Exactly six months ago, I received a call no parent ever wants to get.
The Munchkin, on the other side of the world, had developed an eye infection that was diagnosed as conjunctivitis. The Doctor’s eye drops and anitibiotics did nothing to help. In the photo she sent, she looked like the ultimate loser in an MMA punchup.
She returned to the Clinic a day later, complaining of headache and sporting half a swollen face. The Nurse Practitioner initially refused to let her consult the Doctor because she “had not given the anitibiotics sufficient time to work.”
The Munchkin recalls sticking her face into the Nurse’s, and demanding to know under what circumstances then would she be entitled to a session with a doctor? When blood leaked from her eye? Apparently, the Nurse finally took a good look at her and panicked, sending her straight in to the Doctor ahead of everybody else in the waiting room.
The Munchkin was then taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where an eye surgeon and his team were already waiting when she arrived. She was allowed to make that dreaded call, then was whisked off to get the infected fluid in her sinus cavity drained. The “conjunctivitis” turned out to be infected fluid building up under the eyeball and in her upper eyelid. And yes, it was that bad.
I was on the next available flight. 22 hours later, I was at the hospital and meeting with her surgeon and nurses. It was well past visiting hours but the surgeon had arranged for me to visit, and to stay as long as I wanted. The nurses offered hot tea and dinner, if I didn’t mind leftover beef pie. And then someone found a small tub of ice-cream.
Which is the point of this post. I can’t remember the names of every nurse who cared for The Munchkin. But if any of them reads this, or if anyone reading this knows a nurse or the surgeon at the Sunderland Royal Hospital who cared for a young girl with a swollen face (admitted 27 October 2017), please tell them I remain deeply grateful and thankful for their professionalism and care. I could never thank them enough for the level of reassurance, kindness and comfort they provided.
Thank you, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary.