A Little More Strabismus

This morning we were at UCLA before our 8am appointment. I know from past experience that two families will have 8am appointments, but one family will sign in first, and they will be first.

Alexander had an eye exam, no dilation, but an exam nonetheless. I thought that today they would schedule a surgery, unfortunately even after two sets of surgery, nine years of wearing glasses and diligent patching Alexander’s eyes aren’t in perfect alignment.

I thought his right eye turned out a little, but it’s actually his left eye coming up. My son cocks his head to the side when he’s concentrating. I thought it was adorable, but now that I see that it’s compensation for eyes that aren’t quite straight I find it crushing.

The doctor changed the prescription on his contact lens and we’ll see if that corrects the issue in the next three months. At the end of the quarter we’ll have another exam and evaluate the progress, the prognosis and make a decision about surgery. It’s a small surgery, only two, maybe three muscles, possibly only one eye.

Unless it’s your eye, then it’s a big surgery. Oh, or if it’s your child. That’s a big surgery too.

Alexander is old enough, and perceptive enough that he’s in on the discussions. He understands that we’re fighting to get him depth of vision, and he really loves sports, he wants to be able to see everything. It’s nice that he’s so mature, and that he can talk about what he needs and wants. We are somewhere beyond privileged that we live in Los Angeles and have the best physicians practicing here. We are just plain lucky that insurance handles everything.

But I still don’t feel lucky, happy or privileged today. Today I feel like vomiting. Tomorrow will be different.

Comments 7

  1. My sister’s crossed eyes developed when she was three. She went through 3 operations and lots of exercises and specialists. I’m sure my mom could have empathized with you.

  2. My daughter has Duane’s syndrome – an uncorrectable nerve disorder that affects the movement and alignment of her eyes. We are fortunate that her condition is mild – only a 5 degree turn in her left eye and minimal abduction in her right eye. We should feel fortunate, I know. We ARE fortunate, I know. But every seven months when we go to see the paediatric opthamologist, I want to puke, too. It sucks.

  3. We’ve been on the fence about surgery. Our first ped. opth thought it could all be corrected with glasses, then he retired. The new one wants to do surgery. She said it is mostly cosmetic. She went to Harvard, so I am sure she is smart, but I just can’t wrap my head around it.

    Isn’t it a little late for your son to develop binocular vision? I thought it had to be done before two, as the brain is now wired for the eyes working separately, but maybe that doesn’t have to do with depth of vision.

    Anyhow, hearing how two surgeries have not worked for your son puts me even more on the fence. I don’t want to put my son through more procedures. His heart is enough. We will see a different doctor next time to see if we get the same info. Honey, I can relate!

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