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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.