Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eye Surgery #2

After my “falling out” with our local pediatric opthamologist, I went on a mad search for another doctor. I saw 4 other specialists, half of which I was not impressed with—and I felt like I was running out of time for Elena to have a chance at normal vision. I got a recommendation for a doctor in Northern Virginia, with a very busy practice and an extremely long waiting list (9 months). I managed to be seen earlier b/c Elena’s pediatrician happened to have treated the woman in the new appointments office. I met with Edward Parelhoff in XXX, and he knew Elena needed another surgery as soon as possible. He said Elena suffers from something called Infant Esotropia Syndrome, which basically means her brain doesn’t communicate well with her eyes—he’d expect that once he got her eyes straight on one plane (from cross-eyed to straight-forward) she would most likely have them drift on a different plane (up and down, or to opposite corners). Basically, he warned me not to be surprised if the next surgery—or the next—didn’t take. He and his entire staff are incredibly patient, respectful of parents, comforting to children, and above all practice sound medicine. He worked his Thanskgiving holiday by performing surgery on my daughter.
After the surgery, she seemed to be straight right away. We were stunned! We also think this had a lot to do with her increase in signs and vocalizations. CHECK TIMING OF THIS. She did start to drift upwards “into the outside corner” of her eyes, but that seemed to resolve itself. Unfortunately she has started to drift outwards (wall-eyed) in the past 3 months or so (starting around 3 years, 1 month). Dr. P was a little surprised—but not shocked—he had hoped her brain had “locked on” to a binocular image. She’s scheduled for another surgery before the end of the year. He says eventually her vision will level off, but they won’t give up on getting her eyes straight (at least—he’s not sure if she’ll use her eyes together, at the same time or not). The good news is Elena has (and always has) 2 eyes that are healthy, but unfortunately do not (yet) work together.

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