In a freak fishing accident Thursday afternoon, Daniel, my 16-year-old, injured his eye. Or, I should say the lead weight on his friend’s line injured Daniel’s eye when it came flying out of the water, somehow aligning itself perfectly with Daniel’s open eye.
After the boys freaked out for a few minutes, Daniel called me, beginning the conversation with, “can you meet us at the walk-in clinic?” and ending it with, “I’ll never see out this eye again.”
I drove like a madwoman to the walk-in clinic. I got there before the boys so I ran in to see if the walk-in clinic could even treat something like this. The receptionist said they didn’t have an eye specialist and that they would have to triage. She said this last part as she glanced around the waiting room, which was packed with sick people. I decided staying there would be a waste of time. I took Daniel to the Swedish Hospital ER in Mill Creek.
After a super quick trip through the ER, we had a diagnosis of corneal abrasion and hyphema, which is bleeding inside the eye, and were on our way to the ER’s on-call ophthalmologist in north Seattle. Dr. Sun confirmed the ER’s diagnoses, scraped dead tissue off Daniel’s eyeball and prescribed four different kinds of eye drops and bed rest. For up to two weeks. Apparently, there is a big risk of a secondary bleed that could be caused by something as simple as bending over to tie a shoe. Or coughing. Or sneezing.
As scary and likely as a secondary bleed sounds, I have been able to not worry about it too much. Mostly, I worry that he won’t get the vision back. I’m sure that’s Daniel’s main worry too. He keeps saying, “hold up some fingers.” I hold up two. He guesses three. I hold up four. He guesses two. At the ophthalmologist’s office yesterday, the only letter he could see on the vision test was the big E that took up the entire screen and he was guessing a bit when he said E. It hasn’t been that long but, still, it’s worrisome.
While I worry every time Daniel goes out fishing with his friends, this is a scenario I never imagined. It’s so crazy. That weight could have hit him anywhere else and it wouldn’t have been a big deal. On the other hand, it could have been the hook that hit him, so it could have been worse. And no one drowned, so there’s that to be thankful for.