Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A big day for a little girl

Our little Makayla had a very big day yesterday, not her birthday (that's still a few weeks away), but a very big day medically speaking. She had a bilateral medial rectus recession surgery. Huh? Okay, in common terms, she had surgery on both of her eyes to correct her strabismus (aka crossed eyes).

Sunday at lunch, hopefully
 one of he last strabismus pictures!
We started noticing her right eye turning in when she was about 3 months old. More than just the normal 'crazy newborn eyes' where they are still gaining control over those muscles. Then we started noticing the left eye doing the same. There were times when she looked normal, and then others where you couldn't tell which eye she was looking at you with it was so bad. 

At 6 months we talked to her Pediatrician about it. He referred us to a Pediatric Opthamologist, and if you have ever had a specialty referral you know how that can go. L-O-N-G wait time for an appointment. There are only two pediatric opthamologists in Albuquerque, so there was a 2 month wait to see either one. Eventually, at 8 months of age, we finally got in to the Dr. He dilated and checked her vision as best you can on a baby, said that the crossed eyes didn't appear to be based solely on being farsighted, and said it was most likely stabismus, a condition where the eye muscles are weak and the eyes either drift inward or outward. We began daily patch therapy to strengthen her eyes and see if that would resolve the problem. At her 6 week recheck we saw no improvement and surgery was suggested as the next option. We could choose to wait and see if the problem resolved, but at the risk of one of her eyes becoming dominant and the other becoming very weak. Based on the fact that her condition had only worsened in the last few months, we decided to move forward with surgery as soon as we were able. 

Ready for surgery in her little gown
So yesterday, July 16, we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am, hungry baby in hand, ready for a emotionally exhausting morning. Check-in, wait, pre-op, wait, talk to Dr, wait, talk to Anesthesiologist, take baby to OR, wait, wait, wait. Talk to Dr after surgery, wait to see baby (this was actually the hardest wait for me).  The whole process was really as smooth as we could have asked for- Makayla fell asleep in my arms while waiting for the surgery to begin, so we were able to carry her to the operating room entrance and transfer her into her nurses arms, kiss her goodbye and see her go without her waking up or being upset. The Dr said she  stayed asleep until the got the mask on her and she was under the first level of anesthesia, so she never even knew she left my arms. That made my heart so happy. 

My little 'kitten' after surgery
The surgery was about an hour long, and then we waited another 20 minutes before we were able to go see our baby girl. She was this sleepy little cuddlebug, with occasionally crying and opening of her very swollen goop covered eyes. She almost reminded me of a newborn kitten. She didn't really want to eat or drink, or even wake up for more than 30 seconds- but they still cleared her to go home, took out her IV's and monitors and sent us home after an hour. She slept the whole ride home, even through an pharmacy stop to fill her medications. When we got home she wanted to nurse a bit, woke up and crawled around her sister's room after the cat, and then threw up all over me and fell back asleep. I didn't mind. She slept on my chest/arms for several hours before she really woke up and became more of her normal and alert self. After a light lunch she started becoming more playful, took another nap and ate a nice full dinner. 
Playing in the afternoon

Close up of her post surgery eyes
Today we have a recheck on her eyes with the Dr. Hopefully he thinks everything looks good and still believes the surgery was 100% successful, although I doubt we will know that for a few days/weeks still. Roy feels like her eyes are more controlled already, but I am having trouble seeing anything clearly because of her swollen and red eyes. Right now we are just happy to have successful completed one of the most stressful days our family has experienced and looking forward to putting the eye problems behind us (hopefully).

For anyone who wants to see what the surgery looks like/what is done, here is a link to the a strabismus surgery via youtube. Just be careful not to watch if you are squeamish!

1 comment:

  1. Linda BoatwrightJuly 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Thanks for such a detailed report on Makayla. I have talked with you yesterday and today but this is nice to see in writing. Hopefully the Dr. has given you an A-OK on her this afternoon. Love you all!Grandma Silver



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