Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who left kind words and advice on my last post. It really meant a lot to me.
Zoe started patching at daycare the same day that she moved from the preschool room to the pre-kindergarten room. When I emailed the daycare center the day we learned she’d start patching, the director called and asked if I thought we should delay Zoe’s move to the pre-k room until she’s done patching. I couldn’t think of anything worse to do – she’d been looking forward to moving to the next room with the big kids, and telling her we were delaying because of patching is a sure way to make her really resent patching even more. We decided to patch first thing in the morning, so that we could put the patch on, and her teacher would only need to take it off later that morning.
Zoe’s been using Ortopad patches that the ophthalmologist’s office provided us. They’re the boy patches, but so far, Zoe hasn’t minded the patterns. We also got one of the Ortopad patch posters – it’s a fish, and each patch is one of the fish’s scales. One of Zoe’s concerns was how to get her patches home from daycare to put on the poster. So I made her a “patch card.” I folded a piece of construction paper in half, and cut the middle out of one of the halves. Then I cut a piece of parchment paper (used in baking) to fit inside and stapled it together. (I tried gluing it first, but the glue wouldn’t stick.) She takes the card to daycare, and when she’s done patching, they put the patch on the parchment paper. The patch easily comes off the card once we’re home and Zoe puts it on the poster.
I also sent a page of instructions along with Zoe on that first day of her patching. I know that it was probably unnecessary (her teacher has had at least one other boy who patched in her class), but I couldn’t help myself. Here’s what I sent:
- Zoe needs to wear her patch until 11 am each day. We’ll keep an extra couple of patches in her cubby box in case the patch falls off.
- While she’s wearing her patch, she can’t see quite as well, though she’s been able to pretty much do all her normal activities.
- When she’s done patching, it’s easier to take off the patch if you use a damp washcloth/paper towel to get the edges wet. Pull the patch off from the inner corner of the eye out. It still hurts a bit.
- Save the patch on Zoe’s patch card. We’ll take it home each evening to put on her patching chart.
It’s gone well so far, she said one boy laughed at her the first day, but no other reports of that happening. Mostly she seems annoyed that the kids all think she’s hurt her eye when she’s wearing the patch. I’m guessing that mostly comes from the young toddlers (they all start out in the same room together) who don’t understand the explanations they’re given.
Her teachers have also been asking how many days she needs to patch for. I’m stumped on that one. Her next appointment is after 6 weeks of patching, and I’d love for that to be all she needs, but I know that it may not be. Anyone have good tips for managing expectations for the follow-up appointment – both with Zoe and with others who ask about it. I want her to feel that her efforts are worth something, but I also don’t want her feeling crushed if she needs to patch longer.