I haven’t done an update on Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia for quite some time, so I thought I’d share the latest with all of you today.
Since I was sick, my husband took her to the last Ophthalmologist appointment. Before I go into what she said, let me catch you up with what’s been going on. As a reminder, you can read all my Intermittent Exotropia posts here to catch up.
I’d been patching Alivia’s eye for two hours a night and keeping a close watch on her deviation. For months, the hubby and I didn't see it deviate much, so we decided to discontinue the eye exercises. She was doing good for awhile. Then, out of the blue, we started seeing it again. Mostly when she was in her car seat, looking out the front of the car through the windshield to the outside. At those times, we’d ask her to bring her eye in. Over time, she became a pro at bringing her eye in demonstrating impressive control over it which made us very happy. Happy for us and her!
TIME FOR GLASSES
Since the deviation was becoming more frequent, we decided to start the eye exercises again. Especially the exercise that tested her vision. For this exercise, we would use stickers of the alphabet and put them on a chair at different distances away from her while she covered each eye individually. While she could see very well with one eye, the deviated one was seeing alarmingly worse. The most frightening for us was when we sat her on the couch across from our 50 something inch TV, and she couldn’t tell us what was on the screen even when we froze the frame. After awhile, she broke down in tears. When we asked her what was wrong, she said she couldn’t see. She seemed frustrated and scared. I wanted to wrap her in my arms for an eternity to soothe her and that’s just what we did. The hubby and I decided it was enough with the exercises for that night. Since the vision in her deviated eye didn’t correct itself as we were told it could but instead got increasingly worse, we decided to call the doctor the next day. At this point, we were prepared to set up eye muscle surgery assuming there were no other treatment options.
At her most recent Ophthalmologist appointment, they administered eye drops and gave her an eye exam. The eye drops, in case you are unfamiliar with them, are to dilate the pupils to evaluate the internal ocular structures.
Since she did worse on her eye exam as we expected she would, the doctor recommended glasses. The suggestion for glasses were a surprise but, being that Alivia had an astigmatism, the doctor felt it best to correct it. The idea, or hope, was to correct her vision making it less likely that her eye would deviate. Seeing better may have been the incentive Alivia needed to make her want to use both eyes equally. Since her doctor wanted to exhaust all other treatments before resorting to surgery, especially on someone so young, we went along with it and purchased her glasses within a week. We also threw in a pair of prescription sunglasses as she has always been sensitive to light. In the meantime, we have check ups set up every three months to make sure her vision isn’t getting worse. If it gets worse, eye muscle surgery will have to be our next move. It will be, unfortunately, our last treatment option.
In the meantime, Alivia loves her glasses and, quite frankly, they love her! Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, she had become ten times cuter! I taught her how to put them on and take them off correctly using both hands. I also taught her how to store and clean them. It really wasn’t surprising watching her care for them so well. Every so often, she likes to take them off and give her nose a break (just like her mama). Although I have to remind her to put them back on sometimes, she has been great at doing it! No persuading; no bribery; no coaxing! She is such a great kid, and every day she continues to show us, at only 3 1/2, how responsible, smart, and grown up she is! It’s amazing, and we are super proud of her!
If you missed my previous post, Skinny people have feelings too, feel free to check it out! I’ve received nothing but great feedback on it. Thanks to everyone that shared their personal experiences with me. You all made me feel much better at what has been a huge frustration of mine since I was a kid. You made me realize that I’m not alone and that writing about it was the right thing to do!
Hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday!