This post is my very first attempt at blogging before I had this site. I actually wrote this on Facebook back in June 2010. But since Faith is probably going to have another surgery and many of you have notice her eye doesn’t seem to be getting better in some of the pictures, I thought I would send you an explanation as to what is really going on with Faith’s eye.
Strabismus or “lazy eye” is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other. It typically involves a lack of coordination between the extraocular muscles that prevents bringing the gaze of each eye to the same point in space and preventing proper binocular vision, which may adversely affect depth perception. (that’s the technical jargon for those of you who need to know what Faith’s condition is all about).
For Faith it was simple, she had one eye that was lazy, when she looked right at you she looked like she was looking to the side. This condition for Faith is genetic as her bio-Mom had it and I believe other family members. And fortunate for Faith we were able to deal with it before it was too late. Many people I know, both children and adults, had strabismus and didn’t get the surgery in time still have their eye condition today, even after surgery (in some cases).
But it was more than for looks, it was also for Faith’s vision. With the surgery Faith had today (Jun 17/10) it is suppose to correct her vision so she can see straight like the rest of us. So after a conversation with our eye doctor we set up an appointment to see the leading specialist in ophthalmology (Dr. Smith). He saw Faith a few weeks ago and told us she was ready. I was surprised as most people I talk to say that the procedure is usually done between ages 3 to 5 years old. But the truth is, it is done when both eyes are in the “right” place. And according to Dr. Smith the right place is where both eyes are looking at the nose.
To get to this place we have been very diligent. Faith has had her eye glasses now since she was 6 months old. Unfortunately she didn’t wear them very much until we got her into our care. When we took Faith into our home we set up an appointment with an eye specialist and were told clearly she has to wear the glasses 24-7 (well, not quite…she didn’t have to sleep with them on…haha). So we started to go through the difficult task of “fighting” with Faith to keep the glasses on. De-Ann, being the creative person that she is, designed an elastic strap that kept the glasses on Faith’s head for the most part. At least until Faith figured out how to take them off. Smart little girl we have! But by that time, Faith has also discovered the glasses help her vision. I have seen her pushing the glasses up for a split second and back to see the difference. At least that’s what I think. haha.
The other thing that we have been diligent on is “patching” Faith each day, at first for 30 minutes and then eventually for an hour. I should explain what patching is. It is were we put a patch over Faith’s strong eye to force the “lazy eye” to do all the work. At first this was a grueling task. As you can imagine, a baby being forced to put something over her eye and told it has to stay there for a period of time, it would be very difficult for both the child and parent. And it was! At first the patch didn’t stay on for very long. We tried surgical tape, a pirate’s patch, and other things to keep the patch on. It wasn’t until we went back to the specialist and were given a patch that actually goes over Faith’s glasses then it all started to work out. Now Faith takes her glasses off and actually goes and gets the patch herself when we say “it’s time to patch your eye, baby.” Again, smart girl.
This leads me to today. After a few weeks and a physical Faith was ready to have her surgery which is simply called Strabismus repair. The surgery was to correct the misalignment of the eyes. We still don’t know if Faith might have to have a second surgery if the eyes don’t correct themselves. Dr. Smith spoke to me before the surgery and told me he won’t know until possibly the post-operation appointment next Friday. So here’s hoping.
Faith’s surgery was only an hour and according to Dr. Smith is went very well. After the surgery Faith was in the recovering room for over an hour and then they called me in to sit with her as they slowly removed the IV and other hoses she had on her. Then she had a bit of water and 3 freezies (she loves her freezies) and she was ready to go home. Her eyes are still pretty sore and look blood shot, but that is normal at least for the next 4 days, so I have been told.
I just wanted to thank each of you who sent very kind notes and prayed for Faith and us as we went through this procedure together. It is so nice to know so many people genuinely care about us as a family.
Andrew & De-Ann & Faith!
If you want info about Strabismus repair, here is a link: Strabismus_surgery
As you can see from the pictures below Faith enjoyed the time before the surgery by playing in the toy cars and colouring. She also got to wear a cool little outfit. You can also see her name and when she was going into surgery, and then when she was in recovery. The last picture is of a very tired Faith as she drove home with me in the car. She was such a trooper the whole day!