My grandpa arranged for us to see a doctor in LA while we were there to get a second opinion on Avery’s eyes. I’m glad he did because the doctor there told us that her prescription was too strong and should only be +7 in the left eye and should be +2 in the right. He also said that she should be wearing a patch all day every day and that she might have to have surgery on that eye and to find a doctor to see when we got back to Texas.
So we found a doctor here and were lucky to be able to be seen quickly. Unfortunately the doctor said that her eye wasn’t correcting well enough, even with the patch and that surgery would be best to weaken the muscle toward the inside of her eye that was pulling that eye toward her nose.
To make a long story short, her left eye has very poor vision and her eyes are crossed. That meant that her brain had to kind of pick an eye to see out of and it picked her right eye because it saw so much better. This meant that her brain grew seeing mostly out of her right eye and doesn’t use her left much at all. The patching forced her to use the left eye.
So we did the surgery on Wednesday and it all went fine. I talked to her about what was going to happen and she was all excited about it by the time we had finished talking about it, but she wasn’t very happy about it once we got to the hospital and she was in a strange place.
They gave her some medicine to make her sleepy and then took her to another room for the rest of the anesthetic and the surgery. It took a little less than an hour. They weakened the muscles that were pulling her eye in and up so she wouldn’t have to work so hard to keep it straight.
The rest of that day she slept and pretty much refused to open her eyes.
The next day she was much happier and said her eye hurt some, but seemed fine. The third day her eye got really puffy and the white of her eye was swelling up. The doctor said that that was probably a tissue reaction, but could also be a reaction to the antibiotic eye drops, or the beginnings of an infection, so she switched eyedrops for us and gave us an oral antibiotic to start. By the next day her eye was still a little red, but not swollen anymore and she was feeling a lot better.
The glasses and the surgery will make her left eye see as well as her right physically, but the doctor says that we will still have to patch her eye at least a few hours a day for several years to teach her brain to see out of that eye again. Right now her vision is 20/70 she says, but it was probably much, much worse before we started patching and most kids will get down to normal, 20/25 or 20/30.
I think probably she’s right about the eye being much much worse before patching. It’s been interesting to watch how she uses that eye more and more and gets better with it. When she first started she had to consciously do everything and she got her eyes up to within 2 inches of anything she had to see in detail. I think she ran into a wall or two as well. Of course it didn’t help that her prescription in her glasses was off I suppose.
So far, though, the surgery seems like it’s been really successful. Her eye hasn’t crossed once since the surgery. Two or three times I’ve noticed it looks like her eyes maybe aren’t quite focused on the same point, but before the surgery her eye would go right to her nose as soon as she could use her right eye. And especially when she was tired it seemed like her eyes were out of sync more often than they were in. We see the doctor again on Tuesday, so we’ll see what she says.