Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Childhood glaucoma?!

I've been aware that my 5 yr old has struggled with seeing things for some time now. The preschool saw it. Her kindergarten thought she should get her eyes checked. Some time in the fall of last year (2011), I took her to an optometrist. That was a difficult visit, where he (the optometrist) didn't get very far. My child has been very sensitive from a very early age, dating back to her toddler years. When she was around 20 months, she totally freaked out at the sight of a light saber. It has taken until her five year wellness check with her pediatrician to not flip out when getting her weight and height checked.

This past Monday, the 27th, was parent-teacher conference day at Isabella's school. Since students didn't have school that day, I thought it was a good opportunity to try again for her to see an eye doctor. I booked an appointment with someone else, a pediatric ophthalmologist, hoping people in this office had a gift for working with sensitive little ones like my daughter.

Helpful to Isabella's case was making sure her precious Henry came along for the ride.


I must say, she was quite the trooper, this one. Very brave, very courageous.


Isabella and Henry cooperated with everything the ophthalmologist wanted to do . Everything.


This place came with cool movies. Many of the instruments necessary for a thorough check were so much funner than places made for adults. Identify and check out the animals. . .


As I carefully watched the assistant and ophthalmologist's body language, something was up. They were concerned.


Nothing prepared me for what was to come. Glaucoma. That disease that more commonly strikes the older population. She has it, in both eyes.

As if that wasn't enough of a blow, the pressure in each high was quite high. The ophthalmologist then used a more accurate pressure measurement, and the pressure was still high in each eye. He highly recommended surgery as soon as possible.

Monday, we were sent home with a prescription for eye drops, two kinds, meant to help lower the pressure in her eyes. The next day, we scheduled an appointment with another surgeon to see what he thought. Tuesday, the pressure lowered significantly in the right eye and not really in the left eye. The pressure in the right eye wasn't low enough to avoid surgery, but the pressure in the left high was still extremely high. The second surgeon also recommended surgery as soon as possible.

Isabella was slated to have both eyes examined under general anesthesia. If glaucoma was confirmed, surgery would be performed on the left eye. Here she is, at the Children's Hospital, where her surgery was to take place. Her spirits seemed relatively high, all things considered.


The Children's Hospital certainly left a good first impression with her. Lots of interesting things.


Including a glass elevator. First one of that kind that she has ever seen. Very exciting.


The twins and I accompanied Isabella to the hospital, along with a small village of women to allow me to spend time with her in recovery (where no children were allowed).


She did quite well. Isabella didn't panic or have a melt down until she walked into the operating room. But, we must hand it to this child that the OR isn't the most inviting, warm place. She made it through the surgery well. What was supposed to take about 1-1.5 hrs took 3 hrs. Isabella even did well in recovery.

Coming home and recovery since leaving the hospital have been harder. She has cried and had meltdowns at seemingly small matters having nothing to do with her eyes. She hasn't wanted to open her eyes, even her right eye (which hasn't had any work done on it). She hates putting drops in her eyes; she acts like I'm doing horrible things to her each time drops are put in.

This morning, she had as follow up visit with the ophthalmologist. I knew he would want to take the patch off and look at the eye. She really didn't like that, not one bit. She barely opened her eyes for just a moment; slits and nothing more was visible.

Since mid to late afternoon, her sweet, giddy personality is slowly returning.


Loads of sleep she has been getting. She wants to be carried, checked on, and loved. I'm more than willing to oblige. I'm sorry dear Bella you have congenital glaucoma. Lord, I hope and pray that one surgery can miraculously take care of the problem. Take care of Isabella's eyes. Please preserve and protect what sight she does have. I also pray that her sight improves as the swelling (in her eyes) goes down. Amen.


Karen said...

Such a good documentation of the recent events. Sweet, sweet Isabella...she captures our hearts with her gentle spirit. The twins are growing so fast and are so cute. And Victoria she makes us smile with her excitement for life. We will continue to hold each of you in our hearts and prayers. Truly a beautiful family!

Lisa said...

You certainly have your hands full! I will think positive thoughts for young Isabella. Keep faith that things will turn out well, and I'm sure they will. Thanks for sharing.