Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't cross your eyes or they might stay that way!

I'm not sure if I noticed before or after Ezra was born, but it was somewhere near there. The kids were all making funny faces and crossing their eyes and Sam joined in the fun. He was even able to cross just one eye! He kept doing it all week and we kept laughing. Then I noticed he did it when he wasn't trying.

So I took him to an eye doctor to get it checked. They didn't test his vision at all "because he's too little to know his letters." I assured them he does, but wondered why they wouldn't use pictures like EVERY other eye doctor I've ever encountered. Still, no vision check. The eye doctor then looked in his eyes--didn't dilate them or anything--and said they tilt in. We needed to wait 6 mos, see him again, and Sam might be ready for surgery by then. Huh? I'd done some research on this and it seemed to me there was hope that he wouldn't need surgery. So we didn't really know what to do. Roger did some searching and found a therapy method that might work that we could try at home. What else could we do? We really didn't want to sit around and wait for surgery to be needed!!

One of the girls took the above picture of Clark and Sam and caught Sam with his eyes crossed. Other than the crossed eyes, it was a good picture so I sent it to family members. My sis-in-law, Claudia, stepped in to help. My niece, Maya, had just gone through this. Claudia gave me lots of info about the condition and even had Maya's doctor call me. He recommended a doctor in Abilene. The doctor in Abilene was even willing to do the first appointment for free. That finally happened this past Saturday.

Sam's left eye is lazy probably due to astigmatism in that eye. The right eye sees better and so it's doing all the work. (I explained it to Sam by comparing it to when he and Clark have to clean their room and Sam makes Clark do all the work.) So Sam is to either wear a patch over the right eye for 2 hours a day or we put drops in his right eye that dilate it so he can't see as well. They call it a chemical patch. He's also supposed to get bifocal glasses to wear. He probably will NOT need surgery.

Up until today we've been doing the patch because Sam loves it and pretends he's a pirate. But it is quite annoying to him and he peaks with his good eye pretty often. Today he kept taking the patch off completely so we had to do drops. He screamed until it was in. Then he screamed because I wouldn't do the other eye, too. Silly boy. I guess that's partly my fault. When he wouldn't be still so I could put the drop in, I pointed out the red cap on the bottle and explained it would help him have spider vision (he loves spiderman and thus anything red). So now he wanted to have that spider vision in BOTH eyes. Anyway, it didn't seem like it was working, but after a while, one eye was definitely dilated.

Here's a couple of pics of him. In the first one, obviously he's wearing the eye patch. In the second one, he's got the drop in one eye. Look at his pupils. He's focusing just above the camera with his left eye. His right eye is "taking a break from doing all the work". Kind of weird looking!

We're still waiting for his glasses to be in, but I'm thinking they aren't going to fit right. We'll see. He's just so little! And while we've had good luck ordering from Zenni Optical in the past, they couldn't do what Sam needs. Too bad. I was hoping to get an inexpensive pair as a back up for when he loses or breaks the first pair.



Musical Mom said...

Hey I had the same issue. I had to do the patch, drops, etc. I can't remember the name of my condition but I'm near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other. Though my eyes move together, I only see out of one unless the good one is covered and then the bad one kicks in.

They caught my condition too late (I was 6 I think), so my eyes were too far developed. My oldest daughter, I caught the lazy eye when she was only 20 months and we did the drops (I had bad memories from that patch so I didn't want to do that). We did exercises, glasses (she still wears them today) and her vision is way, way better now! She still needs glasses but her 'good' eye has stayed at 20/20 because it wasn't being overworked (mine ended up getting worse) and her bad eye has improved so much. So yes, it does work! Keep it up. We never did surgery and that was only presented as a final alternative.

Mo said...

My nephew had "lazy eye" he wore the patch and never noticed it later in life. As adult had surgery for his bad eyesite. Both our both boys needed glasses in elementry. What I found out the hard way was: they needed glasses that totally flexed and bent in every direction. I blamed Barry for their bad eyesight. I blame the computer for my (may need glasses when I run into walls) eyesight. I can't stand anything on my face or in my eyes. Never really ever worn shades.

Vivian said...

Hello! This is Vivian, who's been reading your blog for quite a while now. Greg and I attend church in Coleman--Grace Baptist.

Here's my story on the eye-thing. Greg found out about his lazy eye as an adult, and one thing that helped him (and this is weird!) was to get a View-Master (you know the thing to look at 3-D pics from way-back-when? It's usually red, and you insert the round cardboard disc with the scenes in it) and put a "/" on one side of the eyepiece (at the front, away from you as you look in it), and "\" on the other side. Now, when you look through it, if you have a lazy eye, you will only see "/," and the point is to keep staring at it until you see the "X" that "/" and "\" make when viewed together.(Wasn't THAT confusing?!)

You can probably find a View-Master at the thrift store for a small amount. Hey, it's a cheap experiment, if nothing else. The kids can learn how your eyes work together. Sounds like a good homeschool eyeball lesson!

Hope this helps....(It DID give Greg headaches to do this, but it really helped.)

Melissa Nelson said...

Vivian, that's a lot like the first exercise in the book Roger bought. Only it sounds a bit easier to do. It's worth trying! Thanks.