family · stress

In a Freak Fishing Accident….

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.

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24 thoughts on “In a Freak Fishing Accident….

    1. Yeah, a real freak thing. Two small objects aligning perfectly to cause the most damage possible. It happened to me once with a stick and my eardrum!

  1. I am so sorry to hear about this frightening accident. I can well understand Daniel’s fear and terror, but in general, there is probably no way to form a prognosis until the eye heals. Best to just reassure him constantly and make him as comfortable as possible until the next Dr’s appointment. I assume the eye doctor didn’t insist on a eye patch? If he had a patch, he wouldn’t be trying to count fingers you hold up?

    There is nothing to be gained by the fear of the unknown, but stress. Trying not to stress is easier said than done.

    And remember that we all have to live our lives doing what we love and the fear of what might happen on a fishing expedition is no reason to stop fishing. Daniel has to learn to live life to the utmost with a reasonable sense of caution and act responsibly in his hobbies and sports. He must learn that some risks are acceptable and some not. He must also grow from this experience as it forms part of his maturation to adulthood. So must his friend.

    But I really hope his eye heals 100% and there is no side-effect to his vision. We don’t realise how important our vision is to everyday life until it’s not there.

    1. The ER gave Daniel an eye patch but the ophthalmologist said he doesn’t have to wear it. He chooses to part of the time because bright light hurts his eyes. He occasionally flips it up to check the vision. He doesn’t seem too worried that things are still so blurry. I hope he’s not stressed about it. I’m worried but not obsessively stressing, if you know what I mean. It’s still early.

      I won’t discourage him from going fishing. When he talks about how peaceful it is to be out by the river or a lake, it makes me happy that he’s experiencing that. I am going to buy him sunglasses though!

  2. great reminder fer me to always wear my safety glasses or sunnglasses whilst fishin……
    hope recovery is fast, i myself have had eye filled with blood before by injury like that breaking the blood vessels.so be careful stress not an..relax it will heal soon 🙂 … Take care to him frum da’ Q

      1. yes thanQ fer da reminder also …need to remember this i fish a lot, my luck id get the hook in da eye…so i whall keep glasses handy whilst fishin.namaste frum da’ Q

    1. Yeah, this makes me glad that I wear glasses even though they are a pain in many ways. I never imagined it would be so hard to deep the damn things clean!

  3. How scary! I hope Daniel is recovering well. So grateful you sought immediate medical attention and were wise to get to ER where appropriate eye specialist could treat your son. Waiting in recovery is so hard to deal with. The uncertainty can drive you mad. Please don’t hesitate to call the ophthalmologist with any concerns or vision changes.

    Know that I’m thinking about you and Daniel. He has to rest hard now so he can play hard later!

    1. Daniel is recovering well, at least comfort-wise. His eye is feeling better and looking better too. I will keep reminding him to rest hard so he can play hard later! He’s such an energetic kid. Laying around is difficult for him.

  4. So sorry this happened to your son. It must have been so scary, but well done to you for being so quick off the mark and deciding on the right hospital to take him to. I hope his eye heals well.

  5. I had to skim through this post to keep from getting too squeamish (Yeah, I know, with some of the things I write), but I hope all goes well. My Dad had a lot of issues with eye bleeding as a diabetic, and usually the vision returns once the blood goes away…

    1. Sorry, I should have been less descriptive for those that get squeamish about this kind of stuff!

      Your poor Dad. Diabetes does such terrible things to the body.

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