To patch or not to patch at the airport?

We have stepped up our patching the last 2 weeks and done away with the atropine drops since she is keeping the re-usable patches on SO much better than the “peel and stick” variety.   This weekend, we are traveling across the USA to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Minnesota.  Since we arrive in the airport 2 ½ hours ahead of time and have 3 hours on the plane, I was faced with the question, “Should I try to have her patch or not worry about it?”  Here were my thoughts…

Pros to patching

–      Keeps with the morning patch time routine

–         Gives us new things to look at while patching

–         The airplanes and people may help her stay distracted and the patch on

–         Every day of patching makes her eye stronger

 Cons to patching

–         Would draw extra attention to us

–         May have increased negative comments with the amount of strangers present.

–         May make my morning traveling alone with a toddler more difficult

 After going back and forth on the topic for a couple days, I decided that we would go ahead and patch.  If it became a problem, then we would praise for patching and take it off for the remainder of the trip.  And, it turned out to be a good decision.    While we were in the long line for security a family with a cute little boy around Elly’s age in glasses came up in line right behind us.  The little boy exclaimed, “Cool mommy, she has glasses just like I do!”  Elly was excited and the toddlers started talking about each others glasses (it was pretty cute) The mom said “That’s right, isn’t she cute! When we get home, you’ll get to wear a patch just like she does.  While the kids talked, the mom asked me some questions about patching. She said the little boy had just gotten glasses and will start patching this Monday and how nice it was running into another patching kid so that he realizes he is not the only one. It was a really nice conversation that affirmed to the kids that they are not alone in this glasses and patching experience. We didn’t have any other comments ( just a few stares) and Elliana kept the patch on the entire travel time (a little over 5 hours), which meant we could relax when we got to our destination!  WOOO HOOO.

 Looking back, I was glad we decided to patch, it is not often that you can make a positive connection with a total stranger that benefits both of you.  Without the patch, we would have been just another family in the sea of travelers.

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5 responses to “To patch or not to patch at the airport?

  1. What a sweet story of running in to the other little boy! I’m glad you patched and that it turned out all right. Hope the rest of your trip is great!

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  2. Another parent wondered if they should patch on their families once a year Disney Vacation. What does everyone think? Are there occasions when it is ok not to patch?

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    • Sorry, I meant to say, that’s so good for you to increase the patching time to help her vision get better and to be able to encourage another parent and child to do the patching!!! Have a great vacation!

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  3. I think it depends on the child and how well they can see with the patch on. If a child is very schedule oriented and things have to stay the same all the time, then it is best to keep up the routine with patching. If the child is not so “set in his/her way,” then I think it would be just fine to do the patching maybe in the evening or in the mornings until you get to the park or the attraction and immediately after. Also, if the child has very poor vision with the patch on, I always felt like I was “robbing” our Ellie of the full experience of a place that she may not get to go back to for a long time. But if the vision is relatively “normal” while being patched, she can still see things clearly enough to enjoy it to its fullest.

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    • That makes sense. It seems like Elly’s focus is about 4-6 inches away from her face and I know she has extreemly poor vision. I think that if we were to take her to a play or dance recital, I wouldn’t patch because she wouldn’t be able to get up close to see it and I know that her vision is even lower in the dark and low light. With big events like Disney, I may split the day and have some patch time on the more relaxed times. Proffesional photos and school photos, I think I would opt for just glasses and no patch since all of our pictures seem to be of her patching.

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