Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another day, another doctor

Today his name was Dr. Pan, and he was a retinal specialist.

Monday we saw Dr. Sauberan (Dr. S) who told us that Cora had what he called "scaring" behind her eye, around the optic nerve. He also said that her right eye did not form 100%. Both eyes turn in occasionally, the right one more often. Usually Dr. S would have prescribed glasses for the turn, possibly a patching regimen as well, but he wanted a specialist to look at the back of her eye first to make sure there wasn't something related to that scaring that could make her a good candidate for corrective surgery.

So, he referred us to Dr. Pan (Dr. P) who works as a retinal specialist, mostly with elderly folks with glaucoma, and those with diabetes. He is a really nice Dr. who also happens to have a 6 month old baby. Because Cora is a squirmy worm of a child, he couldn't get as good of a look as he would have liked (we kinda knew this would happen going into it, as Dr. S warned us) He saw enough to make a few conjectures:

  • The scarring he can see looks like it is old. Not new. It looks like it is done, not continuing. I emphasize that he made this remark about the scarring he can see, because it is possible that there is more he can't see. In his words, he got only a "very rudimentary look" at the back of her eye.
  • She could have a number of things going on behind her eye, and the only way to get a good look is to put her under anesthesia. This will happen some Thursday morning in the next month (the scheduling nurse will call me) and will be a team-effort between Dr. P, and Dr. S.
  • If, when they put her under anesthesia, they find a fixable problem, they will intubate her and perform surgery right then and there. 
  • If they don't find a fixable problem, then at least Dr. P will have taken a professional, and lengthy, look at the back of her eyes, enough to say what the pressing issues are. At that time Dr. S will probably prescribe either glasses, or a patching regimen, or some other course of action.
I came away from the appointment today with more (helpful) information than I thought I would. I was pleasantly relieved to hear him say that it doesn't look like the damage is continuing, but rather that it looks like it occurred, and stopped occurring. Again though, he emphasized, he didn't get a good look.

Truthfully, I've been paralyzed by fear lately - fear that my daughter's vision is not only damaged, but continuing to deteriorate; fear that her damaged vision may not be improvable with glasses; fear that what vision she does have won't be enough to do things I dream of her doing like driving, bike riding, reading, etc. The fear has kept me up nights. It's heavy, and it infiltrates my daily interactions with others - like a barrier of dense fog. 

Fear is so ugly, and it serves no purpose at all, except to rob you of peace and joy. But man, it seems impossible to be free of fear when there are so many unknowns.


Learning to Parent said...

Not sure if this is helpful or not but let me tell you - I wore an eye patch for what seemed like my entire kindergarten year. Every day I picked out a sticker to put on my patch, pictures of bunnies or flowers or whatever. I'm sure nowadays they have much cooler stickers for patches. Probably much cooler patches, actually. And also I wore coke-bottle glasses. And now, I don't wear glasses (or contacts) at all! It's amazing! The technology and the incredible things that the doctors can do these days with eye sight is just astounding. It sounds like Cora is in wonderful hands. I will be praying for her and for you also. :)

Scherbarths said...

Lots of prayers and good thoughts coming your way!

Kim said...

you could not have titled your blog any better when you first began. Again, *hugs* and if there is anything I can do to help pass the days, just say the word. And the offer of the house key still stands ;)

learning to foster said...

As you know I can relate to the struggle with fear and the unknown. I'm praying for Cora and her Mommy :)

Craig MacDonald said...

I've just now found your blog and read Cora's story. I'm sorry for you, an understandably anxious mom (dad, too). Prayers for you all!