Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eyes, Eyes, Eyes

I've been meaning to do an update about Holland's eyes. Probably a good thing I waited, because now I need to update on Eden's eyes as well!

Less than a month after Holland's last eye muscle surgery we started noticing that her left eye seemed like it was turning out instead of in. After totally obsessing and over-analyzing it for a couple of days I called her opthamologist office and asked what we should do. She told me to start patching her again for two hours a day and to bring her in for an earlier appointment two days later.

I kind of freaked out a little after that appointment, because not only did the doc confirm that the left eye was turning out, but also that Holland was not using her left eye well, and definitely not seeing as well with both eyes. We went from her "reading" the pictures on the chart at about 20/40 down to 20/70, maybe less.

The doc did think that Holland was able to pull the eye in, and feels that we should be able to correct the problem with a new prescription and more patching, rather than needing another surgery. So, that's what we're doing...again. For those that know about such things (and for my own future reference), her prescription is now at -3.75 sph +1.75 clyl. 100 axis in her right eye, and -10.00 sph +1.75 clyl. 076 axis in her left eye. The first negative number is the degree of nearsightedness and the next two numbers have to do with astigmatism. That -10.00 kinda hurt. Even though I knew it was coming, I wasn't looking forward double digits.

Also not so happy about more patching. I was so hopeful that after the surgery we would be done with that forever.

On the bright side... We had an appointment this week and she is back to 20/40 on the chart and is using both eyes equally well again. I am still noticing the turn-out with her left eye, but she was able to track pretty well with it for the doctor. We're going to continue patching for a month and see where things are then.

Eden had an eye doctor appointment this week as well. It was her first appointment in a year, and we had a good idea going into it that she would probably need glasses this year. She goes to all of Holland's appointments with us, so she knows the drill and was really looking forward to picking out her own frames. She did an excellent job "reading" the chart for the first time and she was proud of herself. Her first prescription is -2.00 sph in the right eye, and -2.25 sph in the left eye. We had a pair of purple frames with pink temple bars picked out from previous visits (I really loved them), but Eden saw a new all-pink pair when we got there, and quickly had her heart set on them.

They should be ready in about a week, but until then, here is a preview of her wearing Holland's old pink frames.

I know that she looks super-cute, and in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal at all, but I still kinda wish that we didn't have something else to worry about keeping on her head, in one piece, unbroken and functioning properly.

And just to make the whole eye issue a little more complicated...our wonderful eye doctor, who has seen the girls since they were in the NICU and whose opinion I really value and trust, is retiring in November. Boooo. This really bums me out. It's so hard to find good doctors who take adequate time to get to know you, value your input as parents, and are really, really sharp at what they do. We are really sad to lose another one of the best.

But, not to end on a bad note. I am so grateful that both of my girls can see, hear, talk, smile, laugh, love, and learn. They continue to amaze me everyday.


Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Sounds like patching is helping. That is great news. I know it is a pain to do, but better than the alternative.

That stinks that your doctor is leaving. We lost our neuro doc this year and he has seen my daughter since the NICU. I was pretty bummed. So I can understand your frustration about starting over with someone new. Hope you find a great doc for the girls.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad the patching is helping!! I did notice it a bit in the photos, but hey, on the bright side, she's got pretty good vision! 20/40 isn't so bad...I am a 20/50 average (10/60 with astigmatism left eye, and 20/50 right eye) and can go without glasses for the most part. Eden is going to look so adorable in glasses! I didn't think it was possible for her to look even more cute, but she's proven me wrong!

juneheller said...

I LOVE the pic of Eden on the cell phone. She looks like a teenager! How funny.

Sadia said...

We haven't had to patch since infancy, and often wonder how my Melody would handle it if we had to start again. I loved the Ortopad patches, although you probably have a ton of options since you have glasses to work with.

Greta Myers said...

Hi Billie,I know about dr.T, we went there recently too and were sad to find out she is leaving. Hang in there...


Katy said...

Losing a good doctor stinks--when we lost our neurosurgeon I cried. I can be so melodramatic.

I'm sure that the older the girl's get, the easier it will be to keep their "equipment" intact. If they're anything like me, they'll be begging for contact lenses by Middle School.

Claire said...

I'm glad the patching is helping. Sorry to hear she had such a big prescription change.

I'm -5 in both eyes (Can't remember my astigmatism) I recently bought some prescription swimming goggles and I have to say they are awesome! They make such a difference in the pool, I can actually see what is going on. I thought they might be useful for Holland now.

Liz @ VSP said...

Bille – We’re glad to see Eden and Holland’s eyecare takes first seat here. With proper care, the girls will continue their phenomenal growth and have better vision in the future. As the twins grow, they may become more interested in helping taking part in their eye care. Visit for fun quizzes, facts, advice and tips on eyecare.

Unknown said...

Hey Billie,
We're there with you on the eye issues. Caitlin's only had one eye surgery, but her left eye also turns out. We should be patching everyday, but we're lucky if we do it once a week. We're trying a new opthamologist in a few weeks and I'm not looking forward to it. We felt it was time for a second opinion for both girls. I hope you find another great dr for the girls.
I know I say this every time I write, but I wish you lived closer so we could get together to commiserate, share good drs, and let the girls play.
Sending you happy glasses thoughts!
:) - Clare

Monique in TX said...

I know that keeping up with prescriptions and patches is tedious, but it will pay off, especially once they hit serious schoolwork. Sooo much better to take care of this now and track changes than to try to figure out what's wrong once math on the blackboard at school is unlearnable because it's all blurry. I have to think getting that astigmatism corrected will help with coordination, too. And today's frames are so cute, not like the uglies available when I was little...

Hugs to you all!

MaineMom said...

Hi Billie,

I am a long time stalker (I mean that in the best way possible!) and along the way have cried and laughed at your posts. I love your writing - your honesty is refreshing. It's okay to question the "What Ifs" or worry about the future.

Your girls are beautiful. You are lucky to have them, but they are SO lucky to have you!

Donna said...

I have been a lurker for a long time and after reading about your beautiful girls turning five decided to delurk! My twins Declan and Siobhan were five in April, born at 24 weeks 2 days (we all know how important the 2 days are). I was sitting here nodding my head to your feelings especially around the birthdays. I just wanted to say that all the way from Perth Australia I think you and your hubby do a wonderful, fantastic job with Eden and Holland, they are soooo lucky to have such loving, caring parents. My twins have just been exited from a Language Development School (a school for children with language delays) so will be going into mainstream next year. We feel like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders and that in some ways we can close the "prematurity book" and open a new one.
Sorry for the very long post but I can relate to your feelings that's for sure.
Anyway I LOVE LOVE reading about your girls