We are a couple months out from our second strabismus surgery with my two year old son, Joel. We have been working through eye issues since he was about six months old. I was getting into a groove with it all. The monthly doctors appointments, the patching, and strategizing how to keep the latest pair of Miraflex glasses in one piece and on his head.
But now we are moving into a new phase of his eye care. The post surgery phase. Sure we have been through this once before, but after the first surgery, it was obvious we were not done. His eyes were not aligned. This time we had better results. It is still not perfect (his eyes are drifting a little out versus drifting in like he had before), but his wonderful eye doctor is closely monitoring the situation.
So where do we go from here? Where does a concerned parent turn their attention when the surgery is done and results are looking positive?
I’m learning right along with you, but here is where I have started:
Make sure you are attending regular follow up appointments. Things might be looking good, but make sure you are attending your follow up appointments and still asking questions. Listen to your doctor and stay involved. Little eyes can change a lot during these post-surgery months and you want to be sure you’re staying on top of their care.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask your doctor what your child’s long term plan is. How frequent should your appointments be now? What are “warning signs” for you to look for? They have experience in similar cases and will be able to give you a roadmap for future care.
Dust off your other goals. Did you have any items you wanted to work on with your child, but put off for whatever reason due to his eye care? I will admit one for me was discipline. Joel was just turning two when he had his second surgery. He and his twin brother were right in that wonderful stage where their favorite word was “No” and everything they could get their hands on was being thrown across the room. Because we were going through surgery with Joel, I gave him an easier pass than I did his brother in disciplining these issues. However the issues have not gone away. I know now the best thing I can do for my son is provide the same structure for discipline his brothers are receiving.
Keep your networks! Stay tuned into the Little Four Eyes Facebook group, blog, and other resources that have been helpful for you. You never know when you’ll come across something that can help you with whatever stage your child is at right now.
What has worked for you? How did you cross into the next phase of eye care post-surgery? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Marie McNary is a wife and mother of three energetic little boys. She likes dogs, cookies, and can be found blogging about her crazy life at Home in the Heartland.
We are in the post-surgery phase as well. It’s been two months since surgery #1 for my two year old, and I think it was a success! His follow up appointment is still another month away-feels like forever! I wanted to say that I can relate to putting off other issues due to eye problems…my son is addicted to his pacifier and his dentist told me it is starting to have a negative effect on his teeth. So I decided (the month before surgery) to take it away. Then I caved as he cried for it, and my reasoning was-“I should at least wait until after he has his eye surgery!” 🙂 So, I can relate!
Great post! And so glad to hear that things seem to be going well and you’re entering in to this next phase. I’d never really thought about this before, but it’s a very interesting question, and really something worth thinking about.
The hardest thing for me was finding the balance between assuming all her vision issues are over and obsessively checking the light reflex in every single photo of Zoe, (I am still far more likely to do the latter). I’ve also had to learn new signals of vision issues. She doesn’t cross her eyes when she needs a new prescription. Now she looks at things through the outside edges of her glasses, and I’ve missed those signals twice, because for so long, it was seeing her eyes cross that meant something was up with her vision.
The other thing was to make sure I focused on her as a whole child, not just on her vision. Making sure she had good vision was and is extremely important to me, but there’s a lot more to her than what she sees. Recently, she’s needed ear tubes (twice) to help with her hearing, so we’ve had to start watching out for signs of hearing problems. And then there’s all the things that go along with starting school – the anxieties that have nothing to do with hearing or seeing, and just letting her be a normal kid, since really, that’s what she is.
has anyone tried vision therapy through an optometrist specialized in vision therapy. My 6yo has been doing it for 1.5years without the surgery. Its amazing how straight his eyes are now when he’s not tired. We’re still working with VT to ensure his brain can continuously merge vision from both eyes and hopefully fully regain his depth perception.