So go grab yourself a little snack and get comfy.
Wait, one more thing ~ just a little warning that all of the pics have been scanned in and are not the best of quality ~ but you'll get the picture, I think :)
When She was born, we noticed her eyes right away. Blue and beautiful.
As she grew older her eye lashes grew longer and her beautiful blue eyes seemed to sparkle.
She was spunky, happy and stubborn. As she learned to talk the four words we most heard from her were, "I do it MYself"
So, when during her 3 year well-check she didn't want to "test" her eyes I was only mildly surprised. Her doctor said she looked perfect ~ of picture of health (especially since she had ear tubes put in when she was 11 months old). She mentioned to keep an eye on Sassy's eyes and if I noticed anything weird ~ falling down a lot, squinting, or anything suspicious to call.
It was maybe 1 week later when I saw it.
I was putting some snapshots into a photo album. It was so obvious. How had I never noticed before?! In many pictures my beautiful Sassy had 1 red eye and 1 normal eye. Weird.
And some of the time when it didn't turn out red, one eye seemed to be turning in.
We went back to the pediatrician.
We were referred to a pediatric opthamologist.
He is a very good doctor.
He is a very busy doctor.
We waited what felt like forever to see him.
And when we did, the results were shocking.
Sassy was 20/20 in her right eye ~ excellent! And 20/1000 in her left eye!
That's right, 20/1000
She was diagnosed as having Amblyopia ~ which is basically loss of vision in one eye ~ for some reason, the brain prefers one eye over the other and does not turn the other eye on. She also had significant crossing of
her left eye.
As a mother how could I not have known this! I felt like I had failed my daughter. I remember when her funny "trick" was to cross both of her eyes and then turn one back so she had one crossed eye and one straight eye. Then she would make them both straight. THIS WAS NO LONGER FUNNY! Had I missed an important sign?
Well, we were determined to get her vision back.
She was prescribed glasses (which when on would mostly correct the turning of her left eye):
And had to patch her "good eye" 15 - 20 hours a week
while pretending to be pregnant..... with a balloon.....
Just kidding! Just had to see if you were still reading along :)
We had to go back and see the eye doctor every 3 months.
There was gradual improvement in her vision ~ with lots of tears and frustrations along the way. I mean, really what 3 year old wants to wear a patch over the one eye they can see out of and basically walk around blind?
20/70 ~ stuck for what felt like FOR-E.V.E.R.
Still wearing glasses ~ trying to not scratch the heck out of them....
And still patching ~ and that got harder and harder.
She was busier.
And she was concerned about what her friends and other people might think.
There was lots of talk about "true" friends.
Eye alignment surgery.
We decided to have this surgery done to align Sassy's eyes.
She was "put under" and I cried.
Never happier to see her eye doctor and hear him say she was being transported to recovery and that they would come and get us soon. He told us her surgery went perfectly. Her eyes were finally straight and "man that girl has some beautiful eyelashes".
I just wanted my girl.
When we finally got to see her, her eyes were quite red and she was super nauseous. I'll spare you the details and just tell you it was a very long 25 minute drive home.
The first thing she wanted to do when she got home was to look at her eyes. Red or not the smile on her face when she saw how straight they were was priceless!
Straight eyes ~ WITHOUT GLASSES :)
Now, Sassy had to patch just enough to at least keep her vision where it was.
Appointments decreased from every 3 months to every 6.
No more patching, and we only have to see the doctor once a year. Here she is and here she will stay.
Sassy, her long eyelashes, her beautiful blue/green/gray eyes that are perfect and straight.
Baby it's been long and at times frustrating for all of us, but you've been a champ. You've come such a long way and I am so proud of you!