Sunday, May 19, 2013

Glasses, Patches, Surgery and more

Melissa and Madeline went to the eye Dr last week.

I figured they both may need glasses from what the Drs said in China.
"both had a weak left eye" and should be seen by the eye DR once we were home.
Of course I kinda hoped they were wrong.

The pediatrician did a very basic eye exam and they both did okay. I did not get a sense of urgency from the pediatricians office.
We made our eye appts but twice something came up and we rescheduled.

Down deep I felt like something was quite right. Both girls would hold the heads in different positions and look out from under their eyelids or from the side of their eyes- like a focusing issue.
I also wondered if Madeline had a roaming eye or a bit of strabismus. She has trouble directing her eyes on people when they are speaking to her (I also wondered if that was deliberate and if she was being a bit belligerent during those times).

Last week we finally had our appt and we got some unexpected news.

Melissa is ver very farsighted and she will need glasses. She also has a classic weak eye and will need to retain her brain to strengthen it. If she is in fact 7 yrs old they are hopeful she will have some positive results. I guess once the child get older the chances to strengthen a weak eye are less.
So she will be wearing a patch for 3-5 hours or more hours per day...

Madeline's right eye is pretty good but her left eye has a large cloudy cataract over the lens.
We don't know why or how it happened.
She can barely see at all out of her left eye.
Poor dear...
it really made my heart sad for her.

She is such a darling child but she has to put up with-
  a large hole in her right ear drum, major speech issues, all 4 quadrants of her mouth were filled with cavities/abscessed teeth and she now has a cataract (that will have to removed at some point- maybe sooner rather than later). 

And I wonder why she is not learning as fast as the other children?
I wonder no more...

Madeline will also be getting glasses and patching her left eye.
Please pray that the patching will be successful and the sight in her left eye will improve significantly.

At this point the Dr said that if it does not improve she will basically only have one functioning eye.
We go back in a month with Madeline and see if we have made any progress. At that point they will talk to us about the surgical options.

(Melissa wearing my glasses!)

The DR said that when you patch a child's eye they get very subdued and depressed like. They may cry the first couple times. He recommended doing something low key and fun like- TV time, iPad and snack.

Please pray with us for both of the girls vision.

I would love to hear from others that have managed the eye patching and glasses for their young kiddos.
This is all new to us!
Out of 16 children, none of them have worn glasses until now.


amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Not a young child story, but my son's best friend now 26 had never worn glasses but had a problem with seeing that he just blamed on too much computer time.

His dad made him go to the ophthalmologist and they found 2 cataracts in his eyes. One is small enough not to affect his vision now, the other had to come out stat.

He said the difference after the surgery was night and day. His vision improved drastically. He has to wear reading glasses but it hasn't hurt him any.

My 1st stepdad had lazy eye and he never had it treated as a kid during the 20's. My 2nd stepdad had severe macular degeneration in both eyes and was for all intents and purposes blind. Eye health is nothing to play with. The treatments done now will make their eyes healthy for the future.

Shelby said...

My brother had the same EXACT thing Maddie and Melissa have. He was three when we found out he was legally blind in his left eye. He is a very busy boy so we thought the patching would be difficult but he really did get used to it and it helped a ton. He can't quite see 20/20 today (he is 12) but with glasses, it is close. We did a lot of TV, snack, and Computer time when he had to wear the patch! Even got a stuffed animal dog with a circle around his eye and named him Patch...because he had a patch just like him! I am praying for you!

Stacy said...

Three out of 4 of my sister in laws bio kids have to patch and all three have had surgery. They all havee glasses. they have done really well with patching and have gotten used to it. One is very far sighted and can't see well at all without her glasses but they ahve all done really well.

Praying for y'all as you face the managemnet of it all.

susan nichols said...

My youngest adopted daughter had to have her one eye patched to help with vision and to strengthen it to move with the other eye. (not be slightly lazy) She was about 4 when we did this. It wasn't terrible at all. It was a pain for me to remember to patch every day for that many hours but did help. She had her eye patched like that for a few months and now only needs glasses. I can tell when she is tired that her one eye gets a bit lazy still. But nothing like it was before.

anyabar1987 said...

My friend has a young son who wears glasses (he is about 4 years old) and his glasses are rubberlike and they squish up in a ball and then pop right back into place. they also make very cute glasses for younger kids now a days that hold up better.
I remember getting my glasses in 6th grade and seeing the kids glasses because I was on the line there wasn't much to choose from but in the last 12 years it seems like the selection has exploded.

The Dear Family said...

Our daughter has strabismus and when she first went to the eye dr she did not have 3D vision or or much peripheral vision. She had first surgery last year and that greatly improved her vision. It is still not perfect due to some double vision, so we are waiting for her second surgery this summer. She did not need glasses.

Strabismus was one of our daughters special needs when we got her in 2011. She is now 7yrs old.

Angie said...

Jenna has had her eye patched for a year now and has gone from 20/200 to 20/50. She has never been depressed...I don't get where the dr. is going with that. The ONLY time she complained was when the patch would stick and make her skin red. Then we'd skip a couple days for her skin to heal. Laura had cataract surgery on both eyes, and twice has had the "cloud" removed from those lenses. Very successful surgery. They both wear glasses, and it's not a big deal. Praying your girls' vision improves, too!!

Vicky said...

Kendall was 12 when I brought her home and she too needed glasses. She also had a weak eye, the doctor wasn't sure patching would help d/t her age but we tried it and praise God it is making a difference!

Her weak eye went from reading the line first line under the top E to the fourth of fifth line down from the E on her first return visit.

She cried the first couple of times but now willing patches. She likes the band-aid type patch found at Wal-mart best. She usually is given the ipad or some activity that requires her to use her eye while she is patched. On Friday and Sunday's she patches before we travel and she watches a movie in the car it helps the time go by quickly!

Wendy said...

My son has diplopia. I have it too but I had surgery when I was small to cosmetically fix my eyes. It did not change the fact that in order for me to not see double, I have to only use one eye at a time. When my son was born, it did not take long for us to realize he has the same thing. This time, he had a doctor who knew what to do. He had him in eye glasses at one year of age. We did not patch his eye but he had to change his prescription every month or so. He is now 19, does not need glasses and has tested as 20/20 vision and can fly. He still has double vision but because we dealt with it, he was able to train his eyes so he does not see double even though his brain would like to operate that way. If that makes sense. Eye glasses on kids is not the easiest but it is not the worse either. They make such cute glasses now. They will be just fine. Sad to think their eye sight is not the greatest...glad they have the means to have a eye doctor treat them.

Wendy said...

What I mean by "flying" is he is in the marines and wants to be a pilot. I did not think that would happen and am so happy he can live his dream.

Janet said...

All 6 of my China kids have glasses. Two had eye muscle surgery, one had it twice. The older the child is, the harder it is to retrain the brain. My boys were 8 and 9, so patching was not even tried. One had 4mm of floppy muscle removed the 1st time.
Two other kids are legally blind. 1 with underdevolped eyes, that should remain stable thru out lifetime. One has Peter's Anomaly (rare, 1 in 5million). It is a combination of cataracts, glaucoma, nystagmus, no iris. His vision is expected to deteriorate over time. I had meant to tell you that your article about Abby, I could relate to. We have been pressured to have surgery that could result in total blindness if it didn't work. Also, he can have a corneal transplant. The success rate in kids is only 20%, but 80% in adults....if his eyes stay healthy enough to make it to adulthood.
Praying for peace in your decisions affectin all of your kids.

Sarah said...

I'm afraid that I don't have much wisdom for you, but I will be praying!

blstmama11 said...

My cousin was diagnosed with a lazy eye at the age of 8 or 9(she was completely blind in it). She is almost 12 and with aggressive patching and glasses sees just fine, no surgery needed!!!

Melody H. said...

Three sons of my own. Two have had glasses since 3 & 4 respectively. One has a lazy eye @8 and the other strabismus (corrected) with bad vision @6 now. Your girls look old enough to manage glasses and patching pretty well. Walmart sells a pediatric size patch which fits little ones much, much better. If you're lucky you can find printed ones. Patience is a virtue as the kids adjust. The younger son fought it for a long time and we went through lots of patches, while the older did better but felt like the adhesive irritated his skin. Our Dr. let us put the patch over his lens as long as he didn't cheat. i.e. tip his head so he could see over it. Glasses help hold patches in place, as well as the straps for the earpieces. This is how we got our three year old (then) to keep his patch on...he just couldn't get it off! If you have a Pearl Vision nearby that's where I'd get prescriptions filled. They have a lovely plan you can purchase for $25 when you buy the glasses. It's a replacement plan. If the frames of lenses need replacing due to damage it'll only cost $25 to replace each time, for as long as the prescription is good. Our little guy needed his replaced 4 times in one year...he kept losing them and stepping on em'! My DH had a lazy eye as a child and his therapist had him playing ping pong with his father daily while patched. It's excellent eye therapy and heaps of fun too! Good luck :)

Peggy said...

Let me start with saying is THE best place to order patches. We've tried others and the Nexcare made blood blisters on our daughter's face even though we carefully removed the patch.

Our daughter (adopted from China at 4 1/2) has several eye conditions in both eyes (congenital glaucoma, nystagmus, strabismus, amblyopia) and a cataract in one.

When she first came home she had only light perception in her right eye and she was 20/80 in her left eye corrected with glasses. We started patching and within 3 months she was 20/125 in the right eye with glasses and 20/70 in the left eye with glasses. Now after 1 1/2 years of patching she is 20/80 in her right eye with glasses and 20/30 in her left eye with glasses. And when they NEED glasses to see, they have no problem wearing them. Our daughter grabs hers as soon as she awakens in the morning and we take them off her when she goes to bed at night.

At first the patching was emotionally difficult. Our daughter had to patch for 8+ hours a day and it made her blind by covering her only sighted eye. I could see where a child could become depressed. Her pediatric ophthalmologist told us to have her play games on an iPod daily and do other activities that made the eyes track. Like I said, at first it was very difficult because she could only see light, but it improved quickly and before long she didn't mind it quite as much. We used incentives such as a sticker chart that allowed her to earn prizes for patching without fussing. Now that her vision is much better she rarely complains about the patch and we no longer have to do a sticker chart.

At our last visit her vision had slipped a little, so we had to increase patching to 10-12 hours a day. We get it in most days, but the PO told us to not worry too much if she has a shorter day on special occasions.

Praying your girls have an easy time of it and that their sight improves so much with treatment and glasses that they are able to see a whole new world!

Karen Davis said...

Amazing and quite a inspiring blog for those pursuing adoption. International Adoption agency

likeschocolate said...

Poor things! Like they haven't been through enough, but thankfully you have wonderful insurance and they are in your arms to care for them. You guys must be outside a lot these days the girls are getting so tanned. I don't know if you are familiar with this blog , but their little girl from China has been wearing and eye patch. You might want to go check it out. So excited for your newest additions. Have a great week!

Judy Deaton said...

Hi Jean.....sorry they have to have glasses. Both of our girls have to have them. Wren has astigmatism in one eye, and Iley is SERIOUSLY near sighted! -8.75 in one eye and -9.00 in the other. Iley NEVER or rarely takes her glasses off and they are NO problem. The one with astigmatism had to be patched...for several months....several rounds. She adapted quickly and it was a matter of me remembering to do it. She has an eye that waters a lot and she drives me nuts with wanting me to wipe her glasses all the time. It is really bad when she watches TV. They look cute in them, but I miss seeing their little Asian eyes in pics as well. We have had to bend their ear pieces way around the back of their ears to keep them on with their no bridge, flat little noses. you can look at their glasses on our blog if you want, we went with plastic, no nose piece glasses.

Leah S. said...

We are supposed to be patching Asher's eye (which is really bad, but he's too old for surgery). We were supposed to work up to 8 hours of patching every day. I didn't want him patched at school so that meant all the hours he was at home he was patched. This was NOT a good thing for our attachment, as he was starting to dread coming home because he knew the patch would go on. Finally in Feb. the doctor agreed with me, and we will be patching over the summer when there is no "out" for school. Also, one of your commenters mentioned problems with fitting glasses on tiny noses. Kids with Down syndrome (my four youngest have DS) have this same problem! Many of next to nothing for a nasal bridge. We've been through A LOT of glasses around here! The best ones we've found, taking into consideration BOTH durability and fit are these, with an adjustable ear piece: Also there is a line of glasses called Specs4Us, that are made specifically for kids with little to no nasal bridge. We have bought a couple pairs of them. I don't recommend them for kids who like to take their glasses off and throw them. ;-)

Stephanie M said...

When our five year old was two and a half, we noticed he was pulling one of his eyes with his finger and looking out of the corner of it. He would do this when he would watch a DVD, and even when he would talk to us. He also would rub and rub his eyes. We took him to the eye doctor, and he has a spot on his optic nerve in that bad eye. Right now it is stable, but they have taken imaging of it and are watching it close. He was fitted for glasses, and even at that young age wore them with no problem and left them on all day long. You can just tell how much they help! I would recommend getting any warrantee they offer for the glass in the girls glasses. Kids are hard on them. But they do make kids frames very sturdy. We get Lane's adjusted often because he is hard on them, but they have never broken.
We are praying!!!

EmmSa said...

Hi. I'm Emma and now 25 but have had a patch between 4-6/7 years old.

I have had glasses all my life,since around 2,5. At around four started to wear a patch. Most important is to put the patch on the skin and not the glasses, way too easy to cheat otherwise. And hurt really bad to takeit away, it's like a really strong band aid. For me it didn't help much but who knows always worth a try.

You and some other posters sound sad about glasses,don't be. It's norm today- At least where I live ( in Sweden).

If the girls have a huge difference between the eyes in strenght,remeber the probability of double vision. I have all the time, you get used to it but it is annoying. I have inmy left eye -12 and in the good right eye -2,5 almost. Also remember that you can never correct as good with glasses as with lenses, so when the girls are older atleast give it a try. For me it prevent double vision, but drys out my eyes. Because youcan have stronger prescription in lenses then in glasses.

Hope it works out fine. // Emma, Norrköping Sweden

Melissa said...

My dd adopted from China at 2.5 yrs had cataracts in both eyes and only had very little sight in one eye and none in the other. She had the cataracts removed at onces when she got home. They really should be removed asap. Then we patched for a 1.5 to strengthen the weak eye. She now wears glasses. She got them at 4 years old. She never had a problem patching or wearing glasses. Both my daughters wear glasses. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.


Heather said...

My sweet boy came home at 12 months. He had severe exotropia. We did surgery to straighten. The Dr. found he had a missing eye muscle, one in the wrong spot, and a congenital muscle fibrosis disease affecting the two outer muscles. Surgery helped the positioning of his eye, but the eye doesn't move. Over the next couple of years we patched for a few hours a day, but his vision started to fail. His brain was ignoring that eye, and we were told he would eventually be blind in that eye.
We went for a second opinion a couple of months ago. His new Dr. Has us patching him 24/7. The patch comes off once every 4 weeks to test his vision. After the first month, his vision went from 20/200 to 20/100. We go this week to see if there has been further improvement. Our goal is 20/60.
We didn't have much problem with patching a few hrs. a day, but 24/7 has proven to be much more difficult. He will be four in August and attends preschool. He never takes the patch off at school, but we do struggle at home. We just try to keep him entertained. His sisters keep us informed when he rips the patch off. We also use rewards, and that seems helpful. We haven't had an issue with being subdued or depression, but he (understandably) becomes frustrated and has fits. We just push on.
I have to tell you that in January, we were both having our children's medical checks at the same time. I remember you because you we're telling one of my travel mates how many children you have. My husband and I have adopted three precious blessings from China. We are in awe of you and your husband and how you manage your home and family.
No words can express how lucky you and I both are to get to be the mothers to these sweet babies. Aren't we blessed!

Tina Michelle said...

hugs!! I hope the patching goes well for you.

MommaT said...

My now 12 year old had glasses at age 3...she was patched for a year or more all day. It wasn't fun for the first couple days (because she was so young and didn't understand) but she got use to it, as did we. I would not recommend the sticky patches, they can make the skin sore. We got the kind you slip over the glasses. It just became part of her...she barely remembers it now

Vickie said...

Just wanted to chime in--go with glasses that do NOT have the nose pieces, go with the molded frames. Our Chinese kiddos tried out the nose piece ones and had a terrible time with them, the molded frames work so much better and take your script to Walmart, they will fill it cheaply with a 1 year warranty. We have glasses for Paisley, Phoebe and Chloe (Chloe doesn't have to wear hers anymore). No experience with eye patching, sorry.

Janet and Kevin said...

Our Sophia has to wear glasses and patch her eyes as well. She does very well and keeps track of the time (mostly) by herself. When she has the patch on, her sense of spatial reasoning and thought process does not seem to be as sharp. We think having only one eye at that time period of patching throws off her balance and detracts from letting her think as clearly. I always need to remind myself of this when she runs into things more often or looks like she is having difficulty comprehending something.

We used a "pirate" patch for over a year on the advice of our first eye doctor, but when we changed doctors, he told us to buy the sticky patches. These work much better. I am always careful to place it just so because I don't want to tear off her eyebrow when I remove the patch!

God bless - janet and gang

Jamaal said...

Our son had exactly the same thing when he was younger- didn't get picked up until he was around seven, but then it got treated . He's fine now- needs glasses , but otherwise no problem at all. You worry so much about these things at the time and when you look back it all worked out fine.

Jamaal @ Eye Clinic London