You might have seen it on Facebook, if we’re friends there, but Alexander had a tear duct probe on Thursday. Several people asked me what happened, so I thought I’d explain here.
Basically, some babies are born with blocked tear ducts. It’s relatively common. The tears in the eye normally drain into the nose through tear ducts. But if the tear duct is clogged, the tears can’t drain properly and pool up in the eye. Think of sleep in the corner of your eye but multiplied by a lot and stuck in your eyelashes. Yup, that’s what we’ve been dealing with for 8 months. The blocked duct usually will clear up on its own in most babies. Alexander actually had both ducts blocked when he was born. The right one cleared after a week or two, but the left never did.
We had an appointment with an eye doctor like a month ago and he told me that if the duct doesn’t unblock itself after 6 months, it’s unlikely that it will. (Though I’ve read a year in other places online.)
So we scheduled a tear duct probing to unblock it. It’s exactly what it sounds like and kind of makes me shiver just thinking about it. Apparently, and I didn’t realize this when I picked the eye doctor, some doctors choose to do this under anesthesia and some do not. The doctor that we went to does put the baby under. I guess mostly so he doesn’t move.
I was sort of nervous about the whole thing but at the same time, I wanted to do it because goopy eye is not fun – for me and Jason or Alexander. So we found ourselves at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta bright and early on Thursday morning.
They took his vitals and all of that and said that one parent could come into the operating room with him while they put him under. The one parent was me. It was sort of upsetting to see the mask over his face. He cried for about a minute and then fell asleep and they escorted me to the recovery area where Jason already was.
Literally five minutes later, they wheeled Alexander in. He was still asleep. The nurse said he’d wake up and time between right then and 15 minutes. The minutes seemed to creep by and I might have started googling things on my phone like, “can a baby not wake up from anesthesia?” when the nurse came in again and asked if we wanted her to wake him. She got a wet washcloth and put it on his face and he woke up.
(Yes, he has writing on his forehead. So the doctor did the correct eye!) He was a little fussy upon waking, but after we got home, he was back to his old self.
(He’s doing some weird mouth thing in these pictures because he’s getting some teeth, I think.)
So far, the eye seems good. We have to put drops in it for a few days (you can imagine how fun that is) but I haven’t seen any of the goopy gunk. While it was a little nerve-wracking, I’m glad we did it and hopefully Alexander is too.