Cross-Eyed Life

January 30, 2018

Hey Everyone,

I am sorry for not posting the last few days. Life has been in one of those upheavals. Last Thursday my oldest son had eye surgery to correct his Strabismus. This is a condition in which his eyes did not align properly to focus on objects causing double vision, lack of depth perception, and blurred vision. He has had this condition since birth, but Husband and I didn’t notice it until he was about two when it was blatantly obvious to everyone else around us.

We should have noticed something before he turned two, but just thought it was normal for a child’s depth perception to be off like our oldest child presented. As he was moving into the different stages of development he would crawl more to the right side than straight towards an object, or when he would walk he didn’t grasp how far away an object was and would either trip or fall right into the object.

With working as an emergency dispatcher I was asked to bring my kids in to have some of the new EMT students do assessments on them for practice. The different EMT groups went around and would comment on Monster’s eyes and ask if it was normal for them to be that way. It started to freak Husband and me out so we asked the teacher what we should do since he was a registered Physicians Assistant. That was when he recommended we see an optician who then referred us to a child ophthalmologist.

He was two years old when he saw the ophthalmologist in Napa, CA where he was given a prescription for his near sidedness sight. The results were breathtaking. After putting on his glasses, the first thing he said when we walked out, “Lights on the car” about the truck parked next to us outside the office that had been there when we had arrived. We almost cried because we didn’t realize that his sight had been that bad.

There were never really any fights about putting his glasses on and keeping them on because his sight was so bad. His vocabulary exploded because he could then see the world around him more clearly.

Back to the strabismus though, we started working with the ophthalmologist in Napa, CA to do some vision therapy including eye patching and even eye drops. Unfortunately, two years into the treatment, we moved to Reno, NV and had to start over with a new ophthalmologist.

Now, he is six years old. The vision therapy didn’t work. He hated the eye patches and every time we had to put in eye drops everyone in the house would end up in tears because of the massive stress it would put on us. Monster didn’t care for it because we were purposely blurring his vision in one eye to force his left eye to work. Even though his depth perception was still way off and he saw double of everything (we didn’t realize this until we saw the new ophthalmologist in Reno and they started asking him different questions).

During this journey, he had 4 different cases of pink eye. Once in both eyes, and then three times in his left eye. I swear if anything went wrong we didn’t call the Primary Care Physician, we called his Ophthalmologist. Each time he got pink eye it got worse and worse for Monster to see, his prescription changed 6 times in 4 years. Glasses are not cheap. Especially, when for the first two years we had to pay for EVERYTHING out of pocket with us having no insurance.

This surgery was the last option for us after four years of trying every option we could think of to help correct his vision. It was not a light choice to make and we knew that as he got older it would just get more difficult for him. So Husband and I put money aside as best we could during OEP and paid the $3,000 for Monster to get his eye corrected. The surgery was the longest 2.5 hours of my life.

Even though it’s been less than a week since his surgery there has been such a difference for him. He looks at everyone and everything with both eyes together. He doesn’t have any head turning trying to decide which eye to look with. And he even says that he sees one now instead of two. His peripheral vision in his left eye is broader. I am just so amazed at what a difference this had made for him.

While this will be a lifelong journey for him, I am so glad that this happened when he was young enough to not have any lasting side effects. Even though he might need a follow-up surgery, may it be in a few months, or a couple of years, we are still here for him and want what’s best for him.

This is all part of the journey.

Have any of you had vision issues? Eye surgery? Children that have had surgery? How did you get through it?

See you on the other Side.

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