We’re back at the ‘eye patching’ part of the program to treat Chip’s eye. After his cataract surgery he got to have some time off to heal and rest, but now we have to get back on the patching train.
Trade offs, trade offs. It’s all about balance.
He has some amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and the vision in that eye has been compromised by being covered up with a cataract. So, the treatment is to put an eye patch on the “good” eye to force the other eye to work really hard and catch up.
Imagine putting an eye patch on a 2 year old
He’s been doing the eye patch thing since he was about a week old. At first it was no problem. He’d complain, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. His only resort was to fall asleep, but then all I had to do was wait for him to wake up and, hey, the patch would still be there.
Then he turned one and the wheels came off. He figured out how to take the patch off. Sigh. We ended up having to get him these arm splints that keep him from being able to reach his eye. It felt barbaric to me, but we needed to be sure his eye didn’t get so bad that not even surgery would help.
Fast-forward to now. Post surgery. The doctor tells us that he needs to patch for 30 minutes a day and get up to 4 hours a day as soon as we can manage it. Well, I’m certainly not going to keep him in arm splints for 4 hours every day, and now that he’s older I don’t want to restrain him like that unless it is absolutely the only way.
So the doctor gave us a prescription for some eye drops. They dilate the pupil in his good eye so it can’t see very well, and are apparently as good as patching. I thought, “Great!!” Finally something that can be kind of non-intrusive in his life, and he won’t have to be held down by a team of monkeys for 40% of his waking hours.
However, our luck didn’t hold out as long as I thought.
The eye drops sting. Fan-fucking-tastic.