Ophthalmology insisted on taking a closer look at Clark’s eye before Christmas. We were scheduled for December 21st, but the boys caught a cold. As it turns out, an upper respiratory infection mixed with anesthesia can cause blocked airways. Something everyone would like to avoid. We were able to push Clark’s procedure to December 30th.
So far, all of Clark’s surgeries have been relatively minor. Getting his central line (twice- once for a single lumen, and once for a double lumen), and having them removed, bone marrow biopsies, and now an eye exam under anesthesia. But even though these are all considered safe, they still scare us. There are studies showing a link between anesthesia before the age of 3, with ADHD, learning disabilities, and language delays. This will be Clark’s 7th surgery, and he only turned 3 this month.
Surgery went relatively well. Dr. Moore dilated Clark’s good (right) eye, before going under. Once he was asleep, they put orange dye through his veins to watch where the blood clots/leak was coming from. Then they took pictures, and lasered the leaking veins to prevent further leakage. The fluid coming out of the vessels in his eye can lead to a hormone release, which can cause blindness. This is why the laser treatment is so necessary.
Clark will come in for a follow up surgery to make sure the leak has stopped, and the blood clots are gone. If not, there will be more laser treatment. Lets hope this leak has disappeared, or at least shrunk!
If you recall, last Christmas was bittersweet. Clark had an infection in his central line, and we were sent to the hospital for IV antibiotics and close monitoring. The downside- we were in the hospital for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. The up- side? Santa came to deliver gifts to all the children in the hospital, and Clark had his central line removed.
This Christmas was very different. It was perfect! No illness, no hospital trips, and 100% joy and love. We enjoyed a morning walk, followed by a delicious (and easy!) breakfast. Then we opened gifts. It took the boys almost all day to open their presents. They took their time, while they played with each new toy. We ate (way too much!), read stories, sang Christmas carols (while Patrick played the tin whistle), and watched the train go around the Christmas tree.
Since Clark only has 1 working eye, we need to be very careful with it. Thankfully his Ophthalmologist is in 100% agreement. Because of this, Clark wears glasses for protection. Clark is so active, it would be very easy for him to get a stick in the eye, or damage it from a fall or hit. Another proactive measure we take, is by visiting ophthalmology every 3-6 months. Just so they can monitor his right (good) eye.
Today we had our visit. It has been 5 months since the last appointment. And things don’t look good. It looks like Clark has a blood clot, or leak inside his eye. Dr. Moore needs to have a better look, which is only possible with anesthesia. No one likes to have their eyes pried open while a bright light is blinding you. Let alone a toddler! Considering the situation, Clark actually sat very still for his check up, but it was still too difficult for the doctor to understand what is going on.
These appointments usually take up half of our day, and then we are stuck in traffic on our way home. I guess that means we’re ordering in pizza tonight!