Well hello amblyopia

For those wondering what's up with Caleb and the eyepatch, let me assure you it is not just a ploy to gather more attention and fourth glances at our family.  (We frequently get those already).

Just a few months ago we had no idea, not one inkling, that Caleb had poor vision.  At his well visit earlier this year he rocked through the vision chart with his left eye, but when it came time to read with his right, he just shrugged his shoulders and got a funny look on his face.  While the nurse thought he was joking around, I could tell that he was serious.  And I was totally blindsided with the fact that he couldn't see even at the 20/200 level with his right eye.

Next stop was to have a complete eye exam at the opthomologist.  At that first exam I remember hearing the term astigmatism, corrective lenses, and occlusion therapy.  Now I knew corrective lenses, and thanks to DQ we know all about occlusion therapy, but having grown up with 20/20 vision myself, I wasn't sure of astigmatism.  And I meant to read up on it.  I really did.  But that was pretty close to adding a new member to the family, and while I did go get Caleb's new glasses, I failed to check "wiki" for astigmatism.

At the time that his glasses arrived, we were told to schedule an appointment for about four weeks out to come back in for a re-check to see if the lenses themselves would improve what was happening in the right eye.  I made it for seven weeks out knowing that we'd be in China at the four week mark and wanted to give myself a little time for re-entry on the other side.

But then I missed the appointment.  (Or so I thought).

At any rate, last Wednesday we went back again to see if the glasses alone were doing their job of correcting Caleb's vision.  No such luck.  He was still seeing around 20/200 in his right eye though his left was 20/25.  That's when the term amblyopia was tossed at me.  (you can check out the link,  but in short, amblyopia means that one eye, though formed correctly, for some reason doesn't get processed by the brain).

Now here's the scary part.  (And I'm serious, I do mean scary).  I must have looked surprised at the term, because I still had astigmatism on the brain (which I had finally read up on a little), and both the opthamologist and his assistant gently reminded me that we had talked about amblyopia at our last visit in late July.

Apparently I had indeed taken Caleb in for that seven week check and totally forgot.  (Jet lag must have been more of a beast than I thought this time!)

Anyway, with still no improvement, it was time for occlusion therapy to begin.  Our opthamologist was surprised that I wasn't fazed by that prescription, so I reminded him that he had seen DQ (and referred us on to Duke because of the severity of her glaucoma) and that she patches for three hours a day.  Caleb even thought that him wearing a patch was cool.

Until we heard the words "all day."

Yeah, like all his waking hours.  (Oh, except for when he is playing soccer.  We got a "get out of your patch free" card for those 45 minutes a session as his vision is so poor in his right eye that the doctor was afraid that Caleb would run into other kids).  As you can imagine, Caleb was none too thrilled about the all day part.  So when he and I got home, we searched the net for the coolest eyepatches we could find.  Thankfully they arrived on Friday so that we only had to do the "band aid" patch for two days.  (Be watching for dinosaurs, pandas and alien spaceships in the coming days and weeks!)

And while there was much crying and gnashing of teeth the first few days, we're slowly getting used to his new "all day" look.

the different frames are just temporary ~ the technician was "tweaking" Caleb's frames when they snapped in half.  apparently even titanium has met its match with my boys...
But I'm not gonna lie, I'm sure praying that the hours will be reduced at our five week check-up!


prechrswife said...

Glad they have figured out what is going on, and hope that all of you come through the period of all day patching just fine. :-)

Traci said...

well this house hold thinks his new patches are awesome! I even kind of like his different frames. (even though I do like his old ones a smidge better).
How do you totally forget you took your child to a Dr's visit? LOL
Praying the hours will be reduced soon! :)

Heather said...

Oh Wow! Your littles are keeping your hands full with appts and things. I hope little Caleb's eye issue is soon a non issue!!!

Our Journey to China said...

So praying for sweet Caleb and you too. :0) You will have to talk to Chuck about that. He grew up with a similar or same issue. Can't wait to see you!!

Jennifer Taylor said...

Bless his little heart!! Praying for him!

AmblyopiaKids said...

My daughter has it as well!

I run a website and FB community called "Amblyopia Kids" if you would ever like to share your son's "journey" on the website/blog - I would welcome it!