Friday, March 11, 2011

Fears for Tears


Today I am grateful for:

-alarm clocks, which woke me for a 3AM four-hour-pre-surgery feeding and then again (what felt like minutes later) for a 7AM surgery

-good health insurance

-a warm-hearted pediatric ophthalmologist known for his precision during surgery

-dear friends who watched Anderson overnight, during surgery AND for some time afterward so Max (read: I) could recover

-pep talks and support from my best friends, my best sisters and and my best mom

-a careful anesthesiologist who answered all my dumb questions without making me feel dumb

-the most chill, accommodating 8 month old on the planet

-a 6AM MST “tell me everything” phone call from my mom

-patient, sensitive nurses who didn’t rush explanations, handed me Kleenex and gushed over how cute my baby is

-Priesthood blessings

-Harley, who goes through it all with me

-a healthy Baby Max who is already back to his babbling, hungry, joyful, army crawling, two-toothed, adorable self

There’s more to this list. See Fabulous Right Now.


Max was born with a blocked tear duct in his left eye. For months we’ve been massaging his eye and nose, cleaning up green goop and applying drops and ointments. These things helped but didn’t completely stop the excess water and mucus. Early this morning a team of excellent doctors put my 8 month old baby under general anesthesia and probed and irrigated his tear duct, opening it, so tears can drain properly. Isn’t the eye amazing?diagram

During surgery they discovered Max’s left tear duct was not only obstructed but infected. They cleaned that up. His right duct had some blockage as well. They opened that too. This means no more constant teary, goopy eye. Hurray! It also means this infection, which thankfully never did any real damage, is out of him. Success! Surgery further revealed, Max was born without his bottom left Lacrimal punctum, which collects tears and drains them down the nose. The doctors promise this is not a big problem. He has the top punctum, which apparently is the more crucial one. The only life difference will be when Max cries or cuts an onion, the left eye may appear weepier, showing more tears at once than the right because the left is draining slower. I say, good thing he’s a boy and won’t A) cry as much and B) deal with weepy left eye mascara messes. My mom says lots of tears is great for his future acting career.

As we were warned the hardest part was handing my baby – my baby – over to the nurse and watching her walk away with him. Talk about a mascara mess. But thankfully, the surgery was super fast. We got settled in the waiting room, I went to the bathroom, talked to my mom for 10 minutes and it was over. It was painless for Max and only traumatic for me and Harley. Mostly for me. Who knew I’d be such a mess? All week. Good thing Max is so brave. He set a great example for me.

IMG_0014 IMG_0016 IMG_0024 IMG_0032 IMG_0036 IMG_0041

IMG_0048 IMG_0053

I’m grateful for new technology. We forgot our camera. (And our umbrella. And it was pouring rain.) All these pictures were taken with my new iPod Touch. Happy Valentine’s Day to me! Not the highest quality pictures ever, but overall I was impressed. It takes decent movies too.

Everything above is pre-surgery. The pictures below (minus the last one) were snapped minutes after Max woke up.

IMG_0063 IMG_0067


Max was disoriented and cried when he woke up. The first word he said when he calmed down: “mama.” Okay, fine, it’s his only word and I’m not convinced he knows “mama” means me. But today at 8:31AM, to me, “mama” meant the world.



Ali Snow said...

What? Max knows how to say Mama? That's news. And what? You have an ipod? When did that happen? Was that a surprise? Was that always the plan? I feel like I've talked to you once since you left Utah and all this is news to me.

On to Max - what a cute little boy. He looks so cute in his gown. I'm glad everything went well and you had a good experience. I miss Max.

Jess said...

So glad everything went well! I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as "minor" surgery when it's your baby.

Tess said...

Your post made me teary! What a sweet mother you are to little Max! I would be so traumatized as well. LOVE modern medicine and I'm glad everything's ok!

Codi said...

I am so happy to hear that it was a happy ending! Yea for no more clogged tear ducts! All 3 of my girls have had that the first few months.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

Oh how I love him. Good thing you did it...infection and clogged duct both fixed :) Such a cute little patient.

I'm impressed with the pics from you I-touch.

Carter said...

Sounds like things went well; I wish you the best in the future (Sadie had the surgery and it still goops up over a year later; sigh).

However, I must congratulate you on the post title. Clever wordplay warms my heart.

lys said...

It's so sad to see someone so bitty in a hospital gown! Poor little guy. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all this, but I'm so glad that the surgery was a success.

p.s. Ugraded phone? Does that mean you are going for upgraded service? I'm so ready for you to become a texter! xoxo

Ming said...

Beautiful post. I'm crying. Okay maybe I'm a bit extra emotional right now (you know why), but all the same it was a beautiful post and you are a beautiful mama. I'm so glad everything went so well. Max is a superstar and he couldn't look more adorable than he does in that gown. Seriously I want to reach through the screen and squeeze him. Love him. Love you.

PS Harley's hair has gotten LONG!

Szobonya Bercel said...

Ooooh, poor little guy, I'm glad everything went well and he's all right now. He is just so cute and brave and again: cute! :)
Wendy, you did well, yo're a great mom! when Aron fell from a chair last month and they had to put 4 stiches in his head in the back I almost fainted but of course stayed "alive" just for my boy... it's amazing what a mom can endure for her loved ones :)

anna banana said...

So glad he is okay and that everything went smoothly! Love you!

Ligia said...

such adorable pics of Max in his gown. He looks so happy in the before pics. So glad the surgery went well and that the whole family is well, healthy and stress-free. Absolutely love you! And I'm also loving these donuts. Just warmed one up in the microwave :o)

Anonymous said...

So sad! Seriously, you are not a wimp. This is huge. I'm tearing up just reading it! I'm glad it's all over and you can move on to happier things!

Rachel said...

Oh Sweet Wendy!! I'm so glad that is behind you and everything (read: Max) is okay. Love you!!!

Lisa Weiler said...

so glad things went well

Sarah S said...

I'm so glad the surgery went well!! Charlie had a clogged tear duct that finally went away after he was one, but I was almost certain up to that point that he was going to need the surgery. My mom still has a teary eye that was never taken care of and I am sure she would have rather had it fixed as a baby!!