Here is Willow on her second birthday.
Our story starts on October 7th, 2013. My daughter, Willow, was celebrating her second birthday. There were friends, family and pictures. Lots of pictures. That evening I started looking through the photos we had taken, only to notice that her eye was turned in every single one of them. I immediately started beating myself up, wondering how I hadn’t caught it before. The next day I called a pediatric ophthalmologist. Her appointment was scheduled for November 22nd, 2012. The receptionist recommend that I print a few photos to take with us, just so the doctor had a handle on how her eye turned in on a daily basis- little did I know he wouldn’t even need them.
We arrived at our appointment on the 22nd was a whirl wind. They dilated her eyes, we waited. They took measurements, we waited. They used pictures and prisms and lights and boards, and we waited some more. Then the doctor came back in and declared that Willow is “profoundly” farsighted and made the statement that he didn’t know how she was even feeding herself. The thing about it was, she was picking pictures out of books, knew her ABC’s, and could count to 10. How could this be possible? We left with a diagnosis of accommodative Esotropia and a prescription for glasses, and a follow up appointment for 6 months away. Her prescription is +7.75, +8.
We got her glasses and it was nothing short of a horror story. The thickness alone was enough to make me catch my breath. They were broken within 48 hours. Round two lasted two weeks. Round three, three days. I was seriously losing my mind. The doctor said she could barely see anything- why was this such a fight? I called and made her an appointment with a different PO. I was sure the first doctor did something wrong! Appointment number two came and went, and we left with the same prescription and this time, atropine drops. We were instructed to use 1 drop a day for three days, placing her glasses on her face 5 minutes after we put the drop in. This was our “miracle.” After those drops, Willow has never fought her glasses. She ASKS for them in the morning and sometimes fights to remove them for bedtime. Our follow up to the second PO is when we started our patching Journey. It was February 26th. We learned that the glasses were helping to straighten out her eye, but that she still wasn’t using her left eye for seeing. The best reading they could get out of it was 20/200.
Here is Willow on her first day of patching.
So, we started patching. 8 hours a day, everyday. I was petrified. I cried. I was sure that I was going to have a two year old walking around nearly blind. The first two days were rough, but after that it was a non issue. We ordered a patching chart (a butterfly) and if she left her patch on all day, she got to put it on thing wing. Worked like a charm. I couldn’t have been a prouder parent that first week. Not just of Willow but of Isabella as well. She encouraged her sister every step of the way!
We returned to the PO May 15th, 2013. He was nothing short of amazed at the progress she’s making. In the very short time she’s been patching, her eye sight has improved from 20/200 to 20/80(with her glasses). She no longer needs surgery to straighten out her eye and we’re down to patching 6 hours a day. He warned that when we go back in August that her glasses prescription may increase slightly however he’s hoping that maybe we’ll be done with patching for good!