no more pirate

In a few hours, we will be waiting patiently for our little girl to come out of surgery.  It’s a day we’ve been looking forward to and dreading at the same time.  We are so happy that MacKenna’s vision issues will (hopefully) finally be over with.  But, as parents, we can’t help but be nervous for her undergoing surgery.

A little background if you are a new reader or missed it way back when:  A week after MacKenna’s first birthday, I noticed her left eye starting to cross.  After a trip to her pediatrician and eventually a pediatric ophthalmologist, she was diagnosed with 6th nerve palsy:  the nerve that controls the outside/lateral muscle in her eye stopped working, causing her eye to cross.  She had to have an MRI to rule out any major brain issues, and fortunately, her palsy was only caused by a virus.  We patched her daily for months, but since she was at such a critical time in her development, the condition couldn’t correct itself, even though the virus had cleared up.  While she has full movement in her eye again, her eyes no longer work together, thus her still having a “lazy eye” and having to undergo surgery.

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The day I noticed her eye starting to cross.  You can’t see it too much here, but it was definitely noticeable.

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This was 3 days later… it got bad really quick.

Thankfully, it is a simple outpatient procedure that children go through all the time to correct lazy eyes.  But, it’s still scary to know everything she is going to have to go through for the surgery:  IVs, general anesthesia, stitches, bruising.  There have been times where I have thought, “Why are we doing this?  Why do we have to do this when it’s just cosmetic?”  I have to remind myself that it’s more than just a cosmetic procedure – if we don’t have the surgery, she can begin to lose vision in her left eye, which luckily hasn’t happened yet and we definitely don’t want to happen.

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It’s gotten sooooo much better!

It’s certainly been a long journey and we are so thankful we have seen as much progress as we have.  MacKenna has certainly been a trooper through all of this.  She rarely fusses when we put the patch on and you’d never know anything was even wrong with her.  I know this definitely won’t be the end of her problems with this (6th nerve palsy can occur again, most children/adults have to have the surgery a 2nd or 3rd time, and we still have lots of eye strengthening exercises to do), but it is definitely the start of better things.

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It’s going to be a long day.  Thank youall of you – so much for the thoughts, prayers, stories, and support you have shown us over the last 3 or 4 months.  Your words have been comforting and your prayers are the best thing we could ever receive!

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I plan on giving a full recap of the day, the surgery, and some probably disturbing pictures (the whites of her eyes will be bruised) early next week, hopefully Monday.  Thank you all again and have a wonderful weekend!


The winner of the “No Fibber” Bib Stickers giveaway is…

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…Nadia!  Congrats Nadia – and what an awesome story!  Email me at klvanhorn [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address and I will get  your bib stickers to you ASAP!

Thanks to everyone for entering! 

  • Good luck to you and your sweet MacKenna! Sending positive thoughts your way.

  • Kristen, I’m thinking of you guys and saying a prayer for M to come through the surgery easily and quickly. As you know, I had to have a similar surgery when I was a bit older than M and again when I was a teenager (though don’t worry, mine is more severe, I hope M won’t have to have surgery when she’s older). The good news is, though I still have a lazy eye, as an adult (even as a kid) it is fairly easy to control. I know it seems like a cosmetic fix, but it will help her vision so much, I promise. Hang in there today, you are one strong mama!
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  • Thinking of you all today!
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  • Melanie

    Good luck to you and your baby girl today! Sending loads of hugs and positive thoughts your way!

  • Jen

    Just said another prayer for M! I know you’ll be so relieved when this is all over. Keep us updated!
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  • My 4 year old son had that surgery in December. He was up and running around playing a couple of hours after the anesthesia wore off. The worst part was just keeping him from messing with his eyes while the anesthesia was still in him.

    Good luck!
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  • Lee

    Hope everything went well!
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  • Jessica Goodman

    I hope everything went well! Thinking of you and your family.