Tomorrow is George’s surgery, and since it’s absolutely impossible to show you what it’s all about without photos, I got the guys to move the luggage and found my adapter.
Before I can explain what they’re going to do to George, let me explain what strabismus is all about so that it makes sense. Here’s George. What I want you to notice in this picture is that his head is angled away from where he’s looking… he has to do that to make both eyes face forward. Noticing this head-turn thing is really important because it’s often the earliest sign that a child has vision issues. It’s nice that George has worked out a way to see with both eyes, but turning your head away from what your hands are doing makes it hard to accomplish things when you have to watch what you’re doing. Anyway, you can see that his left eye is turning in.
If your sister tries to trick you into turning your face forward, you just might tilt your head to make some of the other eye muscles work harder.
George is also supposed to be wearing glasses… which is an impossible feat… so he’s also learned the trick of squinting his eyelids almost closed to be able to focus better. But notice that his face is turned, as usual…
Emily and I tried lots of things to get him to have his eyes open while directly facing the camera so that I can show you about light reflections… Emily wanted to see if holding him upside down might work. No luck.
All we accomplished with that was getting him annoyed with Emily, so he decided to grab her nose for revenge. However, you can see in this photo that now his right eye is the one turning in. This is important. Before he could have his surgery, we had to use patches and drops to get both eyes equally strong… (or I guess you could think of it as equally weak 🙂
Finally we got him sort of straight on… you can tell because you can see the tops of both ears. Now I want you to look at the little tiny white light reflections on the pupils of his eyes. See how they’re not in the same place in each eye? The one on his right eye is near the edge and the one on his left eye is in the middle. That’s another clue that doctors use to determine if a baby is having troubles with his vision.
George says he’s done with the photos. So it’s time to talk about the surgery.
Tomorrow morning at 7:30 Dr. Saunders, a pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist, will open up both of George’s eyes and find the muscle inside called the medial rectus muscle. He’ll cut that muscle where it attaches to George’s eyeball, and move it back a VERY precise number of microns (… this is all done with magnification, obviously… ophthalmologists know lots about magnification…) Dr. Saunders knows exactly how far to move the muscle because he has measured the angle that each eye turns in. Remember all that trigonometry from high school? This is why it’s important that doctors are smart at math.
Then he reattaches the muscles at just the right spot, and sews up George’s eyes. When George wakes up his eyes will be a little red and sore… so our BIG job will be keeping him from rubbing his eyes.
The cookies in the oven are beeping… now that I’ve found my adapter, though, I’ll be able to show you pictures tomorrow of how we keep George’s hands away from his face. Or maybe I’ll finally tell you about the rest of Sock Summit… I think Sock Summit might be more fun for me AND George.