It’s been 5 months since Mya had her eye surgery to fix her infantile esotropia, or better known as crossed eyes. 5 months since she went from having near completely turned in eyes to looking you straight on with those beautiful blue/grey peepers of hers.
The first procedure had her put under for about 90 minutes (45 minutes per eye) while the surgeon removed the inner, medial muscles from each eye and reattach about 6mm further back. The surgery was a wild success with Mya handling the anesthesia well, recovering well, and the results were monumental.
These pictures were taken within 2 weeks of one another…
At each post-op appointment since the procedure, I’ve sat with the surgeon and heard both positive and negative news.
Positive: She’s able to fully rotate her eyes, has full range of motion in both, and appears to be seeing very clearly.
Negative: Her left eye is still extremely weak compared to her right. Her right was so strong since birth that even after we mechanically fixed the issue, her brain is misfiring signals and is almost entirely sending those signals to her right eye. Her left is physically able to move and to look at things, but it just isn’t strong enough to always do so.
At this point in time, I would say that 75% of the time, Mya is looking directly at you with perfectly straight eyes. The other 25%, her left eye turns in slightly and only her right eye is looking directly. The turning, or crossing, of her left eye is much less pronounced and I’m sure someone on the street may think something may be off but wouldn’t initially be able to determine that it’s her eye that is off-center.
To remedy this since her surgery, we’ve continued patching Mya’s right eye for roughly one hour per day. This allows her left eye some time to function completely independently of her stronger one. And the entire time she’s wearing that patch, her left eye is dead center and is fully functioning. It’s like a little brother or sister who can do things when they’re on their own, but when their older sibling (and in this case, the right eye) is around, they just let the older one do it for them. The left eye takes the back seat when the right eye is around.
As well as patching, we’ve also had Mya in glasses for roughly 2 months now. Our surgeon sees the slightest amount of astigmatism in Mya’s left eye, so the hope is that if we can correct that extremely small amount, her left eye will see perfectly clear and work to its fullest abilities. I don’t know if that works, but boy does she look adorable in them! ❤
Our last eye surgeon appointment we essentially got down to brass tax together. We are now in the position that we’ve tried any and all non-surgical treatments to help strengthen her left eye, but it hasn’t been successful. Her left still crosses inward and is not strengthening itself with the strategies we’ve used.
I think Mya is such a beautiful little girl with the most piercing light eyes. She’s stunning. Physically, I would never touch those eyes again because I think they’re perfect the way they are. Having a slight turn every so often (especially when she’s tired) isn’t reason enough for me to schedule another surgery.
It is the fact, however, that her left eye is not strong and her brain doesn’t utilize her left like it should. This could lead to larger issues with her actual way of life. Reading could be an issue, focusing for long periods of time could lead to headaches, driving, sports, drawing, and on, and on, and on. Her actual way of life will be hindered if her left eye doesn’t gain its strength. To take a part of her future life away from her is not fair, so we must go back into that OR again, whether this mama’s heart likes it or not.
So in mid-June, we head back in and have Mya be operated on again. This time, the surgeon will take the lateral, or outer, eye muscles and tether them slightly. This will essentially force her left eye to be centered on its own. If it’s in the correct location, she’ll see properly out of both without having to even try. The brain will fire signals to both eyes and she’ll be able to strengthen the left while also seeing clearly out of both.
The risks are still very much the same with high risk of infection in the eye since she’s a little one that touches just about everything, followed by touching her eyes. And there is a still a chance that an additional third surgery will need to take place.
I’ve avoided even sharing the news of another surgery because I sometimes just don’t even want to think about it. I worry about the risks, the anesthesia, if this is the right decision, if she’ll have to get another. The list goes on and on. But I adore our surgeon. I know she is so well-educated, she’s thorough, and she genuinely cares about my daughter. I prayed for a surgeon like her and the Good Lord provided her. Now the prayers continue as we maneuver yet another surgery in a few months, but I’ll keep my faith that God is always watching, always listening, and has a plan for my daughter that is going to wow the world someday. And those eyes will be stunning them all while she’s at it.