Friday, 20 February 2015

Gideon VS The Cataracts

Gideon getting ready for surgery
Happy little doddle bug
When we brought Gideon home after he was born, our midwife noticed that he didn't have a red eye reflex.  This reflex is the same red eye you would see in a photograph.  We didn't know what was causing this until we saw our eye specialist when he was just over 6 weeks old. She declared cataracts.  When congenital cataracts are thick and opaque, the sooner you get rid of them the better because, with infants, the brain needs the stimuli from the eyes in order to create a connection to the brain. Permanent damage to this connection can occur if this surgery is delayed for too long.  The surgeon said we were getting him in just in time and normally she would have seen him sooner.  (Long story short, the cataracts were missed before he was discharged from the hospital and the family doctor wanted the pediatrician to make the referral to see the eye specialist and I had to live with the unknown of what was going on with my sons eyes for over 6 weeks until the midwives pressured my family doctor to make the referral.... agonizing!!!) Anyway, the surgeon did the right eye on her very next surgery day and did the left eye a week later.  After the second surgery we had to take a training session on how to put contact lenses in and out of Gideon's eyes. 

Post-op eye bandages
Things looked like they were settling down until at one of our follow-up sessions, the eye surgeon noticed that the cataracts were starting to come back.  Just little specks at first and then as the weeks went by they got thicker and more opaque.  Our surgeon said she has not seen a case like this in over 10 years.  It's a very rare thing to happen.  We are not really sure why either.  Gideon could have some underlining condition making it more likely that this would happen or it could just be some random event.

Last Wednesday Gideon had surgery on both his eyes to remove the secondary cataracts and correct a pupil that had pulled towards the original incision, leaving it off centered and misshapen. The surgery went really well and although his appetite seems a little down, overall I think he is seeing better and I can't wait until I can put his contact lenses back in so he can start to focus on the world again.

Gideon is now sporting some wicked eye guards that he will have to wear for weeks - Or at least until the sweet new glasses I bought for him come.  He is not  allowed to get anything in his eyes, including water, for two whole months.  I really hate these guards.  They make it difficult to get the eye drops in as the tape pulls on his hair, they get dirty and gross and he can even rip them off if he works at it.  Hopefully the new glasses will make both our lives happier.

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