Monday, November 15, 2010

Patchy Patch

My son whojust turned 4 years old was diagnosed with extreme farsightedness and amblyopia right around his third birthday. In my son's case, his vision was so different in each eye that his brain started to shut one, weaker eye, in his case his right eye, down. As a result, the eye starts to turn in from not being used. With his glasses on you don't notice it as much but with his glasses off it's quite bad!

Now the process to correct this is not that easy! Surgery to straighten it at this stage would only be temporary and pointless because without the vision being corrected the eye would just revert back to not being used. So, before any surgery can be done we have to improve the vision. How do we do that? Well, aside from the obvious - glasses, we have to patch the stronger eye to make the weaker one work harder. By patching the "good" eye, the "bad" eye is forced into use. Our end goal is to make the eyes even out in vision so we can do surgery to correct the weakened muscle.

Well, this all sounds so easy. Unless you're 3 going on 4 and you don't want to wear a patch! In our case it was quite a battle. We bribed, we bargained, we threatened, we tried reason (ya, right!), we played pirates, we all wore patches too - everything we could think of to no avail! I couldn't blame him. Who wants to walk around using only one eye? But, it had to be done. We were at a point where the patching just wasn't going well so the doctor prescribed Atropine. Atropine is an eye drop that will essentially blur the vision in the good eye, taking away the need for a patch. Well, I wished we'd tried it sooner.

On mention of putting a drop in and my son has now been wearing his patch on a regular basis for about 6 months! He even asks for it some days!

Now that you know the back story - here's the real reason for my post; I was snooping around and found this wonderful Etsy shop filled with hand made dolls for kids. What's so great about them? They have glasses! AND patches! If there's one thing I've learned through this whole process is that even young kids want to know they aren't alone in their battles. To have a doll with a patch just like them is WONDERFUL!

Shannon's shop is called Warm Sugar and she's based out of Peoria, Illinois. THANK YOU , Shannon for making such wonderful creations! These dolls got me thinking about other famous be speckled characters. Well, there's not a lot of them that aren't classified as a bit "nerdy!" Come on Disney! Give us a Princess or hero with glasses!

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