Motherhood

Mya’s Surgery Update

I’m excited to be back after a busy 8 week stretch of the One Room Challenge! The laundry room occupied so much time, so much thought, so much energy that it consumed every moment spent away from my family. Early mornings, all my kid’s naptimes (where I wished they were MY naptimes), and late nights where I stayed up wellll past my bedtime. And guys, I loved every minute of it. It was a project all of my own. I planned it, I designed it, and I built it. I was the one behind the saw and the drill and the paintbrush, and it felt really, really good. I will with 100% certainty be back to do another room soon. Fall? Spring? SOON!

But while all you saw was the One Room Challenge laundry room progress, life was still very much happening behind the scenes at the Kemper house. Colton turned 4, Mya turned 18 months, Jackson graduated preschool, and most recently and most importantly, my little girl had her second dose of eye surgery.

So today is all about Mya and what she had done with her eyes, how she’s doing, and what progress we are seeing roughly 5 days out from her operation.

If you want to know much more of the back story of Mya’s eye concerns, check back at my posts with her 7 month update, eye update, and her surgery update and post-surgery update. But for the shortened version, Mya was diagnosed with Infantile Esotropia after seeing continued crossing of the eyes after she hit six months. Typically, little ones will correct slight crossing of eyes prior to 4-6 months, but Mya’s never did. At 10 months, she had her first surgery where her surgeon removed her medial eye muscle and relocated it several millimeters further back on her eye. This allowed her overly tight muscles to have more range of motion. It was successful in that her eyes had full range of motion. It was unsuccessful in the fact that she was continuing to cross.

After implementing daily patching and wearing glasses (see below!), and working to strengthen her eyes to work more closely together, the surgeon and I realized nothing would work beyond round two of surgery. With a statistic of nearly 1/3 of all patients having to do a second surgery, it was something we knew was a possibility, but were always hoping it wouldn’t be us.

But it was. And we did it. And my little girl once again proved just how incredible she is.

This operation was a Lateral Rectus Plication, meaning the surgeon removed her outer eye muscle and folded it in on itself before reattaching it once again to the eye. With the initial surgery, she was given the ability to move her eyes in all directions, and now this one reigned them in and forced them to work more closely together.

Each eye took about 30 minutes and Mya was back in my arms in about 90. I was told that those that fall under anesthesia angry (uh hmmm…Mya…) will typically wake up in the same mood. Needless to say, I was called into the recovery room to quickly calm her down after she started to come off the anesthetic. And I was just fine with that! I don’t know if my nerves could’ve taken any longer to get her back in my arms.

The two days following surgery, Mya had swollen eyes and very slight bruising under, but both have receeded immensely since. The outer corners of her eyes are a slight pinkish/red still and will remain that way for another week or so. And the anesthesia did take days to fully get out of her system. She was a little cranky, a little off, and a whole lot of sleepy these last few days, but seems to be 100% back to herself again.

And I know I’ve said it before, but guys, her eyes look good. Like, really good! There is the very slightest movement off center with either eye, especially when she’s very tired, but for about 95% of the time, my little girl has straight eyes looking at the world. We have 6 weeks to see how they work together, how her brain learns to use both eyes simultaneously, and her muscles learn their new location on the eye.

And this time around, I think we’ve got it.

Mya is a fighter. One of the bravest. And I’m thankful for the surgeons, the hospital system, and the nurses that have devoted so much time to helping her see the world the way it’s meant to be seen. God put them all in our path and I’m thankful every day for them.

xx Rachel

4 Comments

      • Jason

        Things are slowly improving but still not sure if it’s duane’s are not. One doctor is certain it isn’t but another isn’t too sure. Prior to My’s first surgery, how far could her eyes abduct when one eye was patched/covered? When I cover my daughter’s right eye she can move her left eye pretty far – I believe past midline.

      • growingupkemper

        Jason, I’m so sorry in my delay! Typically messages are delivered directly to my phone but this never came through. I just stumbled on it by accident and I’m so glad I did! Our experience with the two surgeons (I’ll only refer to them as they were the ones that immediately determined it was not Duane’s) took it off the table because they were able to have Mya’s eyes move past midline during their tests. When we were patching, I never saw her eye move past midline myself. I felt like the furthest she was able to show me was directly midline while her dominant eye was patched. It wasn’t until the surgeons were able to use the tools and strategies through their testing that they were able to move her eyes outward and take Duane’s Syndrome completely off the table. Essentially, they knew it couldn’t be that if she was capable of any outward movement past half. And they were spot on.

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