Surgery Updates – Back to Patching

Elliana had Bilateral Lateral Rectus Surgery in December to help her staighten her eyes out.  She is really having a hard time physically and emotionally adjusting to the new placement of her eye muscles.  She has been going to OT weekly and we are working on strengthening her vision and sensory integration.  This week, I am making her a body sock and a weighted blanket in hopes of helping her find her sense of place in the world and tone down the sesory overload.  We have tried several different perscriptions and are back to -1,-7.  This is undercorrecting her vision in hopes that her eyes will continue to pull themselves into a straight position and are really working hard.  They are still, however, overcorrected. 

We went in again this morning and they are turning in less than last week with this new perscription, but still turning in.  I understand that we have been telling her brain for so long that she has to work really hard to keep her eyes straight that now we need to teach her brain to relax them a little bit now that we have given her eyes a little help (surgery).  What does this mean? 

Back to patching.  ARGH.  Well, at least we have control over making a difference.  This time, we are patching 8 hours a day for this week, alternating eyes.  Next week, we get to drop down to 4 hours a day, alternating eyes and return to the PO in 2 weeks. 

They handed me a few sticky patches (tan) to get me started and I laughed =)  Elly is so spoiled with patches that she wrinkled her nose at them and said she will use her princess patches.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!   Not sure how patching is going to go after a 3 month break.

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10 responses to “Surgery Updates – Back to Patching

  1. So thinking of you and wishing you and Elly all the best! I don’t always comment but I really appreciate all of your posts. My 21 month old had her surgery last month. The surgery itself went very well and she had a quick recovery. As for the eye alignment, they are pretty straight now but not always perfect, particularly at close distance. We will see what the doctor says at the end of the month. I was told that even if the surgery fixed everything right away, our daughter (and most strabismus cases) have to be followed closely until she is about 9. There could be more patches and glasses in our future (although it would be great if we didn’t need them!). Have you heard anything about using eye exercises as a supplement to the surgery? This has been suggested to me by my neighbor who had strabismus himself as a child. Things like throwing beanbags into a hole sort of games for children? I can’t find information on it but am intrigued to give it a try and will ask the doctor as well.

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  2. You are all in our thoughts and prayers here. Ellie (and you) has been through so much, I wish she’d catch a break. Her response to the tan sticky patches made me laugh, at least she knows she can keep her sense of style.

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  3. Thanks everyone, she made it 7 hours on her first day back at patching(took a 2 hour nap after OT) only asked to take it off 2 times and was very excited that we let her watch some videos since only Friday night is movie night in our house. We also just found out she has a cavity in a funny shaped tooth and will get a cap on Monday. The dentist commented that she is very calm and collected for a 3 year old… that is because she has had practice.

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  4. Almost forgot… Anne, I have soooo many activities to share. We go to OT each week and as a kindergarten teacher, I have tons of activities that may help! SOme are posted in the archives and I’ll try to write more up.

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  5. What a beautiful girl you have! I have found your story very interesting. My daughter is a bit older, but we are on a similar track. My daughter was diagnosed last year just after her 5th birthday. Her weak eye was pretty weak and she has a slight drift. After 10 months of patching or atropine drops she is at 20/25, but the drifting has not improved. The dr was very happy with the progress she has made with her vision. The dr just suggested surgery on Monday of this week since there has been no change in the drift. We are currently in research mode and trying to make a decision so that if we decide to go ahead, we can get it done this summer so she doesn’t have to deal with it during the school year.

    I wish you both very good luck!

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  6. Tami – I am curious about the drift….does it happen when her glasses are on or off? My daughter is also 5 and was diagnosed just past her 4th birthday – farsightedness and accommodative esotropia. She has been patching too for nearly 14 months and has made great strides in improving the vision in her weaker eye. But we tend to only see her eye cross when her glasses are off. Her PO has not said much to us about surgery….but your situation makes me wonder a bit. Thanks!

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  7. We were origionally told if surgery was needed it was before kindergarten, but because Elly was not showing any signs of having depth perception and was having major drifting – we ended up doing surgery earlier. Without her glasses before and after surgery, her eyes are WAY off. Our PO said it will most likely always be like this, but that she should never have her glasses off. This round of patching seems to be helping her brain relax… last week, her eyes were measiring even straigter.

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  8. Wow, I just went back to read more of your posts and you and Elly have been through so much, but handle it all so well. I really, really admire your positive attitude, vigilance and willingness to do whatever possible to help her. You’re an inspiration!

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    • Thanks for the kind words – she is our inspiration. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I am not an expert, just an informed parent =) More blog posts to come!

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