Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pedaling My Worm to Nystagmus Eye Surgery

Today was eye surgery day! But first, I want to share something funny that came home in The Skink's school backpack on Wednesday.

School work! Yes - the kind of school work all kindergarteners have at some point... but with true Skink Style! You see, The Skink has a BIG sense of humor. It comes out when she's bored of the task at hand and has an irresistible desire to spice things up. Check this out - it's like Ad-Libs for kindergarteners!

I don't know about you, but I try to plant plenty of caterpillars in my garden, but I always warn them to watch out for those seeds that crawl through the dirt!

On a more serious note, today was eye surgery day! In comparison to The Skink's last eye surgery where both eye balls were basically removed from her head so every last eye muscle could be readjusted, this one was just a simple tweak.

The Skink was born with a very severe case of Nystagmus. We don't know if it was a result of her prematurity and low birth weight (2 lbs 7 oz) or an issue related to Down syndrome. It could have been either (or both) but at any rate, her case was really bad!

 The Skink - age 2. She had to tilt her head back as far as she could to make her eyes stop wiggling.

The initial surgery was done when she was 2 years old, and we had to drive up to Pittsburgh, PA because our local doctor wouldn't touch such an extreme case. The Skink saw the doctor who developed the surgery for Nystagmus. Upon finishing her surgery (which was scheduled between a kiddo who had been flown in from India to receive the procedure from this doctor, and another from Egypt) Dr. H***** announced that The Skink's was one or the worst cases of Nystagmus he had ever seen.

I love it when doctors are so encouraging like that!

Anywhoo - that first surgery worked miracles! While it didn't fully correct the condition, it reduced the rapid movement ten-fold. Prior to the surgery, The Skink had to lean her head so her nose was facing the ceiling to quiet her eye movement enough to look straight ahead... and after the surgery she only needed to tilt it a bit to one side.

 You can see how The Skink's left eye is about 2 mm higher than the right eye. Either that, or there's something up in the sky that she's only half-paying attention to.

The purpose of today's surgery was to lower her left eye by about 2 mm.

Last night and this morning we put drops in The Skink's eyes to dilate them - which gave her a great excuse to look very stylish on the way to the surgery center! 

(It would have been inappropriate to bring my big, new camera to the surgery center, so many of the following pictures were taken with my old Kodak Easy Share camera - which I can swiftly hide in my bra at the first sign of an angry nurse!)

 Walking with Daddy into the Surgery Center. Note the spiffy new cow backpack which is perfect for carrying...    cows.

Then, of course, it was time to hurry up and wait. But that was fine with The Skink - she started her own little dance party right there in the waiting room! Smart Daddy brought along a Victorious DVD, so after the dance party ended, The Skink enjoyed watching a bit of her favorite show. 

I had been really worried because the surgery was scheduled for 11:15 a.m. and The Skink wasn't allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before... but do you know? She never once complained or begged for food! Apparently dancing was far more fun than eating! 

When we finally were taken to a room, The Skink was given some sleepy-juice... which she resisted with all her might! She didn't want to miss out on all the excitement!

Checking out the 2 ID bracelets on her ankle.

Can't... go... to... sleeeeeeeeep...

And then somebody came and took her - she wasn't asleep, but went along happily - eager to have a new adventure!

The surgery took about an hour and a few minutes. The doctor came back and said that everything went well (considering the scar tissue he had to work around) and said that her glasses prescription has changed just a little. She's slightly less near-sighted! Hooray!!

Do I look a tad tired?  I can't imagine why...

Juuuust starting to wake up. Feeling a bit cranky - but who could blame her?

And once the bulk of the grogginess from the anesthesia wore off, she set her sights (her slightly less-nearsighted sights) on Goldfish crackers and apple juice! It was really rather amazing just how happy she was once she really woke up!

Once we got home, she wanted to pose and make model-pouty-faces for the camera! Silly stinker!

See this? This is my good eye!

Children are amazing! While it looks like it would hurt like heck, this kid bounced around for the rest of the day - just as happy as could be. She ate like a horse and went right back to her regularly scheduled Skinkiness. Now I just have to figure out how to break it to her that I'm not sending her to school tomorrow looking like she was hit by a bus. She'll be horribly disappointed!

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  1. ::big, triumphant hug::

    Children are amazing, and ours are definitely dancing and bouncing all over the top of the list!

  2. Awwwww...I am so glad that her surgery went so well! It does look like it would hurt! She is so cute and sweet! :)

  3. Oh, you’re the Skink is just so lovely! Kids are indeed amazing, perhaps because of their genuine, bright attitude towards everything and everyone. How is she doing now?


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