At Reed’s 6-month well check our pediatrician recommended we go see an ophthalmologist because his eyes were really crossing. We both figured it was a muscle problem given that there is a history of eye issues and lazy eye in both families. Little did we know the eye alignment was only half of the problem. After seeing our initial ophthalmologist she got us in to see a pediatric ophthalmologist that same week. It was at our first appointment with the PO that Reed was diagnosed with a congenital unilateral cataract in his right eye. She also told us that he probably had the cataract when he was born but it wasn’t severe enough to show up on any tests and it had just gotten worse very recently.
To make our long story short (and to sum the events that unfolded in 7 days!), Reed had the cataract removed on October 30, 2012 at 7 months old at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Reed did so well before and after his surgery. He was home resting with a shield and patch a few hours later.
Since his surgery, he has gone down 3 prescription strengths in his contact lens and patches for 2.5 hours a day. We take out his contact most nights. Reed now goes for checkups ever 2-3 months, which has been a nice break from every few weeks. Our doctors have all been very positive about his recovery and are making sure the necessary steps are taken for him to grow and thrive. His eyes still cross but they’re getting better.
It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on 9 months since we started out on this adventure. His surgery (although the absolute scariest day of my life) seems like a distant memory. All those fears and what-ifs have calmed and are pretty quiet compared to that initial few days from diagnosis to surgery. At 16 months old, Reed is a vibrant and resilient toddler who loves the water, eating and playing outside. We of course have bad days when his contact irritates his eye or he rips off patch after patch until his skin is raw but the progress and hopes for the future make it all worth it.
If I had to give advice to any parent going through this, it would be-take it one day at a time. None of this is easy but with a little practice and patience it will be ok.
I also invite you to checkout our family blog: http://theeclecticnest.wordpress.com
I do my best to document eye-related progress and our life in general.