Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, October 26, 2012


On Weds Asher had a check up with the pediatric eye specialist at the University of Minnesota. I really like Dr. Bothun! Angela has seen several eye specialists over the years and so far he's my favorite.

When we first got Asher it was clear he wash't seeing very well.

We couldn't wait to get him into the eye doctor! Asher has severe astigmatism, Strabismus, nystagumus and is far sighted. All of this put together caused his left eye - his weaker eye - to shut down completely. When the eyes can't focus together the brain turns one off so it can process the information. The poor kid had no depth perception and, since he always had to tilt to turn his head to see out of one eye,  his balance was off and he developed torticollis.

I had hoped that there was a simple fix, like surgery, that would help with the strabismus at least. (because in my perspective from having kids with high medical needs, surgery is "easy"!) We could not be so lucky. I had hoped that Dr. Bothun was wrong (though in my gut I knew he wasn't) and we got a second opinion. The second doctor agreed that surgery wasn't an option for Asher. There isn't a surgery to fix his combination of problems and really the astigmatism was the biggest culprit in Asher's visual difference.

We opted to go with glasses first to see if the corrective lenses would pull his left eye closer to straight. It really worked quite well, but after 10 months in lenses his eye still isn't seeing very well independently. The doctor said it was time for patching.

Ugh! I hate patching!

A couple months ago when his glasses were getting fixed I patched his eye to see if that would help him any while we waited for his glasses to come back. . His left eye gets 'stuck" looking at his nose! Ummm...about 20 minutes and I couldn't stand it anymore and took it off!

So today we're at it again only this time he has his glasses too. I put the patch on and his eye shot straight to his nose.
I had just put the patch on when I took this picture. Within a few minutes his lip was out and he was desperately trying to tell me "all done" in every way he can think of. It's been 30 whole minutes and he keeps putting my hand on his eye and signing "please". He tried walking circles around the dining room table but finally just sat down on the floor with his bottom lip out again. Now his thumb is in his mouth.

Months. It's going to be months of patching. I'm not sure if either he or I can stand it that long.


Anonymous said...

Ah, splinters! D:

Asher really reminds me of Theo (see: Ralph and the Crew).

Christine said...

Poor baby. I look at his school picture and his eyes look great. DO they cross when he is tired?

P.S. I would leave way more comments if you didn't have on the comment moderation. I have tried 7 times with this one comment.

Leah S. said...

I think it was pure luck that Asher's eyes are straight in his school picture. It could be the angle of the camera making them appear straight, or that eye just happened to be straight at the moment. I'll try to get a picture of what they usually look like without his glasses.

I would love to turn off comment moderation. Unfortunately I had some really nasty haters a couple years ago so now I'm gun-shy!