Category: strabismus

My Strabismus Update

Hey guys!  This is just a quick update.  Those of you who have been with the blog for a long time might remember the eye surgery I had in 2011 and 2012.  It was quite the journey but the surgery was to correct an amblyopia or strabismus (commonly referred to as a lazy eye).  I had always had trouble seeing double and found it incredibly difficult to make eye contact with other people.  Focusing in general was tough but I didn’t think there was anything you could do about it.  Indeed I had eye doctors tell me there was nothing we could do about it (stupid doctors!). 

It’s a real shame too because the problem is much easier to fix when kids are little but because of the doctors ignoring it I went untreated until I failed a vision test for my drivers license.  I was supposed to look into a box and see a light but couldn’t see anything.  This was caused by my strabismus issues.

I ended up finding Dr Petersen at Rocky Mountain Eye Care and it took 2 surgeries and then vision therapy from Utah Vision Therapy but the treatment seems to have worked.  My doctor told me last week that I don’t need to see him again for another 2 years!

I made this video where I explain more of my journey and the treatment I received.  Please pass it on to those you know and keep an eye out for kids that have signs.  Thanks!

My Life in a Graphic/Surgery Choice

So, I’ve been feeling an itch to travel lately.  Let off some steam.  I’ve been thinking about maybe a trip to the beach once my surgery has healed.  Yes, I’ve decided to give the strabismus one more try.  March 14th is the date. I’m not sure how I’m going to get through this one.  Since there has to be someone to take me to the doctors to get the suture adjusted I need someone who can be with me for at least half the day.  Hmmm….This is where being single is a challenge!

Anyway, it should be fun to reap the rewards of being in a family ward after surgery.  Should be some yummy Relief Society meals (JK!).  I just hope it works this time.  I’m not goona lie.  I’m a little scared.  Going into it the second time is part relieving and part terrifying. I know some parts were easier than expected and some parts were harder.  I wish I could just get it done tomorrow instead of waiting until March, 14. Wish me luck! Keep me in your prayers for this and many other reasons.

Anyone want to plan a trip to the beach? Say Spring break or Memorial Day? Just the thought of the ocean is bringing me peace.  I love it so much!

To Operate or Not?

That is the question.

So, last May I had surgery on my eye to correct a strabismus problem. This is a problem where the eyes are misalligned and point in different directions. Usually one eye looks ahead and the other looks outward.  This causes double vision, poor depth perception and a difficulty focusing.

There is no cure for a strabismus defect because it is neurological in its origins. In surgery they try to move the eye muscles and realign the eyes despite the problem signals in the brain.  In 80% of cases the surgery works and the brain starts sending the right signals.

Unfortunately, I’m not in the 80%.  Already after a mere 8 months my problem has regressed. (Before the surgery my alignment was off by 20 degrees, then it went down to 6, now it is back up to 14).

This leaves me with 2 choices-

I can try the surgery again.  It is no more less or more likely to work a second time.  Still 20% regress. 80% don’t and have success… This women has had the surgery 4 times http://hardluckasthma.blogspot.com/2010/06/strabismus-case-of-wandering-eye.html.  A nurse at the doctors office has had it 7. These are unusual cases but there is that possibility.  Each time 20% risk of it not working.  Most surgeries don’t have that high a risk.

or I can get prism glasses- these are special lenses that bend light and help with the double vision.  They do not correct eye alignment.  As soon as the glasses are off the problem remains.

There are no long-term problems like loss of eye sight or something associated with the condition.  It’s definitely a condition I could live with (I have for 31 years).

So now I must decide is it better to take a risk and have a potentially problem solved or do I go with a maintenance approach with the glasses? I don’t know if I will like glasses? Its like looking through your world through boxes and its hard to find frames that fit my huge head- most of them squeeze and cause headaches.  This may sound silly but I also know I will have problems keeping track of my glasses.

On the other hand, surgery was a hard experience.  It took me 2 days just to recover from the anesthesia. 4 days before I could drive and it was painful.

What would you do- would you take the risk?

It is covered by insurance multiple times as it is not viewed as a cosmetic surgery.

I knew bad news was coming at the doctor but I was still bummed to hear it. Darn it all!

Part of it is I just feel like I look weird.  Maybe nobody else would notice but to me it was glaringly obvious in recent photos.  This one was especially clear:

I knew as soon as I saw this photo. Call the doctors. Do you see how one eyes is looking straight and the other is off to the side?

Although, this could be a way to get my mother to come visit just me again…Strabismus surgery every year! 😉 JK.

Hey, I just found out Abraham Lincoln had a strabismsus problem.  Makes me feel like less of a freak show!  At least