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the needle and my eyelid

I decided to start with my needle in my eyelid story. Warning, it is not pretty. I decided to add a few photos (NOT of my eyelid) for those who get squeamish and would rather skip the story.

I took these photos a couple of weeks ago in the parking lot outside the medical plaza building where my eye doctor is located on a gloomy gray day (much like the weather is today).




And now the story...

Back in late July, I noticed this little lump on my bottom right eyelid. I thought it was the beginning of a stye. I tried to squish it when I first noticed it. This might have been a contributing factor of my pinkeye, which forced me to miss the first day of school for the first time in 26 years. The lump returned a week or so later and took on a life of its own. Everyone gave me advice. Nothing worked. It was even there when my school picture was taken.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally was fed up. The lump was getting bigger and harder and was beginning to hurt. I called to make an appointment with my eye doctor. I was told that my regular eye doctor was in Guam (providing free eye care, which I think is pretty cool). I was given the option of seeing his associate if I did not want to wait. Usually I would have decided to wait, but I figured the most intrusive thing he would do was to prescribe drops, so why wait any longer.

The eye doctor I saw (who seemed quite nice) said it looked like a stye. That is what I figured it was (according to friends and google). He said that the usual way he would treat a stye that did not go away on its own was to cut it open to let the contents drain out. Cut it open??? Fortunately, after looking at it, he said that the shape of my lump would probably not respond well to this treatment. Instead he wrote a prescription for two types of eye drops. After a glitch at the pharmacy, which resulted in days of phone calls, I started on the drops and continued with the warm compresses.

Two weeks later (last Friday) I went back for my follow-up. My regular eye doctor was back from Guam. He took one look at it and said it was not a stye. He said it was some sort of clogged duct. I can't remember the medical term but I am pretty sure it was not called a chalazion, which is the only name I keep finding on google that sort of describes the lump. He told me that he would recommend injecting some sort of steroid directly into the lump. He said it would be "a little uncomfortable". My regular eye doctor is an excellent eye doctor. I would trust him with any treatment he would recommend. Since the eye drops I just tried did not work and I was not about to bring up the option of having him cut it open, I figured the needle would be the way to go.

I was brought into another room and waited for about 15 minutes. I sat there staring at the needle, which was all prepared sitting on this metal tray as well as some sort of stuff in a tube, some sort of bloody looking liquid in a jar (which I later found out was betadine), and some long q-tip looking things.

Finally, after I spent 15 minutes imagining all kinds of scenarios, my eye doctor came in and asked if I was ready. He apologized in advance for the "uncomfortable feeling" I was about to experience. He put a couple of different eye drops in my eye. One was an antibiotic and one was to numb my eyelid (the second one did not work very well). He said he was sorry a few more times as he had me look up. The one good thing was that I was not able to see the needle. As he started to inject the steroid solution, he said "bee sting". That was probably not the best thing to say. I started to think of both bees and needles and it made me freak out even more. I squirmed in the chair like a little kid at the dentist as he slowly injected steroid solution through the thin sharp needle into the lump in my lower eyelid.

It was much more than a little uncomfortable. It was very painful. It was more painful than the thick dull needled that was inserted in my neck 11 days earlier as part of my shoulder manipulation procedure for my frozen shoulder and it seemed to last forever. I was not a good patient. He continued to say he was sorry a few more times.

I was so happy when he finally put that needle down. I thought that was it. I was wrong. After putting some of the betadine solution on my eyelid, he started to squeeze the lump with the long q-tip looking things and squish out some of the puss. That hurt even more than the needle. I squirmed some more. I was so relieved when he finally finished. At this point, my eyelid was very sensitive.

He finished up by putting a few more solutions on my eyelid and prescribed me two more types of eye drops, which I need to put in my right eye four times a day. This is not as easy as it sounds. Not only do I need to remember to put the drops in my eye four times a day, I need to remember to bring the drops to school, put one of them in the refrigerator at school, and then remember to take the drops back home again each day.

Even though having a needle stuck in my eyelid was not fun, at least I did not have to have my eyelid cut open. I am so thankful my regular eye doctor was available to do this procedure. Not only is he an excellent eye doctor, he is also very kind and caring. He must have said he was sorry about 100 times (before he started, while he injected me, and many more times afterwards). My eyelid has been pretty sore most of the weekend. It is finally starting to feel better today. Although my eyelid is still really red on the inside part of my eyelid, at least the lump hardly is noticeable. Hopefully the lump will be completely gone once the swelling goes down and all will be good when I go back to see my eye doctor this week.

Thanks again for all of your good wishes when I first mentioned the needle in my eyelid experience.

*Update Nov. 21st: I went back to my eye doctor this afternoon for my follow up appointment. When my eye doctor asked how I was, I told him that my eye is wonderful and then told him that friends mentioned that I should have at least been given a lollipop, a stiff drink, or better yet a box of chocolates. I think I made him feel bad. Either that or he is just too nice. He apologized to me again, saying "I'm sorry" at least five more times. When he took a look at my eye, he was amazed. The lump, officially called a chalazion, is completely gone. He had an intern with him. I think he was disappointed that there was nothing to show her. When I asked him if it was normal for the chalazion to disappear this quickly, he said that it was not. Lucky me!! The ugly chalazion is no more.

Comments (15)

Ack!! That sounds scary...I probably would have run screaming from the room before he even got near me with the needle.

Did you get a lollypop?

Ha ha!! I wish! Maybe I should ask him next time :)

OMG! It makes me squirm just reading it. Love the photos of those hot pink bushes though! I hope that you are done with doctors and needles for good now.

LOL about the lollypop. I would have wanted a stiff drink after that. :)


Yeah, make that a couple o' stiff drinks!! Yikes, what a horrid procedure, although glad to hear your eye is finally starting to feel better. Goodness, you do come down with some oddball conditions, dontcha?! :)

Those photos are incredible, the colours just jumps off the screen at me. So beautiful.


Well, I know that people who willingly face a room of four year olds on a regular basis are brave, but really, you more than deserve a lollipop. Go treat yourself to something! Glad your medical issues are over!

Ouch! You are a brave one. I imagine, moving too much while he had a needle near your eye wouldn't have been a good idea. Hope it is feeling and looking better.


Poor you! You have been on a run of painful medical issues. And anything around the eyes makes me feel very, very squeamish.

I hope this is the end of the 2 eye problems, that your frozen shoulder settles down and, hey -- if bad things come in threes, maybe this is the end!

Speaking of things that make me squeamish, I've been putting off a colonoscopy. I'm not sure which would be worse -- needle in eyelid, or probes in unnatural places!

Lovely photos, fantastic colours. Something beautiful to take our minds of medicine!

I am happy to report that my eye is pretty much back to normal! It is so nice to finally have that ugly bump gone. I guess that was my reward. I might just have to bring up the lollipop idea with my eye doctor this Friday when I go back for hopefully my last follow up visit.

Annie, the hot pink bushes are bougainvillea plants. The purple and pinkish color plants are my favorites. I just loved the contrast with the green and the grayish skies that day. The first time I ever noticed this plant (which is every where in Hawaii) was when I moved to Hawaii. I was surprised to also see bougainvillea plants in many parts of Italy.

Anne, it does seem that way lately. I am thankful though that all of them have been pretty minor. I am just a wimp. The colors jumped out at me when I drove into the parking lot that day. I was so glad I had my camera with me.

Amy, yes I certainly agree that one needs to be brave to face 4 year olds on a regular basis (I actually have a mixed class with both 3 & 4 year olds! AND occasionally a 2 1/2 year old...an insane idea the Dept. of Ed has).

Oh Sandra, I have had a colonoscopy. NOT fun. The poking around part really is nothing. The doctor either knocks you out or gives you some sort of happy juice, which makes it a pretty easy experience. It is the preparation that is the difficult part. I know I am going to need one again soon and I am NOT looking forward to it at all. I would choose another frozen shoulder procedure over a colonoscopy any day. I'm not sure though if I would choose another needle in the eyelid over a colonoscopy.

Brenda :

That's nasty.
So happy for you that it's over, though. You are very brave to go through with this!
I'd be running for the hills, screaming, "Noooooo!" every step of the way!!!
Good for you though...that's the best solution...go get it taken care of, right away.

It reminds me of my visit to a doctor who was on vacation relief for our regular doctor. I had a very itchy and sore eye and it was miserable. The new doctor took a quick look, told me I had a bit of an infection and gave me a prescription for some eye cream. After a day of using it, my eye was 20 times as bad as before I started the cream!

My regular doctor returned in the nick of time!
When I went to see him, with my eye swollen like a ping pong ball had been inserted underneath the eyelid, he took one look at me, told me I was now allergic to the cream that the other guy gave me, and the initial reaction was actually because of a new mascara I'd tried the day before the irritation began.
He said that a lot of eye infections and irritations can be traced back to a change of eye makeup, and that the red dye in a lot of eye shadows is hideously irritating to a lot of people. Lesson learned.

Yuck! Eye stuff...always makes me gag thinking about having anything done to my eyes. No Lasik surgery for me! Just thinking about it makes me reeeeeeeally pukey!

Happy to hear that it's all over and you are feeling much better! :-)

Oh you poor baby! That sounds just awful. I am such a wimp, I would have been out of there and running away as soon as he approached with the needle. Glad to hear you feel better, though!!


Oh my! What an ordeal to have gone through. As one whose vision has been marginal all my life, I'm incredibly squeemish about anything happening in that area. Glad you made it through, and that all is well now. I think you should hold out for a grownup box of chocolates or a lovely bottle of wine from your doctor - the heck with the lollipop!

Thanks, too, for the fantastic pictures of bouganvellia - I really love the vivid color it adds to the landscape.


Brenda, wow, that sounds horrible. I am glad you were able to be seen by your regular doctor before it became even worse! My grandmother was legally blind (congenital cataracts). She always preached being careful with my eyes, knowing what it was like to not have good vision. I try to change my mascara every six months. I just wish they would sell a smaller size since I rarely wear make-up. It seems I have only used the mascara a few times before it is time to throw it out....but it is not worth the grief to keep it longer. I did not know about the red dyes.

Chiocciola, if I didn't really want that lump gone, I probably would have bolted also. Not sure what I will do if I ever get another one now that I know what is in store.

Judy, your comment cracked me up! I see him again tomorrow. If I get brave enough, I may just tell him all of the comments I have received about lollipops, stiff drinks, and boxes of chocolate :) Sorry to hear that your vision is not 20/20. Glad you enjoyed the bouganvellia. I never tire of seeing these plants and bushes.

Hi Joe, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I apologize for not publishing it sooner. It was hidden in my junk folder. I never even thought about my moving around with the needle so close to my eye! I am not sure though even if I did that I could have stopped my squirming. I really am not that brave, I was just tired of the aggravating lump. I think inpatient would describe me better :)


Been there done that and im still geting the little red ball in my right eye not as big but i wish they would go away.

i had two sty on my eye and it did not go away and i went to my reguarl doctor he gave me some pill to take and some eye drop and that still did not worked and i get it cut out it hurt and hurt

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