Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Amblyopia - Katie's story

My ragamuffin :)
On Katie's two and a half year bithday, I noticed as she was sitting way too close to the TV right before bedtime, that her left eye didn't look so straight anymore. My husband thought I was crazy. Slowly over the next few months it got worse. The second her pediatrician saw it, he gave me a referral to the same doctor who had unblocked the tear duct of said eye when she was 13 months old. She has 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/100 in the other. She got glasses and after 4 days, we could really tell they were helping her. No wonder she was so shy around people and rowdy in the car. All she could see were talking blobs and whatever was in her lap.

We brought home a box of sticky patches about 6 weeks later. By the end of the day, all were gone. She was prescribed atropine, even though I really didn't want to do it. After 3 months, he decided it wasn't working, so we are back to the patch 6 hours a day, plus drops in both eyes. I've made her several patches, knowing that the sticky ones are just a waste of money. She always looks down over the top, or out the bridge of her nose. We are always fighting about it. I'm sad because I just want my perfect little girl back. I know it could be a lot worse, she could be really really sick, and not just have poor vision, but it's still so hard to know that she is as frustrated with all of it as I am.

People always ask about the patch. She has to wear it so much, it's inevitable. Kids stare. Her sister uses the words "lazy eye" a lot (what kid can say amblyopia, and what adult actually knows what it is anyway?) and those words bother me. I'm always thankful for those who understand and have experience with it and encourage me that it gets better. I'm thankful for the internet and being able to go to the amblyopia kids website and looking at all the pictures of girls just like her in their patches, showing her that it isn't that bad. I'm thankful that other than this one thing she is healthy. Some days patching is harder than others (today was a hard day) and I hope that at our next check-up we'll find that things are going better.


Unknown said...

Hang in there!!!!

I know just how you feel about those hard days. And I agree with you. The term "lazy eye" just stinks. It is so negative. My daughter and your daughter work so hard to see, it is the opposite of lazy!

Belle is the queen of peaking so much that many patches I have to double patch her but those adhesives are torture on her skin.

always sunny said...

what a little sweetpea! it will absolutely get better. i think her patch looks awesome and i can only imagine you make ones that rock. lanna would kill to wear a pirate patch. but you are right, those are long hours. hang in there baby! some kids don't have an eyeball under their pretty patches.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that sucks. Me, Jim and Jake all had that. Remember my huge glasses?! We turned out okay, I guess, right?!

Shady Grove Eye Vision Care said...

Vision therapy exercises the eyes and helps both eyes work as a team. Vision therapy for someone with amblyopia forces the brain to use the amblyopic eye, thus restoring vision.

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