Saturday, March 24, 2012

Project: Cataract removal

Ava’s eye does not define who she is as a person and I try my hardest not to even realize that there is anything wrong with it. I tell myself not to be upset or take her vision as a loss when you can’t lose something you never had. Perfect vision is what she never had. She was born with a cataract on her right eye. She also developed a hemangioma on her lip within the first month of birth. I was too worried about the big red ugly birth mark to even notice that her big beautiful eyes were not even functioning properly. I, along with three doctors completely missed this. By the time spring rolled around I was out walking more and the sun was finally shining after a cold winter. This is when I realized she was squinting. I brought it to the pediatricians’ attention and he told me it looked like squinting because the bridge of her nose was too wide; wait it out. I waited a week and brought her back in. He told me pupils come in different shades. I was angry because by this point I knew there was something drastically wrong with my baby’s eye. During this month I finally got the internet and a computer (it was 2007, I should’ve had technology by then but somehow managed without) so I could continue researching eyes. I took her back in few days after the prior appointment and stated she has cataracts, pupils do not come in different shades and we need to see a specialist. He wrote me a referral and I had to wait a month to get in to the ophthalmologist due to the pediatrician not thinking it was an emergency. That specialist diagnosed her with a cataract in her right eye and sent me to another specialist who performed cataract removal surgery on her eye that week. Of course, I had to get another referral. When I picked up the referral I remember the doctor who thought there was nothing wrong with her eye, taking her to the room and checking again. This time he saw it, couldn’t believe and called in all of his associates to take a look at my baby’s freak show eye. He said in his 100 years of practicing he had never seen anything like it. By now it was July and Ava was now about nine months old. Too see her in that tiny hospital gown with IV’s in completely broke my heart. The surgery went well but her vision was completely shot and her brain was never trained to use that eye. I cried; my baby wasn’t perfect and never will be, she might not drive, read, walk or do anything a child with vision can do. So far she proved me wrong and will prove me wrong through out her life. This minor surgery was nothing compared to the challenges ahead with contacts, patching, another surgery and life. Oh, and while all of this was going on, I found out I was pregnant again.
This was right after the surgery. It looks worse than what it was.

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