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My daughter’s eyes March 3, 2011

Filed under: active parenting,life — hardierlime @ 9:24 pm

When she was born, my daughter’s eyes were the same slate grey-blue as most caucasian babies are born with.

I don’t remember when they started to change, but they were pretty well-set by the time she was six weeks old. A ring of dark blue around an ice blue center. This was surprising since I have brown eyes so dark they’re almost black, and my husband has green eyes. There is blue in our backgrounds, but since it is supposedly recessive, I just didn’t expect it. And no one has this shade.

Everywhere we went, and whenever someone new looked at her picture we would hear: “Look at those eyes! They’re gorgeous!” And not just because I’m her mother, I was inclined to agree. They are most unusual, and I like them too.

Somewhere after her first birthday, we started noticing that one eye turned in when she was trying to focus. We thought “Oh, lazy eye.” I had it, my father had it, and my husband’s mother had it, so we thought she just won the genetic draw.

We took her to the family eye doctor, and learned that she did not have a lazy eye, but rather, she was extremely farsighted – just like me. Her first pair of eyeglasses has the same prescription as my contact lenses. She broke them a couple of times, early on, but after those two times, she hasn’t done it since.

A follow up yielded that the single vision lenses weren’t helping much. Her weak eye continued to cross, so she got bifocals. Bifocals on a two year old? Yes. Crazy but true. We were really hopeful that they would be the end of the line and that it would be the correction that was needed.

Its funny, that I mentioned to my husband some time in the past week, that people always used to comment on her eyes. Now all they see are her glasses. It makes me just a little sad.

Yesterday was the follow up to the bifocal correction, and our family eye doctor let me know that he did not see any improvement, and frankly, neither had we. Her left eye still turns in, and she squints it shut when she’s trying to focus. He next recommendation was surgery.

Why surgery? Why not leave it alone? Because without it, her eye will continue to cross, and soon, her brain will begin to ignore signals from that eye, effectively making her blind on one side.

Will the surgery correct her vision? No. But, our family eye doc mentioned that it was possible that we could go back down to a single vision lens afterword. Sadly, she’ll have the same poor vision in both eyes until or unless she wants to have the surgery to correct them when she’s older.

This Friday, we have a consultation with a pediatric ophthalmologist to see just how this will play out. In the few hours I’ve been home since our appointment earlier, I’ve done a lot of research on this surgery, and nothing can make me feel at ease knowing that my baby girl will have to be under general anesthesia, and have to have surgery, but it seems like a simple procedure. My only concerns are that she will rub her eye too much and wind up messing with stitches, or not want to wear the patch that she’ll have to wear that day to prevent too much light from bothering her eye. A distant concern is that the surgery may not work, or when she gets older it may regress, and she will have to have surgery again. This happens in 15-20% of cases.

I just pray that third time will be the charm, and this will be the correction that will work.

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