Michael – Cataract, Scarred Pupil & Glaucoma

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Michael was born in August 2011. Shortly after he joined our family, I started to notice a “shine” in his left eye. I thought it was just an odd reflection of light at first, but after noticing it in all different lights for over 2 weeks, I started to get concerned. I took him to see his doctor, who said there was no red reflex in the left eye. He never said what it was, but sent us to see an ophthalmologist that same day. The ophthalmologist, Dr. Y, confirmed the pediatrician’s suspicions that Michael had a cataract. I was in shock after hearing the news, and felt so overwhelmed as Dr. Y explained our options. To make things all the more stressful, my husband was deployed at the time and wasn’t able home for another 3 months. I am so thankful for technology and Skype, so we were able to talk through our options. We chose for Michael to have the surgery. Two weeks later Dr. Y removed the cataract, and our long journey for better vision began.
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A few months after the removal surgery, Michael’s pupil scarred shut, despite using dilation drops. It was very disheartening. He also developed glaucoma, and was started on drops right away, but the drops didn’t seem to help much. Since we were so close to moving to a new state, Dr. Y recommended we wait to decide if Michael needed another surgery until the new doctor could see him. We met Dr. M, and a few weeks later Michael had surgery to remove the scar tissue around his pupil and to insert a drainage tube to help with the glaucoma. I remember the first time I removed the eye shield after the surgery. We could tell Michael could see with his left eye, even if all he could see was light and dark. I still cry when I think about it. That gave us hope.
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We tried to find a contact lens, but Michael’s eye has a steep slope, so the contact never fit right. Michael was a champ, though! We tried 3 different types of contacts, and he let us try to put them in with hardly any fuss. The longest a contact stayed in, though, was only 2 hours. We decided to put him in glasses instead. When Michael was 1 year old, he got his first pair of glasses. He is now 2, and on his 2nd pair of glasses and 2nd prescription. We are patching 75 minutes a day, slowing working our way up. By the end of September, we hope to be patching 2 hours a day and will continue to increase. Some days are harder than others with patching, but I can tell it is working and definitely worth the hard work.

The glaucoma is back now, but thankfully the drops are keeping it under control this time. He may need an exam under anesthesia in the future to find out why the drainage tube isn’t working as well as it should, but for now the pressure is down and Michael is comfortable. I am very proud of this little man. He has been through so much, but is still such a happy kid. He is very social, and loves his doctors. He hugs them every time we see them. We still have a long road ahead of us, but with help from family and his amazing doctors, we’ll reach our goals.

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1 Comment

  • erika peguero says:

    Let me start off by letting you how beautiful your son is!Your story is amazing and very inspiring.I have a 2 year old as well,who was born with a congenital cataract in his left eye and had surgery to remove it a 2 month.About 3 weeks later he developed scar tissue and had to have a second surgery.That pupil now is irregular and displaced,which makes him so unique.He also had an issue with the pressure after the second surgery and required eye drops and an oral medication.Now it’s under control and have since stopped those meds.
    He has been wearing a contact in that eye since he was a month old and we had to patch an 1 hour for every month that he was born for no more than 6 hours a day or half the time he is awake….He did well with the patching up until approx 18 months,then it became a struggle because either he was ripping the patch off or the lens would pop out.He would then fight me to put his lens back in…..I became very discouraged.
    In the meantime,we go every 3 months to see the ophthalmologist and surgeon.We lost some time with patching from 18 months to approx 26 months,bce he just would not let me insert his lens.We then tried glasses,which took two months to have the prescription made.He now will keep his glasses on but will also patch for 6 hours during the day. (Right now he only does it for the babysitter.I feel terrible but atl east he does it for her.
    At this point, i feel optimistic that the patching is helping strengthen thst eye.I know your son Michael will do the same!He will gradually keep the patch on for longer periods during the day as he adjusts to it!Your doing an amazing job and you need to know that!Some days I struggle and cry, because its overwhelming…..Then I realize that God has a plan.It may be difficult to see or realize at the moment but he’s there conforming and watching over our little ones!Thank you for sharing your story!
    Best Regards,Erika

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