Saturday, December 11, 2010

Catching Up

So... I apologize to those of you who have been looking for an update since my last one. I guess this is what happens when I get back home to my two other young children with the one who is still recovering from surgery: I no longer have any time to update. :-)

Jeremy came and picked us up at the hospital on Thursday morning (Dec. 2). Addy's swelling went down quite considerably overnight, so her eyes were about half-open again by the time we left the hospital. Her older sisters were excited to see her again, and I'm sure Addy was glad to get away from that place with all the ladies who come in and wake you up and poke you with various things. ;-) (Not that I'm complaining... I know they're just doing their jobs.)

Addy was a little more quiet and clingy than usual for the first few days after we brought her home, but other than that, she went pretty much back to normal very quickly. I was expecting her sleeping schedule to get all messed up, but she actually went right back to her old routine! Her swelling came down very quickly, and by about day 6 after surgery, you could barely even see any swelling. So pretty much the only difference with the home recovery was having to put antibiotic ointment on her incision and hold her more than usual to keep her happy and safe. Never easy to alter a routine, but a lot better than I expected!

At this point, nearly 2 weeks out from surgery, I'd say Addy is just about back to normal in every way except that her incision is not totally healed up yet. (I assume that will probably take a couple more weeks.) But she is her usual cheerful, wanting-to-be-held-all-the-time, stinkery, cute self again. She is back to her two favorite games -- peek-a-boo and rubbing her hands all over your face ;-) -- and has recently added a new one: dancing. (She wiggles her little head and body back and forth in a playful, dancing manner... SO cute!!)

We saw Dr. Marcus on Wednesday (the 10th) for a follow-up. Apparently he wasn't informed that we were showing up that day, but he passed us in the hallway and basically gave us our follow-up right there! Ha! He seemed pleasantly surprised by how good she looked and how much the swelling had gone down already. (I had rigged up an inclined bed like the one in the hospital using her pack-and-play -- a hint I'd seen on craniokids -- and I think that did help with the swelling.) He said that everything looked great and even went so far as to say, "Did I even do surgery on her?"

One somewhat discouraging piece of news came a couple days before that, though, when we went to see her ophthalmologist at 1 week post-op. (That was probably a bit early, but we were going out of town soon, so I wanted to get it done so I'd know whether we should keep patching her eye, get her some glasses, etc.) The good news is that the surgery did not change anything for the worse. The not-so-good news is that it didn't help anything, either. (It usually doesn't.) The worse than that news is that it sounds like she probably WILL need eye muscle surgery after all... or at least, that's what the doctor said on that visit. Dr. Marcus thought that she may have been speaking a little too soon to be sure, since there was probably still some swelling and settling of the surgery to finish before they could make calls like that. The eye doctor herself said something similar, but more to the effect that we would wait and see for a few months, but that she thought surgery would probably have to happen.

I am personally a little skeptical of this. One encouraging thing is that we found that Addy is using both eyes equally and can see just about as well with each one (other than the astigmatism in her left eye). This is opposed to what she had seen at Addy's previous visit, where she was showing a definite preference for using her right eye and letting the left one drift. We think this is probably a result of the patching.

With that in mind, I have noticed that Addy's left eye definitely does not seem to be drifting as much. But the doctor still thought that her eyes were not completely aligned. This is where I am skeptical. There is a good portion of the time where her eyes are slightly off, but I believe that she CAN align her eye correctly when she is really trying. It is just easier at this point to be a little lazy with those muscles, especially when she is tired. Which, by the way, could have been part of the issue when we saw the doctor on Monday... It was just about Addy's naptime when we got there, and she ended up falling asleep in the waiting room at one point. Not the best time to be evaluating her eyes, I think.

Anyway, I think it is definitely still quite possible that she will need the eye surgery in the end, but I am interested in getting a second opinion and/or exploring non-surgical options. This surgery is a pretty minor one compared with the last one, but still never fun, and it sounds like it is fairly hit-or-miss. The statistics I've read say the problem is only corrected about 65-85% of the time, with the remaining percentage either causing no improvement or even worsening of the problem. Not the most encouraging thing to hear. Many parents that I know of whose children have undergone these surgeries have had to go through them at least twice.

So, that would be a new prayer request for us. We of course want to do whatever is best for Addy to give her the best sight possible, but it would be really nice not to have to go through more surgery... especially multiple surgeries. It would be another 4-6 months before we would get going on another surgery, though, so we have some time to get things a little more figured out. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and I will post more recent pictures of Addy as soon as I can. :-)

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