Have I mentioned how much I hate glitter? I love arts and crafts projects, but you'll notice that none of them involve glitter. Initially, I hated glitter because no matter how much you clean, you cannot get rid of it. Today my hatred grew even deeper. I wanted to share my story with you to hopefully prevent this from happening to any of your kids. Especially with Christmas on the way - it seems like it's impossible for companies to make Christmas decorations without using glitter.
My mom and dad selflessly offered to take Ava and Sidney for FOUR nights when Clara was born. The morning after the fourth night, my mom called. I knew this couldn't be good. My mom would never want to bother us early in the morning on our first day at home with Clara. Apparently Ava had woken up screaming in pain. There was something in her eye. My mom did everything she could to help her but after an hour she was concerned enough to call us. My mom mentioned that she had bought dress up costumes for the girls and Ava's costume came with a head band...that had glitter on it. Is it possible that some of the glitter got in her eye? I called the Pediatrician and she agreed to see her that morning (did I mention that I just had a baby 3 days ago!). She looked in Ava's eye but saw no signs of abrasion to her cornea. She said that if the pain continued for 24-36 hours that we'd need to see a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. But the pain stopped. In fact, Ava didn't have any eye pain for almost 3 weeks. We figured that whatever was bothering her eye had flushed itself out.
This past weekend, Ava woke up screaming in pain. It was her eye again. Her left eye. I can't even remember which eye was bothering her three weeks ago. This time the pain lasted for longer and came and went over two days so I got an appointment with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. He looked at her eyes though those super magnifying lenses and not only did her left eye have a "foreign object" (aka; glitter) in it but so did her right eye!!!! In her right eye, the glitter was on the white part of the eye, whereas her left eye had glitter on the cornea which is likely why her left eye was hurting so badly. My poor mom - I know she feels badly that this happened but in no way is it her fault. She is so good to my family. Too good actually. We feel endlessly indebted to her for all the amazing, thoughtful and selfless things she does for us. The other day Tim asked me if I thought I would be as good a grandma some day and I said No and Tim agreed with me! My mom is way too good of a person to live up too. Please, don't feel bad Mom!
Our options for removing the glitter are all bad. We could try numbing her eyes with drops and extracting the glitter but how do we get a 4 year old to lay still and not move her eyes as the doctor sticks a sharp instrument in it??? We could try using laughing gas, but we may still face the same problems with eye movement since laughing gas doesn't knock you out. The other alternative is to put her under general anesthesia and remove the glitter. We know this will work. While I'm not thrilled about putting my 4 year old under anesthesia, my main hesitation is that Ava is a very fearful, anxious kid. I am so scared for how this experience will affect her long-term. I had my adenoids removed when I was Ava's age and I remember everything to this day. I can only imagine how Ava will feel after all of this. The only hope I have is that one of the drugs that they use to knock her out is amnesia-inducing. They claim that she won't remember a thing about the surgery. That also kind of freaks me out.
Our only other alternative is to "wait and see". The glitter will eventually slough off and will not cause damage to her eyes while we wait, but how long it will take is the big question. It's been 3 weeks since the glitter got in her eyes. How much longer do we have to wait??? The doctor thinks 2-3 more weeks. Ugh...
For now I've decided to schedule the surgery for one week from now. If Ava's in a ton of pain and discomfort during the next week then we'll go ahead with the surgery. If the pain subsides, we'll cancel the surgery and wait longer in the hopes that the problems fixes itself.
I cannot believe how much trouble this glitter has caused. I cannot believe that a child's costume could be so problematic. Please be careful the next time the face painter wants to sprinkle glitter on your child's face as a finishing touch or the next time the hair stylist wants to spray glitter on your little girl's head after cutting and styling their hair or the next time you pull a glittered-up princess dress over your child's head. I really hate glitter. It is now banned forever from my house.