Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pink Eye: The Pros and Cons

If you're a mom, you have probably dealt with pink eye, or conjunctivitis, the infection of the "conjunctiva", or outermost layer of the eye and the inner layer of the eyelid. It can be caused by bacteria, a virus or allergies. It is characterized by a pink color to the eye, a yellowish discharge from the corners or the eye, swelling, itching, and is EXTREMELY contagious. Here is an example of pink eye in Twin B...



(Although it looks bad, he obviously wasn't suffering from it at the time of the photo.)

...and here's an example of pink eye in Twin A...



(The infection can't be seen so well in this photo, but you may notice his swollen eyes as he pensively ponders his block.)


 Now, you may be wondering what could possibly be the pros of a child having an affliction such as this. There aren't many, and, of course, I would never willing inflict my child with this condition, but let me just share my feelings here.

The Cons:


1. Pink eye is EXTREMELY contagious, as I mentioned above. Twin B started it, and Twin A, the 3-year-old boy, and the 7-year-old girl now all have it.

2. To treat it, one has to administer antibiotic drops or cream to the eyes 3 to 4 times a day. I'm sure you can imagine how much fun this is.....times eight (eyes).

3. For the past 6 mornings, at least one person has woken in the morning unable to open an eye, because of the stuck-on puss. My choices are to scrub the eye area with a warm wet cloth, listening to screams of seeming torture, or let them eat breakfast one-eyed. I won't tell you which option I chose at times.

4. The mom can't go anywhere outside of her home, for fear of becoming the town Pariah and infecting everyone and their mother and their dog.

The Pros:

1. The mom can't go anywhere outside of her home. At other times in my life, I would have developed cabin fever having to stay home with the kids this long, but because I'm 6 days short of 40, about to deliver my 10th child, have an unquenchable urge to nest, and just really love nothing more than staying home right now, this has been a wonderful thing..for me...in this one aspect. If I do have to go somewhere, such as to play the piano at a church meeting, I get to must ask one of the older kids to stay home with the 4 children until I can return.

2. The 7-year-old girl will have to be home schooled for a week, as this is how long the infection seems to linger. While she herself does miss school, I am selfishly loving having her home. She plays with the 3 three and under all day long....



...and I don't think my house has EVER been this clean, thanks to her toddler distracting skills.

3. Four kids having pink eye gives me something to blog about.

So there you have it, my honest, selfish feelings. Lest you believe I may have a case of Munchausen by proxy, don't worry. I am only trying to find the silver lining of the rainbow, or the "blessings in disguise", as my father always encouraged me to do. Really, though, I do hope they get better soon. My mom and sister will be coming into town next weekend and I want us all to be able to go out to dinner! Thanks for listening.

16 comments:

alessandra said...

I just posted about conjunctivitis, strange, hope they are better now.

*Jess* said...

nice timing! I think my son may have pink eye too!

laurice romney. said...

oh my gosh Jen that looks horrible!
Hope they get better soon.

Amanda B. said...

sooooo been there....though, it has been awhile. I shouldn't speak to soon... :)

Nadine said...

May be I should not post this :)) but I have a really quick remedy for pink eye that makes it all better in 24-48 hours...but may be you do not want to hear that:)) since the 7 year old might be back at school earlier and then you would loose your little helper.:((
But I will share anyways...just in case you want to "use" it in the future...
Breast Milk is wonderful healer of pink eye!!!just don't tell the older kids...seriously squirt some in a little cup...do eye washes...and voila...pink eye gone!!!
PS...only to be used when you do not want a 7 year old helper:))

Blessings

Nadine

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Wow, Nadine, that is a really interesting remedy! Unfortunately, I don't have any breast milk available currently, but will in 4 or 5 weeks, so I'll have to remember that! That is awesome!

Unfortunately, I guess I'll just have to keep the 7-year-old girl home a while longer!

Keeslermom said...

I've heard that about breast milk too. Maybe we should all keep a few milk ice cubes for future use!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

KeeslerMom, that is a novel idea!

Hen Jen said...

pink eye stinks...but how nice to be enjoying this time with your dd.

love the couch photo, so sweet!

Becky said...

Hi Jen,
One of my sons gets "allergic conjuctivitis" pretty regularly--every time he gets a cold...it isn't contagious, but I can always tell when the eye is starting to get red...so we keep the eye drops handy all the time. Here is my little tip that one of our pediatrician taught me years ago...Have them lay flat, with both eyes closed. Drop two or three drops of the antibiotic eye drops onto the tear duct (inner corner) of each eye. Then, have them open their eyes and roll them around. It still doesn't feel great, but you (and they) are spared trying to aim the drops onto their eyeball while they squirm and scream. Hope that helps a bit. In the mean time, it sounds like you are making the most of your time at home! :)

Shmonae said...

haha! That is GREAT! I always make my kids WEAR GLOVES!! I don't car if it is 89 degrees outside, I don't care if they can't wipe when they go to the bathroom. I don't want it, so I just don't care :) So far it has worked. My kids always seem to pick it up after being at Wallmart!

The Farmer's Wife said...

Jen...I am not sure if I should be happy or sad for you????!!! Good luck!

Cheryl B. said...

Jen, I would sincerely like to congratulate you on your progress in looking for the good in situations!!! {Man, that sounds condensending, and I don't mean it to be at all!!!}

I just know that this is an area you have previously mentioned struggling with, and this post proves you are working on it. :-D

A suggestion about the pink eye - after the kids have eaten their breakfast, and thus are in a better frame of mind, have them lay on their backs on the kitchen couch and place a considerably warm, VERY moist towel over thir eyes. Then after about three or four minutes, it should be much eaiser to clean the eyes.

Now true, this requires getting them to lay still, but if you can get them to just once, they will willingly do so thereafter, cuz it is w-a-y less painfull than scrubbing at the eyes!!! Then, while you have them on the couch, apply the eye drops the way that "Becky" reccommended.

So your mom and sister are coming in for your birthday huh? I've been fully aware that it's almost here - but you have yet to send me a requested mailing address (either yours or your mom's) ... hint ... hint ...

Jamie H said...

I've never met a person who can make a con out pink eye. :)

Anonymous said...

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www.whatistheeye.wordpress.com

Sara said...

Did you know that Chamomile teas cures Pink Eye? It was the most wonderful discovery for me. You make it w/o sugar of course. Between uses, you put it in the fridge. Nuke it a bit before using a cotton ball to apply over both eyes once at night and once in the morning. AND NEVER DOUBLE DIP. Saves money on prescriptions/Dr. visits and works a heck of a lot faster than them.