As I kind of touched on in my last post, Autumn's progress vision-wise has been slow going. That's mostly my own fault...
When Autumn was first diagnosed with her eye issues over a year ago, her pediatric ophthalmologist asked us to patch for an hour a day. We gave it a try but it was a battle. Autumn wanted nothing to do with the patch and we could never keep it on longer than a minute. Autumn was still young and just getting used to the glasses, so we gave her a break.
Eventually our doctor decided to prescribe us Atropine drops, which dilate her good eye, making her weak eye have to work harder to see. Even with this solution, I wasn't as diligent as I should have been. To ease her anxiety, I would give her the drops while she was sleeping, before I went to bed. Depending on her position sometimes I couldn't give her a drop properly or I was so tired and just wanted to sleep that I was petrified I would wake her up and cause chaos. Essentially, those were my excuses which are just that, excuses.
At our last appointment I told the doctor that I felt like her eye was starting to wander again, which hadn't happened since her surgery in January. I asked him if this was normal, which he replied, "No." When I asked him what that meant, he told me it just meant that she can't see very good out of her right eye.
So, now that Autumn's older, has accepted her glasses and the vision in her right eye isn't getting better, there's no more time for excuses. I belong to a Facebook group for parents with "little four eyes" as they're called and one mom was devastated that her little boy would probably never be able to drive. While Autumn's vision is nowhere near that bad, it was enough to scare me into compliance.
I WILL SUCCEED.
The doctor recommended we attempt patching again 1 to 2 hours a day and recommended special patches sold by a company online, Patch Pals. I wanted Autumn to be involved and excited about her patch, so she helped me pick it out. A purple patch with a rainbow unicorn on it just screams Autumn, doesn't it??
It came last night and when I put it onto her glasses, Autumn immediately started crying and became frustrated. "I can't see!" I explained to her that the patch was like medicine so I don't have to put medicine in her eyes anymore, and the patch will help make her eye better so it's not "broken" anymore. Adam and I took her mind off it by acting like pirates, talking about the unicorn and lastly, bartering with her that if she kept on the patch we would go to the park and come home and have popsicles. She obliged and whenever she would start to complain or move the patch (she kept raising her head to try and peak out under the glasses, or move it to the side) we'd distract her. In the end, she kept it on about 30 minutes, which is about 29 minutes longer than she ever had in the past.
I decided to barter with her even more, telling her that if she wore her patch all week, I would take her to Build-A-Bear and we could buy/make a My Little Pony. I've been holding out on that for such an occasion and the patch is perfect!
This morning after breakfast we put on the patch again, while watching Spongebob and playing ponies. I'm trying to reason with her in time increments she can understand like "just until this episode's over". She did great, keeping it on 30 minutes and I will push her again to wear it 30 minutes later, getting in a full hour of patching tonight. We'll work up to the full 1-2 hours a day, but these small victories give me hope! I'm so encouraged that she's kept it on for 30 minute increments.
Autumn has matured so much since we started this journey a year ago. She understands so much more now and can be reasoned with. I am hoping that now with my diligence we will start to see an improvement. I've heard of so many success stories with patching and so badly I want my little girl to get better. Her eyes are beautiful - but they're not worth much if they don't work!!