Posted by themoneyfamily on April 18, 2009
Well, Penny’s been in her glasses almost 2 weeks. We get alot of comments, mostly saying that she is so cute with them. More often than not I get asked how we knew she needs glasses. Most of them time I get comments on today’s technology and being able to a) tell that a 3 month old needs glasses; b) that they can correctly guess the prescription; and c) that they can surgically correct problems like Penny’s cataracts when she is this little. Every once in a while I get a person that just completely accepts that Penny has glasses – doesn’t ask about them or why she has them.
I am getting better with keeping her glasses on. I usually take them off to feed her, since I am breastfeeding. I have heard it is possible to nurse with the glasses on, but I find the frames end up digging into her temples while she’s nursing, so I take them off. If she happens to fall asleep with them on, I just leave them on. If she is sleeping without glasses, my intention is to put them on when she wakes up. Sometimes I get distracted and forget for a little while though.
Unfortunately I’m starting to see something else wrong with Penny’s eyes. I’ll find out for sure when we have her appointment on the 29th. It looks like Penny’s left eye is turning in a bit. It’s like crossed eyes, except her right eye still looks straight. The condition is called strabismus. Generally it happens when one eye is stronger than the other. The stronger eye takes over all of the vision-processing and takes the load off the weaker eye. So the weaker eye kind of falls out of alignment because it’s not being used as much. We had hoped that this wouldn’t happen because we caught her cataracts so early. I believe there is a surgery that can be done on the muscles of her eye, but other than that we would probably have to patch. Patching is not fun. Court had to patch his eye when he was little. Patching involves reducing vision in the stronger eye to make the weaker eye work harder. This can be done with adhesive patches, or with a black contact, or with some sort of soft patch that covers the lens of their glasses (this one apparently doesn’t work as well because the child can still look around the frame of the glasses to see). If patching is “prescribed”, the ophthamologist will tell us to patch Penny’s stronger eye for a certain number of hours a day.
I’m also a member of BabiesWithGlasses.com and follow a blog called Little Four Eyes. Both have members and followers that have to patch their childrens’ eyes and talk about the trials and tribulations of successful patching. Especially with younger children, it is beyond difficult to get the child to leave the patch on. They have many activities, games, reward systems and advice to helping a child who needs to patch. One of the other ladies there has a daughter that was in glasses at 2 months of age for having a cataract as well. She is currently using a black occluding contact lens for her little girl because the adhesive patches were not working for them and were irritating the skin around her eye. So many parents there that are facing the same issues as us… it is a big help, a great community to be a part of. I don’t feel guilty for Penny having cataracts or needing surgery and glasses or potentially needing patching. But I do regret the amount of teasing and comments and looks and questions she will get if we have to patch her. That is my feeling bad for Penny side. Feeling bad for me is questioning if Court and I should have any more children, knowing that there is a 50% chance another child would be born with cataracts and face this whole ordeal again. I want children… as in plural… as in more than one. Can I be the next “18 Kids and Counting”? I’ve wanted kids since I was 17 (just wasn’t stupid enough to go out and get them). I had the greatest pregnancy. Like my body and my mind is meant for having kids. So it hurts, actually cuts at my heart to question if we should have more, or just stop at Penny…