Guest post: patching

Many, many thanks to Reena for sharing this story about her son’s year of patching. — Ann Z

Noah on his first day in glasses. [image: baby boy wearing a patch]

On April 5th, 2016, I touched my first patch. I picked my favorite pattern, camouflage. I took it out of the package, took a deep breath, and covered my 3 month old son’s left eye. Noah hated it instantly; so did I. I didn’t cry. I smiled, took a picture, and repeatedly told Noah how cool he looked, how much I loved him, and how it’s all going to be okay. I nursed him, I rocked him, I sang, I danced around the apartment. I did anything I could think of, except cry. I waited until 4 hours went by. I gently took off the patch. And then, I cried.

Noah was diagnosed with bilateral congenital cataracts at two and a half months old. Since then, he’s been under anesthesia 5 times: 2 cataract surgeries, 2 exams under anesthesia, and 1 strabismus surgery. His left eye is much stronger than his right eye, so in order to make his right eye stronger, for the past year we’ve patched (nearly) every day. We’ve cried, hugged, and distracted, distracted, distracted. However many hundreds of patches Noah pulled off, we put on just one more. Noah’s had good days and bad days. There were days when Noah’s eye crossed into his nose, he kept pulling off his patch, and I hated patches so much I almost screamed. There were days when, miraculously, he kept his patch on and I put him to sleep knowing we had done our part to fight the weaker eye.

Noah today. [Image: toddler boy in a swing wearing glasses and a patch.]

It’s been quite a year. Somehow though, looking back, today there’s no hate. Today, it’s replaced by a heart full of gratitude, and an eye that gets stronger every day. I’m grateful for doctors who both treated and loved Noah. I’m grateful for family, for the times that (I convince myself?) Noah looks straight into my eyes. Most of all, I’m grateful to God, for bestowing endless blessings upon myself and my family.

Today? I’m grateful for patches.

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4 responses to “Guest post: patching

  1. Hes a doll, im glad its going better for use. I use to cry when my son would rip his patches off as a baby

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    • Thank you! Yes, it’s the saddest to see the red ring around their eyes and have to put another patch on top. I always try to remember that one day, all of it will be worth it ❤️

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  2. Hi there, we patched my youngest daughter for over a year to help save vision in her right eye. She was just over a year when she was diagnosed, and we had to patch for 4 hours a day. She HATED it the first few times, however we started making a big deal out of it. We purchased basic patches and began decorating them each weekend. Then during the week she was allowed to pick out which ever design she wanted to wear that day, and it became fun and exciting for her!

    I have recommended this to a few other people within our support group, and all said this helped make patching so much easier.

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