An Update on Autumn's Eyes

It has been six weeks since Autumn first started wearing her glasses to fix the problems in her eyes. If you're just joining us, here is a link to the post where I further explain her diagnosis. When we left our first appointment we were instructed to wear the glasses full-time and patch 1 hour each day.

Well, six weeks later we have had great success with the glasses (she puts them on without argument, and if she does remove them or put up a fuss she can be easily bribed or put into a "time out" until she puts them on).

Patching however...

I have been lucky if I have been able to get her to keep the patch on for 30 seconds. Because we are patching the eye with better vision, she is understandably annoyed when she can't see as well as a result. I admit I have not been "heavy handed" with patching as I could be, because my feelings were get her used to the glasses and then work on the patch. Maybe I was wrong, or maybe now I need to try harder with the patch.

Well, yesterday was her 6 week check-up with the pediatric ophthalmologist. When our Doctor came into the office Autumn was not amused - he tried to comfort her saying he was not going to put drops in her eyes this time around! She did eventually cooperate and even struck up a conversation with the Doctor about the pool and how fun it is. =)

The good news is that Autumn's vision/diagnosis is no worse than when we were last there!

Understandably the Doctor was disappointed we hadn't had much success patching, and gave us two options - to be more "heavy handed" with it, or he could prescribe drops to place into her good, left eye thus eliminating the need for the patch. It blurs the vision for a day and a half, making her right eye have to work harder and focus - thus increasing the vision. I'm apprehensive to use the drops however, as I found in one of my support groups that many children have behavioral problems on the drops. I asked the Doctor if anyone had expressed that reaction to the drops and he said that they did - if you couldn't see, you'd be grumpy too! I told him that I would really like to try being more strict with patching first and he could prescribe me drops to use if I find I am not having any success.

In passing he did say that eventually he would perform surgery on her eye to correct it turning inward. This took me back as I had thought her problem would be corrected with patching and glasses alone. He said he did think surgery was a possibility, at which point I expressed I'd like the decision to be made before the end of the year - because we'll meet our deductible with Brody's birth and everything after that will essentially be scott-free. He said that would be very much doable, we had a good laugh, and he sent me on my way to make our next 6 week appointment.

So we head out to the front desk and I tell the receptionist that I'd like to make Autumn's next 6 week appointment. She says to me, "Did you want to schedule your surgery now as well?"

Uh - what?

This began a conversation of confusion on both our parts - I thought we were just making a checkup appointment and she thought I was needing to schedule Autumn's surgery to correct her crossing of the eye because he had evidently filled out paperwork for it! I was under the impression we would re-evaluate her progress before we decided on surgery and our conversation during our appointment had never been about surgery, but the possibility. The receptionist tried to explain to me that if I waited 6 weeks to schedule her surgery, it could take another 3 months to get on the schedule. I could "always cancel the surgery, but it's best to make the appointment".

Though I was a bit flustered, I booked the surgery, our pre-op, our post-op, our 6 week appointment and we went on our way. Immediately however my mind started going crazy and let's be honest - my hormones started going nuts.

SURGERY?! MY BABY! They'll have to put her under. AND CUT HER EYES, HER BEAUTIFUL EYES! Will I get to stay with her while they put her under? Will she freak out? Will she wake up without me? I mean, I'm pretty sure this is a routine surgery for the Doctor, and he is the best in the area. BUT PUTTING HER UNDER?! She's not even 3!

We're sitting in the drive-thru at McDonalds for a reward of a chocolate milkshake for her being such a good girl, and I am crying like a baby and have my 2 year old in the backseat asking, "It's okay? Are you okay?"

In reality, I know that this is what is best for her and that yes, the surgery is routine, he is the best Doctor in the area and it will be okay. Pregnancy hormones, I tell ya. I cried on and off the whole way home and when I explained it to my parents. I just had to laugh through the tears because it was all a bit much and ridiculous. It just completely caught me off guard and then having to make all those decisions in a span of few minutes with other patients waiting.

Of course, my Dad gave a very loud, quick and stern NO as soon as surgery was mentioned.

The good thing is that it's not a definite "yes", the surgery must happen. But, as a vain mother my greatest concern has always been Autumn's appearance. She can wear glasses for the rest of her life, a lot of people do, but I never, ever want her to be teased because her eye crosses. If this surgery will fix that, then let's get 'er done!

So, here's to another 6 weeks. Wish us luck with patching or we'll for sure be blogging about her surgery come September 7, 2012. =)


  1. Tingen had to have surgery when he was 11 months old to correct a routine birth defect. It was a really hard decision because it was mostly cosmetic. I actually scheduled the surgery with a local surgeon and felt TERRIBLE about it, so I asked around and got a reference to a specialist 2 hours away. We took him there to be evaluated and ended up cancelling the first surgeon's appointment and going with the specialist in Phoenix. The surgery went really quick, the doctor was done an hour early and everything has gone well with it since. Best decision I made for Tingen at that age. It's hard to watch your baby go in to surgery, but it'll be ok. Good luck with everything!

  2. I'm glad to hear that her vision has not gotten any worse.

    I had a similar surgery when I was four. My eyes were crossing. Of course, I was too young to remember but I know it's not that uncommon.

    I hope that gives you some reassurance :)

    <3 Jamie

  3. I think your reaction was completely normal...I'm pretty sure I would've done the exact same thing pregnancy or not! When Brycen was put under for dental work...I was freaking out. But it went well as I'm sure Autumn's will! (if needed) Good luck!