Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Today we started our Thanksgiving break! I wish I could say that all I had planned was lots of eating and playing and fun.
Instead, Mei Mei will have surgery on her eyes. She has exotropia, where her eyes "wander" out.
Sadly, many orphans have eye issues due to lack of stimulation in infancy--as an example, babies lie and look at the ceiling instead of focusing on human faces.
We tried patching Mei Mei's eyes for several months after she came home, but it didn't help.
Which was a bummer because she really, really didn't like patching. Have you ever tried a patch over your eye? I did one day to try to convince her that it wasn't so bad.
I was wrong. It's TERRIBLE. But we still tried it.
So then we tried a wait-and-see approach, but her eyes continued to get worse. So, poor sweet Mei Mei will have surgery tomorrow around noon. Please keep her in your prayers.
(And oh-me-oh-my when I look at the picture above I can't believe how much she has grown in one year!!! Fifteen pounds and 7 inches! Wow!)
Update: Out of surgery and doing well! Thank you for the prayers!
The worst part was just waiting to go into surgery. She gets so nervous and scared. It's heartbreaking! I did have on my pretty sequined shirt just for her--she always wants me to "look pretty!" everywhere we go and today I let her pick my clothes. Patrick was also a request and he gladly obliged--such a sweet brother!
Ice packs help--her eyes feel scratchy more than painful.
They look super painful with blood-tinged outer edges, and she currently has double vision which is a good sign--the doctor said it means they corrected her enough and it will go away as her eyes adjust. She's been eating and watching TV and enjoying some good old fashioned spoiling!
Also, Sally you asked about success rate. We have two kids with strabismus and originally went to a pediatric eye care specialist. That doctor didn't seem very confident with surgery outcomes. But then we took the advice of a good friend and decided to go to one of the best eye surgeons available--we see a doctor who has been practicing for decades and his specialty is strabismus at a highly recognized eye institute. His success rate for esotropia (eyes turning in) is close to 100%. Exotropia (eyes turning out) is trickier and his success rate is 80%, meaning there is a 20% possibility that Mei Mei might need another eye surgery in the future. The eye surgery itself only took about an hour and involved cutting muscles in her eyes. Without surgery Mei Mei would have very likely started to lose vision as her eyes were starting to turn out more and more. The challenge with older kids is that vision loss can already begin, especially if only one eye is involved--both my kids have both eyes involved so vision loss didn't occur because the eyes "took turns" crossing and correcting. Hope that explanation helps some! Good luck!