Monday, 13 February 2012

My Brave Baby Boy!

Today was Freddy's hospital appointment with the Ophthalmologist.  He was referred after visiting the local optician following a 'white eye photo' scare in December. As it is half term, I had my girls with me to help out with their little brother.

From the moment we arrived, Freddy was absolute charmer saying "Hello Lady," to everyone he met.  He melted a rather austere receptionist with his greeting and smiles.  It put me in a much more relaxed mood seeing Freddy taking it all in his stride.

We didn't have to wait too long in the communal waiting room with other patients awaiting blood tests, hearing tests and sexual health screenings (a worrying mix!) before being called in.  Freddy immediately began pointing at the pictures on the wall naming Peppa Pig, Winnie the Pooh and princesses.  I started thinking that we were there under false pretences!

Freddy was so co-operative with all the tests, I was so proud.  He had one of his eyes covered to test his vision.  He sailed through naming all the pictures that were shown to him, doing a great job even as the images got smaller and smaller.  He was praised on his vocabulary as he chatted away about fish, ducks, apples and cars.  I thought they would tell me he was fine and send us on our way with a clean bill of 20:20 vision.  Then they switched eyes.  I was really shocked to discover that he could hardly see a thing out of his left eye.  You could see him trying to peep out from under his covered eye.  He couldn't recognise the images at all and when prompted said "I can't see it anywhere.  It's too hard."  It was quite upsetting to see him struggle but he handled it really well and tried hard.  His 3D vision is also non-existent.

It made me realise how amazing he is to cope so well in everyday life.  He catches balls and runs around as well as any other toddler, but all this time could only really use one eye. His left eye isn't just is hibernating.

He was given eye drops to dilate his pupils and he made no fuss.  The nurse said the drops really stung and children usually cry.  But he didn't complain at all, bless him.  After 20 minutes he was seen by the doctor for further tests and she confirmed that one eye was extremely long sighted to the point of being ineffective.  She wrote up a prescription for him to get glasses.  The right lens is just glass, the left one is going to try to pull up his vision in his bad eye.  It is hoped that this will kick start the vision and 'remind' his brain on how his eye should work.  It has been caught really early, thankfully. I always have concerns about my children's vision as their paternal grandad is registered blind.

Freddy was fitted for his glasses which we pick up next week.  He has to wear them all the time.  It will be interesting trying to get him to keep them on!!  He'll be assessed again in 8 weeks. He looks very cute in his Mr Men design specs and was very excited to choose them all by himself!

Freddy's New Glasses
I'm so glad that the chain of events led me to get his eyes tested properly, therefore discovering this problem now.  No-one can tell us the long term prognosis, but whatever it is, Freddy will handle it with humour, bravery and a sense of fun!


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