Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vision News

Two weeks before Christmas we got the second best news we've ever heard concerning Cal's eye. The best news was when the specialist in Long Island told us that Cal's retina was not detached and that he could fix it. A couple weeks before that we had been told that his retina was detached, that he would never see, and that most likely his eye would die and have to be extracted, resulting in problems with his skull developing correctly as he grew. You can imagine the mercurial emotions Brian and I felt during that time. I wanted to punch the retina specialist in Washington in the face for his misdiagnosis and I wanted to make out with the one in New York.

It turned out that the doctors knew each other and the New York doctor made a call to the Washington doctor and in the end, despite my anger at him, we still see the first doctor, who has since proven to be apologetic about his mistake and awesome in general. He's actually one of the best retina guys in Washington. I again cannot stress enough the importance of getting a second opinion. Cal's PHPV is so rare that only a handful of doctors in the entire country specialize in it and the one we found in New York has done extensive research on the condition. Let me tell you, that man will get a Christmas card from here on out, and all of our referrals. He assured us that the Washington doctor's mistake was an honest one, and one many doctors would make.

Fast forward through more surgeries and contacts and patching and eye drops. In July of this year Cal's pediatric ophthalmologist tested his vision and said he couldn't see well at all and was grim about his chances of ever seeing better. She's the one who originally prescribed his contact strength when he was five months old. We weren't happy about that news and her lack of curiosity for what he actually could see, and so we saw yet another ophthalmologist in August, who found that Cal was farsighted in his good eye and he prescribed Cal's glasses. 

We saw yet another pediatric ophthalmologist simply for convenience sake because this guy didn't operate in the same hospital as our retina guy and we didn't want to have to put Cal under anesthesia twice when both investigative exams could be done at one time by two doctors. She is the wife of Cal’s retina specialist-- the guy who misdiagnosed him. She is awesome. When he was under anesthesia she found that Cal needed a much weaker contact prescription than what he had. So, two weeks before Christmas she did a vision test on Cal with the new strength. Usually they use images instead of letters to test young children's sight. She covered his good eye, turned on a screen across the room with a letter on it, and reached for the button to turn on the images instead of letters. Cal immediately blurted out, "T." She was surprised and said, "You know your letters!" Yep.

She switched screens to smaller and smaller letters and we both looked at each other in amazement as he kept saying them correctly. This screen was ten feet across the room! With his stronger prescription he couldn't see nearly that far-- it must have blurred his vision at longer distances. Of course I got goose bumps and the doctor, who knew of her husband's misdiagnosis and of Cal's amazing tale thus far, made me like her even more with her excitement. She said she couldn't wait to tell her husband and that he would be so happy to hear it. It kind of made me want to invite them both to our gingerbread party, but maybe I'll wait until next year for that.

So that's the happy update on Cal's vision. Yay!

Lookin' good. Seein' well!

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