Last week Rhema’s eyelid started swelling.

“It looks like a stye,” I said, unconcerned.

By Wednesday morning her eye was nearly swollen shut, and I got worried. I cancelled my plans for the day, and by the time we rushed into the doctor’s office I’d already googled Grave’s disease and eyeball tumors.

“It looks like a stye,” the doctor said, unconcerned.

I breathed a sigh of relief and felt a little silly.

“Yes, that’s what I thought. It’s just that… she can’t tell me what hurts, and well you always wonder and worry if something might be wrong, something you can’t see. She has a really high threshold for pain so I might not know there’s a problem until it’s too late. One time she had a UTI and it took me forever to figure it out…”

The doctor looked at me thoughtfully as if imagining herself in my position.

“Yes, I can see how that would be hard.”

She attempted to give Rhema a more thorough exam. But when asked to get on the examining table Rhema gripped the edges of her chair and would not budge. I tried holding her arms down while the doctor looked into her ears but that quickly turned into a shrieking fit and a wrestling match. Rhema really wanted to be helpful, but she was just too frightened and uncomfortable.

I tried not to feel frustrated. How can we make sure everything is ok if you never let the doctor examine you, little one?

“Apply warm compresses to the eye for 15 minutes at a time. I’m prescribing eye drops that you’ll need to give her 4 times a day.”

I stared at her, opened my mouth to say something then shut it.

She smiled and said goodbye. Appointment done in a matter of minutes. Rhema was psyched.

I zipped her jacket and studied her face.

Sighing I asked, “Rhema, how are you??”

Her teachers at school have taught her to respond to this question. I know she has only one glorious answer, and I needed to hear it and trust it. She looked off into the distance, but when she said it her voice was so sweet:


“Yes. Good. You are good, aren’t you?”

On the way out I texted Brandon: “Just a big ol’ stye. Dr. prescribed warm compresses and eye drops.”

I couldn’t help but giggle at his response: “Oh good… that will be easy.”


13 thoughts on “Good

  1. “Good” luck to all of you with the eyedrops & compresses — yikes.
    Joy has been saying the word “good” too recently, in various contexts. Sometimes she uses it to praise herself pre-emptively, since that’s our go-to commendation for doing things right. But yesterday we had this exchange:
    Mama: We’ll just wear a light jacket today because it’s warm.
    Joy: GOOD!

    Once again, our kiddos are on the same “good” wavelength!

  2. Eye drops. Right up there with hair cuts and getting the toenails cut and getting ticks pulled off and splinters pulled out. The kids and I will pray this morning.

  3. I laughed when “you stared at her…”. Maybe you should have suggested the Dr. give her the first dose. Maybe THEN she would “see how that would be hard.”
    Thinking of you. Bringing your name before the Father’s throne daily.

  4. I can only imagine how hard the eye drops will be. I can’t even get my kids to take eye drops without a lot of screaming and wasted drops. I have had success by having them close their eyes, putting the drops in the corner of their eye lids and then having them open and close them quickly. I’m sure even that will be a nightmare. Praying you can at least get a few of them in there!

  5. Thanks all!
    Administering the eye drops proved… impossible. I called the doc and she prescribed an ointment which is also supposed to go *in* the eye. I’ve just been swiping it across her eyelid and lashes and hoping some will go in before she wipes it off. It’s taking a while but her big ol’ eye is getting better.

  6. You are so right that Rhema’s voice IS so sweet. I was going to suggest the ointment, as well. Also, the corner of the eyes thing. #ishouldhavebeenadoctor 🙂

  7. Oh Jeneil, my mind also jumps to the worst case scenario first (Is it broken? Oh no. How will he tolerate a cast?) while my heart begins praying immediately (Please let it be just a sprain. Or nothing at all. Maybe just a bruise?)

    Hang in there!

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