Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doctors, doctors and more doctors...

The other day I noticed that when Oscar blinked, he was only blinking one eye. I looked at him more carefully and then noticed that when he smiled, only the left side moved. So, we were soon headed for the doctor. Turns out he has Bell's Palsy. The doctor says that no one knows what causes it and there is no treatment for it. However, it seems that this is a temporary condition and that it should go away in a few weeks. If he is still can't move the right side of his face in six weeks, we are supposed to go back.

Poor kid, he can't drink anything without it coming back out of his mouth and we have to tape his eye shut at night when he goes to bed. (If his left eye is open, the right eye opens, but then he can't close it again without using his hand.)

Pray for a quick recovery for him, if you are so inclined...

Diana had her second visit to the optometrist's office today where they did more testing. Today she was with the therapist instead of the doctor.

Next week, we are all going to the dentist...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Update on Diana

Thursday was our first visit with the vision therapy optometrist. Diana just loves her. They spent 2 hours "playing games" (really, they were vision tests) and the doctor told her that she would not have to wear a patch or use atropine drops again (I think that is what really won Diana over). The doctor is a former teacher and has a wonderful "bed side manner". So different from the opthamologist we were seeing (although our new doctor says that he is an excellent surgeon). Diana even WANTED to wear her glasses to school the next day. Before, I had to practically threaten her life to make her wear them.

We should be finished with the evaluation phase by October 19th. We'll keep you informed of the progress.

Also, I'm reading a book called "Fixing My Gaze" by Susan R. Barry. She's had strabismus since birth and had it surgically corrected several times. When she was 50years old, she underwent vision therapy and she was finally able to see in 3D (stereovision) for the first time in her life. Her experience goes against the conventional wisdom that if strabismus isn't corrected by the age of about 6 or 7, it cannot be corrected. Gives me hope for Diana's eyesight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Diana's Eye

We went for Diana's 3rd opthamologist appointment back on August 29th. The news wasn't good. He could not see any improvement in her left eye and wants to do corrective surgery. I asked him about any alternatives or therapies and he said that there were no therapies and that surgery was the only way. However, after surgery all he was going to do was patch her right eye again. Being me, I wasn't convinced and decided to do my own research. What did parents ever do before Al Gore invented the internet? (hehehe)

From what I've read, Diana's condition (amblyopic strabismus) cannot be corrected with surgery. Sure her eye may not turn in anymore, but she still won't see any better out of it. What causes the eye to turn in is a disconnect between the brain and the eye. Surgery can't fix that, but I think therapy could. In fact, surgeries usually have to be re-done after a few years - sometimes several times because the real problem is not being addressed.

There is something called "vision therapy" done by a few optometrists. It turns out that there is one in Kansas City that does it. Long story short, we have an appointment this Thursday for testing and another next Wednesday for more testing and then the doctor will write up an evaluation. After that we will likely begin weekly therapy.

The reason that there are not a lot of doctors who do this is because it is not widely covered by insurance. In fact, we will have to pay for all the testing out-of-pocket and then try to get reimbursed by our health insurance company. Incredibly, most insurance companies will cover eye surgery to correct the strabismus (eye turn). Crazy! Who cares if the kid can see, let's just make her "look normal"! Oh yes, health insurance does need reform... but I'm still not in favor of "Obamacare".

I'm off my soapbox now. We'll keep you informed about Diana's progress.