Home > strabismus (misaligned eyes), surgery > surgery tomorrow – updated

surgery tomorrow – updated

So tomorrow is the big surgery day.  We’ll be getting up at the crap of dawn to get to the Eye Institute by 5:30 in the morning.  Actually, “crap of dawn” might be misleading since it implies that the sun might actually be close to coming up at that point.

I’m trying to stay calm about the whole thing, and mostly being successful, but the fact that my mom and I spent the afternoon washing dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and otherwise cleaning is a pretty strong indication that I’m not so calm inside.  Because normally, I don’t do that.

I’ve been asked by a few people to give updates, and rather than clutter up the blog with multiple posts, I’m just going to add any updates at the end of this post as things go on tomorrow.  I don’t really expect to be on the computer too much, so if there’s no updates, you can assume that I’m just snuggling the girl.

Update: And we’re back home, Zoe is chowing on dry cheerios like she’s just gone hours without food (oh, right).  The surgery appears to have gone well.  Chris went with Zoe to be put under and said it was hard but not awful.  Coming out of anesthesia was really, really hard, but she seems ok now.  Her eyes are pretty bloodshot, the blood in the tears was hard to look at, but I’m glad I’d been warned, and she’s pretty sensitive to light.  We have a follow-up appointment tomorrow morning with the ophthalmologist.

    Zoe's eyes 4 hours after surgery. They're definitely red, but maybe not noticeable to casual observers who aren't looking for it.

Zoe's eyes 4 hours after surgery. They're definitely red, but maybe not noticeable to casual observers who aren't looking for it.

Update 2: Zoe’s down for a nap, and Chris and I both got a bit of a very needed nap as well.  She was surprisingly cheerful while she was awake, only saying “ow” and rubbing her eyes when she looked at a particularly bright wall with sunshine on it – so no walks outside today in the sun.  I kept looking at her trying to put my finger on what looked different (besides the obvious red in the corners of her eyes) and realized that her eyes are really tracking together now.  I know it’s too soon to know the outcome for sure and that some kids will need additional surgery much later in life, but I’m hopeful that she will have a good outcome.

Update 3: The eye ointment is tough.  They said it would be hard and a fight, and they were not joking.  That killed the cheerful mood, no question.  We have to do this for 10 days, 3 times a day.

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  1. Jill Lawson
    August 25, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Hey girl! You guys will be in our prayers! She is going to be fine!

  2. Danielle
    August 25, 2008 at 2:45 am

    I just wanted to wish you the best before surgery; I know the anxiety and stress you must be feeling right now. Just remember that the worst part for your daughter will be the starvation you put her through before her surgery.

    Take care,

  3. Ana
    August 25, 2008 at 2:49 am

    I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow!! Wishing you the very best!

  4. motherhoodandpotatoes
    August 25, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Best wishes on the surgery!

  5. August 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Hope everything goes well!

  6. Gus
    August 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve been thinking of you. I’m sitting in the hospital right now with Mary who went in last night for an emergency appendectomy. Hope yours goes as well as hers!

  7. August 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Good luck! I wish you a very successful outcome!

    -Dr. B.

  8. August 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Since this is after the surgery I will wish you luck with the recovery. We will keep you and Zoe in our prayers. At least she was able to chow down on some yummy sushi before the surgery! ;)

  9. sarahsly
    August 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    All my thoughts are with you guys today. She’s young.. she’s your kid… she’s a trooper. Glad there were no complications! Love you guys!

  10. August 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Glad to hear it went well. I’ll be sending good thoughts your way!


  11. August 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the update. I’m glad to hear that your girl is doing well. You’re all in my thoughts.

  12. chrisgwinn
    August 25, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Everyone got naps. Ann and I are up, Zoe is still asleep. I’m going to go make chicken soup.

  13. KittyMarcy
    August 25, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Your great attitude about everything will surely help Zoe with her recovery. Sending good vibes your way!

  14. August 25, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    It’s very hard to see your baby come from under anesthetics….Sorry you had to go through this. I will keep your family in my prayers.

  15. Linda
    August 25, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Hip Hip Hooray for tracking eyes!! She looks wonderful!! Sorry I couldn’t read your post earlier and send you good surgery vibes- but thankfully you didn’t need them! Here’s hoping that she continues to keep tracking and keep those peepers straight!!

  16. TKempton
    August 26, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I am so relieved that lil Z is through the surgery. Every hour, every day, she will be feeling better and better! Congratulations on getting through it, and to the very promising early signs of tracking.
    Love you,

  17. August 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Glad things went well!

  18. August 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    The hardest part is over…(well, ok, maybe the drops are the hardest part…) Hang in there – the 10 days will be over before you know it and she’ll be running around like she was last week!
    xoxo – darcie

  19. August 28, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Wow. She looks great after surgery! You’re right in your comment. If you didn’t say anything, I wouldn’t have noticed!

    Congrats, and continued good luck!

    Gwon/lildrgn from OO/GT/PH…

  20. annfelicia
    August 29, 2008 at 3:26 am

    YAY! I’m so glad to hear things went well, I can’t wait to see her! Hope to see the whole family soon! (Our girls are turning 2! ACK!)

  21. Sarah
    September 17, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Hi there! I hadn’t checked the blog for a long while and now see Zoe had surgery! So glad everything went well. I can imagine how intense this experience was for everyone involved, and I’m so glad things look so optimistic. My best to you all,


  22. Kim
    February 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm


    I came across your blog while researching strabismus surgery. I’ve been reading your posts for about an hour and am comforted by how many parents there are out there who share my experience. My daughter is almost two and a half years old and has been wearing glasses for a year and a half for partial accommodative esotropia. The glasses were able to correct the crossing — but not for close up work. When she looks at anything close up, her right eye (usually) will turn in (and this turning is quite pronounced). At our most recent appt., the Dr. said that even when she looks at a distance now, her eyes are crossing a little (though it has gone undetected by me). He is recommending surgery and I am terrified. I haven’t been able to think about anything else for the last few days and if I’m not looking things up on line, then I’m crying. I’m terrified of the anesthesia. I’m terrified that there are going to be “severe complications” – an umbrella term that includes everything from permanent vision loss to death. Has anyone considered any alternative to surgery for strabismus? I’ve heard that vision therapy is a viable alternative. Has anyone tried this? I think we’ll ultimately have the surgery but it’s just exhausting all of my coping resources to get used to the idea.

  23. amomofelly
    February 21, 2009 at 3:19 am

    We met Zoe in person =) and her eyes look amazing (not to mention her mom, Ann, is the sweetest) I asked my PO about vision therapy for 2 year olds and she said 1:1 activities like coloring in the lines, peg puzzles and others (see my activities post) are more effective and educational then traditional vision therapy. Definately a question to ask your PO. I’d like to hear what they think!

  24. February 23, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks amomofelly :). I sent an email, but wanted to comment here, too. It took me a long time to accept that we’d need to do the surgery, and I don’t think it should ever be done lightly. Zoe has partially accomodative esotropia – so some was due to a muscle problem, and some due to her farsightedness. The reading I’d done said that in that case, surgery is generally indicated, and unfortunately, amblyopia is extremely common. I’m hoping that the fact that her prescriptions were similar, and that her eyes are now tracking together will mean that she doesn’t develop amblyopia. As for the anesthesia and surgery, the complications can be very serious, but they are routine procedures that are done quite often. I would make sure that the doctor and anesthesiologist are very experienced in working with small children.

  1. August 27, 2008 at 12:50 am

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