver of metal in his elbow – tiny, tiny but very painful. Hold that magnet close to the skin & wha -la : the magic of physics occurs.
    Thinking of all of you this morning. Blessings of wisdom, health & peace of mind…from Iowa. XO

  3. My thoughts are with you as you begin another day of working out this painful problem. Glad you had someone to be with both of you!
    Love from Florida

  4. I hope Maria’s eye is getting better. How scary for all of you. Maxwell has been seeing Dr Flynn for years for his vision issues and we love her, I bet her husband is just as wonderful. It sounds like Maria’s eye is getting very good care. Hoping she has a speedy recovery, my thoughts are with you.

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