the longest week

Have you ever felt like a week has been the longest week of your life?  Usually this coincides with a big event, whether it is a wedding, holiday, or something else.  I remember back when I was pregnant, and I had gone past my due date, but wasn’t scheduled for an induction until the following week, it just felt like it was the longest week ever.  I remember telling Matt that I just wish I could sleep until our induction date so that I could just stop worrying about it and get it over with.  Luckily, I knew the outcome of the situation.  By the end of it, whether we liked it or not, we would be bringing home a baby.

This is one of those weeks.  Except, by the end of it, I have no idea what to expect…

It all started last Friday.  I had the day off after 2 long days/nights of parent-teacher conferences.  It was a much needed break from school and I was looking forward to spending the entire day with my baby girl and getting a ton of stuff done for her upcoming birthday party.  We woke up, ate breakfast, played for a little while, and then headed to the gym for a workout.  I dropped MacKenna off at the gym daycare.  I had a great run on the treadmill and got to spend a good half hour talking to one of my friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.  When I went to pick up MacKenna from the gym daycare, I noticed something funny about her eyes:  they seemed a little crossed.  Something I had never noticed before.  It worried me a little bit, but not too much because I figured it was probably just a 1 time thing and I was probably overreacting (like usual).

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Friday morning eating breakfast, before noticing anything was wrong.

I said something to Matt about it that night, just because I thought he should know what I had been seeing.  I told him it probably wasn’t a big deal and if she did just have a lazy eye, it could be much worse.  Luckily, I had the forethought to move MacKenna’s 1 year checkup at the pediatrician to Saturday morning, just in case there was something more wrong with her.

Saturday morning, as I was playing peek-a-boo with her during breakfast, her “lazy eye” was much more noticeable.  There was no doubt in my mind that it was there and I was anxious to hear what the doctor had to say.  Sure enough, she noticed it right away too and assured us that it was easily treatable, but we needed to make an appointment with a pediatric opthamalogist.  We left the pediatrician a little upset but again, thought it could be much worse and that a lazy eye was really no big deal.

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Saturday after our doctor’s appointment.

However, as the weekend went on, we saw her eye get worse and worse.  It stopped moving to the outside more and more and her crossed eyes was noticeable to pretty much everyone.  I knew it was bad when my brother said, “Oh, we got a little cross eyed thing going, huh?”  I explained what the doctor had said, but that was when it really hit me that there was something more wrong with her than just a lazy eye.  I was anxious to get her in to the opthamalogist as soon as possible and was counting down the hours to call and make an appointment.

Matt and I spent most of Sunday evening researching and crying, knowing that something just wasn’t right.  When Matt dropped her off at the babysitter Monday morning, I knew it was bad when she broke down into tears saying that she had never seen even an inkling of cross eyes or a lazy eye before.  It just happened so suddenly that we knew there had to be something more than just a lazy eye. 

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Sunday morning.

Fortunately, we were able to get into the opthamalogist Monday afternoon.  He patched her bad eye to check for side to side movement in her good eye.  Perfect!  However, she had absolutely no movement to the outside of her left eye when her right eye was patched.  He dilated her eyes to check for any structural issues on the inside, and while we waited for her eyes to dilate, he spoke to us about what he thought it was and our next step.  Sure enough, everything inside her eye was perfect, meaning no vision issues, which was probably the best news we heard all day.

The conclusion for her eye issue is called Acute 6th Nerve Palsy.  In other words, her 6th cranial nerve has decided to stop working, so she is unable to move her left eye to the outside, which gives her the cross eyed/lazy eye look.  Since it happened so suddenly, they think it is probably not a permanent thing and it can be fixed or go away with time.  We don’t know why it happened or what is causing it to happen, so, we have to take her in to get an MRI on Monday, which means putting her under.  Both the pediatrician and opthamalogist have told us that it is probably caused by a virus, but we can’t just assume that and need the MRI to rule out any brain disorders that might be causing this.  Until we figure out what the cause is, she will be sporting an adorable eye patch for about 2 hours every day in order to keep her vision in tact (her brain might decide that since she is seeing double due to her lazy eye, it will just turn off that eye, which we don’t want to happen).

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Monday evening and her adorable eye patch.  I’ve ordered more of these cute ones because she might as well be fashionable, right?!

Amazingly enough, despite what is probably seeing double to her, MacKenna’s fun, playful, silly personality has not changed in the slightest.  She is still a happy little girl and is playing just like normal.  She hasn’t been overly fussy, and honestly, besides her appearance, you would never know that something is wrong with her.  I am praying that is a good thing and that it is in fact just a virus and we will get over it in a few weeks.  Unfortunately, that might not be the case and won’t know until Monday.

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Last night at dinner.  It kills me to see her eye like this.  But, she’s still my beautiful baby girl, and I love her…

It’s always been my belief that God doesn’t give us things that we can’t handle.  He knows our strengths and knows what will make us stronger and what would put us over the edge.  While I don’t even want to think about worst case scenarios, I know that if something were to be terribly wrong with MacKenna, Matt + I would be able to handle it to the best of our ability.  I know it won’t  be easy and I know I will feel like it’s the end of the world (shoot, I’ve been practically in tears about it every second of the day since Friday), but I know it will make us stronger:  as a family, as a couple, and in our Faith.  We will get through this together…

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers the last few days.  While we are still on edge and anxious for Monday, we are feeling much more at ease from your support.  Hopefully our prayers will be answered on Monday, and we will have an answer for our poor little girl’s dilemma.      

  • aww- how scary to go through that! Prayers for you all as you got through the next round of tests…

  • Wish I could give your gorgeous little girl a big old hug! Joining you in prayer for Monday and I trust and believe that she will be better soon. God bless.

  • I can’t even imagine the mix of emotions going through your head right now. My thoughts and well wishes are with your family and Mackenna right now. Even with the lazy eye, she is still just as adorable as can be. 🙂 I had a lazy eye that developed when I was four. It came on really suddenly as well and I had to have surgery to correct the issue about a month after it started. Then I had to wear huge bifocal glasses for the years that followed. I’m currently glasses free and have pretty good vision (If I do say so myself). The only problem I have with my eyes is when I have to look through something like a microscope, binoculars, or that vision test at the DMV where it forces you to use your eyes separately, they get so confused.
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  • Mindy Chastain

    She is adorable! Praying for y’all and stay strong momma!

  • jen

    i am so sorry. i know this is so scary. i will be praying for you guys and your sweet girl that it’s just a virus that will correct itself.

    last year at our daughter’s 2 yr check up we had a scary moment too. her dr. noticed a weaker red reflex in her left eye and told me it could just mean that her left eye was weaker or it could mean “something really scary”. they made us a work-in appt for the eye dr the very next morning and i spent the rest of day praying, crying and researching what she meant by something “really scary.” it was terrifying what i found but praise God it was just a really far sighted left eye. she now wears glasses and a patch like MacKenna’s 4 hrs a day (totally order them on amazon they are worth it btw..the drug store options aren’t as good!)

    praying you guys get a sigh of relief after her MRI.

  • Oh goodness, how frightening. So many good thoughts coming her way and yours!
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  • Praying that little M heals quickly!!

  • alex

    She is way too cute 🙂 What a sweet, sweet little thing. I have a really good feeling that you have nothing to worry about and this is just one of those freak things that happens and goes away with time. Regardless, you have a lot of support and no matter what, you will get through this!

    Praying for you!!


  • Amy

    Kristen – I’m a long time reader but I don’t comment very often … I just wanted to let you know that I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers in the coming days. My heart breaks for you that you have to go through these dark days of worry & uncertainty. Praying for peace & positive MRI results!

  • Danielle

    Hi Kristen,

    I read your blog religously but don’t ever comment. You are a great mom and you guys are doing a wonderful job with Mac – she is clearly a super happy, well-taken-care of little girl and it shows. I have a 10-month old son and I know just how heartbreakingly hard it is to see them go through anything like this. She is absolutely adorable, and I really respect you for choosing to stay so positive and strong throughout this. You are absolutely right that God won’t give you more than you can handle – I will be praying for your family hard-core, momma. Much love to you guys.

  • Kris

    Saying a prayer for your sweet baby. I sincerely hope everything is ok. But you’re right, whatever it is you will get through it! Hoping this weekend goes by quickly for you!

  • Oh girl, I know so well that the waiting, the ups and downs of the unknown (She’s going to be fine… What if she’s not… No, she’ll be fine… But what if….), are SO scary and hard to go through. Once you know the answers, you can at least breathe and move forward, whatever direction it may be. I can just feel it though that MacKenna is going to be perfectly fine. And I’m thinking about you guys and praying for you and your baby girl and her daddy, because I know exactly how hard this is to go through. Hugs and prayers for you all!!
    PS-You are SO right that God chose you guys to be her parents, no matter what! May He wrap His arms around you while you wait.
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  • I am absolutely keeping you in my prayers, and I’ll be mentioning you guys at my Bible study on Monday morning. You have the right attitude, everything happens for a reason, even though we might not know what that reason is, God has one. It will definitely make you a stronger mom, wife, person and Christian.
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  • So scary!!!!! I will be praying for you guys and wisdom for the doctors! MacKenna is still so stinking cute and precious. You guys have been blessed!
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  • Lee

    I’ll be thinking of you guys. I hope MacKenna is okay!
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  • I cant imagine how tough this is for you. It is hard when we can’t do anything to fix our babies. I’m so glad she hasn’t changed at all though – same precious girl! Praying for her – and for you! This is probably harder to go through as a parent!
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  • Rim

    God bless her , she is still the most beautiful baby girl I’ve seen. Praying for good news on Monday.

  • Jen

    I’m sitting here crying. I’m so, so sorry you guys and little M are going through this, Kristen! Nothing in the world is scarier than having a health scare with your child. I just said a prayer. I hope it’s nothing. Huge huge hugs <3
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  • My heart goes out to you and your family! I hope that everything returns to normal and that MacKenna has no lasting issues. I know it is hard for you as a momma to see her, but she will always be your baby girl no matter what. Sending you positive thoughts!!

  • Oh man, you guys have been through the wringer this week. I am so sorry. Even when everything turns out well in the end (because it ABSOLUTELY will!), that doesn’t make this uncertain and scary time any easier. There’s something so terrifying about watching our babies go through something like this. Thankfully (knocking HARD on wood right now) we’ve never had to deal with any serious health issues with our daughter, but even the “minor” things — ear infections, trips to the ER for viruses, fevers, vomiting — are all scary enough. I’m sending all my best wishes to all three of you. She is so adorable and I’m so happy that it doesn’t seem to be phasing her nor causing any other health issues. Way to go with trusting your mommy gut that something wasn’t right. It’s the best tool we have in our arsenal. Never be afraid to use it and to make your voice heard to the doctors and experts — no one knows her better than you and your husband. I’m so impressed with your honesty and attitude. Thinking of you all …
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  • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Sending you prayers and positive vibes.
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  • Mary Kratochvil

    Kristen and Matt. We are so sorry that Mac is having this problem. You have been on my mind since reading about it on Facebook. I have been praying for a good outcome from the MRI and will continue to do so. My thoughts and love are with you all at this difficult time.

  • Rachel

    I’ve never commented before but wanted to on this post. A friend of mine’s daughter had this exact thig happen at about the same age. It came suddenly and was totally correctable- a year later her daughter is just fine! I know it’s scary, but stay strong.

  • Rachel

    No problem. I will direct her to your blog- she might have some advice for you, or at least she could relate. Thinking about you and your gorgeous girl!

    • Kim Schmitt

      Thanks racheal!! I have never posted about T’s story before. I hope that I can offer some words of encouragement…

  • Kim Schmitt

    Thank you for sharing your story, the waiting game is very scarey,

    Ou daughter about a year and half ago, actually went through the same thing. (she had turn 1 years old, 2 weeks prior) My mother was watching her while my husband and I were at work, and when she woke up from her nap, her left eye completely turned. It was one of the scariest things to go though… the unknown…Unfortunately, it was the easter long weekend, so we had to wait to see the eye dr. till monday. We brought her to the eye dr. and he noted that is was something that he wasn’t able to help with and put a request in for us to see a pedicatric optemoligst. However, we went two weeks and hadn’t heard anything back… it was a very stressful two weeks.. on the third week we finally got an appointment at the specialist. They sent us for an emergency CT scan. They diagnosed her with 6th cranial nerve palsy caused by a virus. And we were to start patching her good eye right away. We started at 5 hours a day, down to 4 and now we are down to 2 hours per day. … we are very thankful, with patching her eye has gone from a turn in of -40 to -.4 (almost perfect) Just went she is tired it tends to go a bit and she favours her right eye more…… (No surgery or glasses) I’m very happy to hear that they started patching your daughters eye right away!!! That will play a huge factor in rehabilitation….. It is a scarey thing, and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. In the meantime, keep giving your little girl all of the hugs and love you can.. and keep rocking those cute eye patches.. ( we have the same eye patches, and have made it fun by putting matching hair accessories on when she wears them) Now she is 2.5 and she loves picking out her eye patch.

    • Rachel

      Thanks for responding Kim! I was pretty sure T’s story was similar to MacKenna’s. Kristen, I hope hearing from someone who’s been through this helps even a little 🙂

  • Mostly a silent lurker, but had to comment after reading this. Saying many prayers for your sweet little girl. She is too precious.
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  • Jen

    Your beautiful little girl & all of your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Praying that this WILL be a temporary thing that can be easily treated. Have to say that I LOVE hearing that she has remained cheerful & happy, despite the circumstances…we could all learn from her! 🙂

  • Ali

    Keeping your baby girl in my prayers!

  • I hope this is just a temporary thing. I praying for you guys.
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