More About Kalea's Eyeballs

Today we ventured back to the Children's to meet some more friends at the vision clinic. This time Kalea did great at the vision test, if she were more patient, she might have done way better but so far on her good eye we have 20/40 vision, more than I think they were expecting. So that's great. The optologist today got a way better look at her eyes- thanks to the fact that she wears glasses and was clipping all sorts of fun little dinosaurs and animals to the bridge of her glasses- pretty clever trick if you ask me. At the end of the optologist part of the appointment Kalea had to have the dreaded dilation drops dripped into her eyes. It's a good thing Steve joined us for this appointment, he was able to hold man-handle Kalea in his lap so that her head was still and her arms were under control. Haha, but as we know from prior experience, as soon as she saw to bottle of drops she spazzed, and not just a little spazz, a full out kicking and screaming fit. As in, she almost kicked the nice optologist lady in the face before a drop even made it to her eyes! LOL So then I got to hold  grab/hug her legs while Steve and the optologist pried her eyes open enough to get the drops in. Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth x100, I'm sure every kid that saw us come out thought something really bad had happened. We hid in the waiting area with the tv and the farmhouse, so as not to disturb the others. It's crazy how big those drops made Kalea's pupils, like MASSIVE difference from normal to that. It was all good though. Dr. Cooper is AWESOME. We couldn't have asked for a better person to treat Kalea, she was super straight forward and blunt with us about how Kalea's behaviors will affect how we treat her. Yes ladies and gentleman, someone was finally brave enough to say "There's no way in heck your very strong willed child is going to willingly participate in any of this", I knew that already, but it was nice to have a doctor not sugar coat it and say "Oh all 3yr olds are like this" because we are well aware that they aren't. That is refreshing and makes me so happy that we were referred to this specific person, she is just what my strong willed child needs. She was able to get a really great idea of what is happening with the turned eye, and was good at getting Kalea to listen and do what she was asked. Dr. Cooper is one of those kind of awkward ladies that's really smart, and at first you think kind of abrasive, but she's actually super friendly. I am a huge fan.
On that note, we now have a plan for treatment, and it's not the route we were necessarily hoping for, but it's going to be what's best for Kalea, so we're happy. We will be putting drops in Kalea's good eye to blur it's vision for the next 6wks. That will force her turned eye to straighten out a bit and to work harder/better and hopefully increase it's function. As Dr.Cooper said "She's not going to like this because she doesn't see so great out of that turned eye." When we go to the doctor in March we'll decide if patching the eye is worth it- which probably would be, but knowing Kalea it's not going to happen. So we'll probably skip that step and go straight to the surgery step to straighten the eyes and give her some depth perception. Oh yeah, new development, she has very little, if any, depth perception- which may be why she's so fearless. She can't see 3D movies?! Now I know why she's never interested in them or any kind of 3D animation/claymation etc... It is kind of nice to know we'll never have to pay extra to go see 3D movies- I guess that's a bonus, right? For now anyways. The reason they want to get the weak eye stronger is so we only have to do the surgery once, some doctors will go straight to surgery without strengthening the eye and then these little kids have to have 5-6 surgeries before they're 6yrs old. Sad. So tomorrow we begin the drops which is going to make Kalea really unhappy with us. It's also going to make her seem a little blind. She's also going to be pretty irritable, and more whiny than usual. Lovely. We are looking forward to the little bit of annoyance in exchange for her being able to see more clearly out of both eyes. Hopefully she gets used to the drops fast and doesn't put up a crazy fight every day, but I'm not holding my breathe on that one, I might wear a helmet just in case!
***Somebody asked me the other day how I'm dealing with all of this, ha, maybe this is a good time to explain some more of the "tender mercies" that I've noticed recently that have been with me for a long time. First of all, I have the knowledge that this is not the worst possible thing to happen in our life ever. In fact, I've had 3.5yrs to prep for the surgery, we were hopeful that we wouldn't need it, but definitely not surprised that it's the best option. I also have more experience with eyeball dysfunction than I remembered, in fact all this eye stuff doesn't really bother me at all. In Kindergarten- yes Kindergarten- I rode the bus to school with a little girl who had what I now know to be a "wandering eye", she just told us all that one of her eyes had "jumping beans". Cute. She had glasses and a bunch of surgeries, I remember because there would be a stretch here and there, where she wasn't on the bus because she had to stay home, etc... And she almost always had funky sunglasses with her- just in case the light started to bug her eyes. She was always talking about doctors and nurses and her surgeries, but I think that helped make it less scary for her, and now I'm realizing what a blessing those memories are for me, no need to be scared they are highly capable people. I also had another friend in Kindergarten who got stabbed in the eye with something, and a tip of whatever it was broke off in his eye, so he had to have major surgery and he wore a patch with glasses for as long as I can remember. I'm talking well into Elementary school and then he moved away and when he came back to visit in Gr.6 he was finally just wearing glasses. Anywho, it seems that in almost every stage of school I've come in contact with someone who has an "eye thing" and I think all that has just made me more comfortable with the idea of my own kids possibly needing strange prism glasses, eye patches, glasses, surgeries, etc...Things have come a long way since I was in Kindergarten, the drops that Kalea will be on have only been used for the last 20yrs, haha that made me feel old. But it's amazing how certain medical fields have advanced in just my lifetime and we have a lot of faith that those advancements are really going to benefit Kalea now. We are so grateful to be working with such knowledgeable and fun people, and are looking forward to Kalea being able to enjoy more perfect vision really soon! Wish us luck, the next few weeks are going to be an adventure I'm sure.


Sheri said...

Best of luck!!! I think you might be onto something with the idea of wearing a helmet ;)
What a blessing to have awesome medical staff to work with. You guys are in my prayers.

Brooke said...

My niece had an eye surgery at a few months old and again at 6. She had to wear the eye patches as well, I know she got some cute pink ones similar to kids bandaids. She had to wear the patch for a few months for a few hours a day, but she has great vision and her eyes look great now.

Way to have a great attitude! GOOD LUCK!

Alana said...

I love the description of the doctor as that was how are favorite cardiologist was like. I wish you all the luck in the eye drops, who knows if she'll get used to you putting them in but you'll get to be a pro at pinning her down to get them in.

One of the biggest blessings you have is that the hospital is in the same city as you. It so great you can see the blessings when you have a trial.

Kim said...

I hope the eye drops are going good! Such a blessing to be taken care of like that. I know that Heavenly Father really does watch out for us and knows us better than we even understand. I always think how blessed we are to be put in doctors care who just happens to be a perfect fit for what we need. Hope everything continues to go perfectly!!