Armed with diagnosis, a relatively bright prognosis and a number of new referrals our journey continued.
After nearly a year of patching Charlie’s eye the Docs in the Eye Clinic decided that his ‘weaker’ eye was of good enough vision to attempt to ‘realign’ his wonky look. His lazy eye turned in slightly, this is called Strabismus. Not only would it potentially improve Charlie’s vision, offering stereoscopic sight (main benefit depth-perception) it would also have cosmetic effect. Much as Charlie’s Mum and myself were not overly bothered aesthetically, it offered a nice opportunity for Charlie to appear ‘normal’.
The operation was scheduled just after his 2nd birthday, it was called a bilateral recession surgery. Little muscles attached to the eye pull to move the eyeball around its orbit, Charlie’s spasticity and high muscle tone meant that some pulled ‘out of sync’- pulling the eye off centre.
Charlie attended the Hospital and was suitably spoiled rotten by the healthcares’ and nurses’ on Disney ward. What a wonderful breed of people- the staff that looked after Charlie were so loving, caring and accommodating that I think Charlie would have quite happily stayed on the ward fussing and playing with the lovely ladies.
Lou took Charlie off to the anaesthetic suite- something I think she would rather not do. When a child is ‘put to sleep’ before anaesthetic they usually sense what is going on- and struggle, and fight, and cry. The sensation of helplessness preceding any procedure is extremely hard to bear. The unknowing, the potential risk, the fear of a unbeknown problem. At the end of the day the healthcare professionals in charge of children’s care, Charlie’s care, know what they are doing. I can only hope they do the best they can- so far I can happily report, they have!
After a nervous 2 hour wait we didn’t see Charlie as much as hear him. Poor little thing screamed blue murder on his return to the ward. The little muscles on his eyeballs had been loosened and tiny stitches held them in place. I can only imagine the discomfort. For a good 2 hours after every time Charlie tried to open his eyes he wailed with pain- Lou and myself almost fought each other trying to be able to offer some sort of succor.
After a little while longer Charlie was able to open his eyes, he looked like he’d been 2 rounds with a heavy-weight! His eyes were bloodshot and his tears ran red with blood. Nevertheless, the operation was a success- bye-bye google eye!
By all accounts it is rare for strabismus to be ‘fixed first time’ and a second attempt is often required. Over a year later we are still holding off on the revision- Charlie’s eyes are normally quite straight other than when he is particularly tired or under the weather.
Thank you Opthalmology…