Saturday, December 29, 2012

The gift of Vision

"I can pass this test with my eyes shut", said B, as she climbed up into the oversized exam chair.  

I watched my very confident little girl take to the chair like a pro and read off letters that were (mostly) correct.  This was going to be a good visit. I could feel it, I hoped it. I had every finger and toe crossed.

Despite getting a letter home the week before last from the school about a sub-par school vision screen, my daughter had been making steady progress at the eye doctor. We had been down to a minimal 2 hours worth of patching a day and at our last visit he had mentioned the possibility that she could be done patching very soon.  Like every visit, as we got in the car to head out she told me... "Maybe today I will be done patching".    Those words always put knots in my stomach because it has never been the case. At best, it has been a reduction in hours. But, more often that not - the drive home was long and abysmal with a sad little girl in tow.  As always, I hoped for her sake, and prayed that this visit would end of a high note.

And so there she was, sitting in the chair across from my daughter who had performed very well on all aspects of her vision exam. He said those words... those magic words..  The words my daughter has waited for for almost 4 years.

"How do you feel about stopping the eye patch?". 

Yes!  My daughter screamed and cheered.   She hopped out of the high exam chair and danced around the exam room.   It was the best news ever.

No patch for Belle!

She will go back for Re-check in 3 months.

Best belated Christmas gift ever, for my little girl!

We are so excited to be welcoming in 2013 without the eye patch. 



Monday, December 17, 2012

We're "back"....

So sorry I have been MIA.  Life has begun to resume more normalcy since our area was hard hit by Sandy back at the end of October.   Though our family and residence made it through with relative inconvenience (extended loss of power), our community was turned upside down so it has been a tough time for the kids and all of us.  School was out of session from before Halloween thru Mid November.

Belle has been continuing to patch just 2 hours a day and does it while at school in the morning.   She is scheduled to go back to the eye doctor over Winter Break, where she hoped to receive good news and be released from patching.  I remain hopeful but am starting to get worried.

On Friday they had a vision screening at school and she got 'red-flagged'.  The school nurse marked her for failing the test with her left eye.  I want to hope that the nurse or screener made a mistake.

I will be walking on eggshells til she goes for her appointment next week. I'm hoping she just needs new glasses...

Welcome back...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Review: Princess Pretty Patch - This Princess Has a Style All Her Own

Book Review - Princess Pretty Patch by Kerri Green



I'm always on the lookout for quality children's books about vision issues - wearing glasses, patching etc for Belle to read and share.   Princess Pretty Patch by Kerri Green is a new book, available on Lulu for $11 (in paperback version). 

This book is about a princess who discovers that the person she was made to be is the best person of all. It is about loving and accepting who you are, no matter what others think about you.

Belle started 2nd grade recently and is patching a few hours a day at school.  In anticipation of the kids having questions, I asked the teacher if Belle could bring in a couple of books about Patching to keep on hand.  One of the books that Belle brought in to share was this book, Princess Pretty Patch.

When I asked Belle why she selected this particular book to share with her class - she gave two reasons.

1) She likes that it rhymes.   In a family that is a big on Seuss, the fact that it rhymes makes this book fun for her. She said it is best to read it out loud because it rhymes.  Out of the mouth of 7 year olds!  I have to say that the first time I read it aloud to her, I had a hard time with the rhyming and felt it somewhat forced but my daughter would disagree.

2) She said she feels like Princess Patch because she doesn't fit in. At her age, sadly the fitting in - cliques, and 'girl drama' are pretty intense. I know that it is not easy to be in her shoes and wear her patch among her unpatched peers.  

 
Unlike many of her other books about patching that are more about the "why's and the hows" behind wearing a patch - stories based on seeing blurry, going to a doctor, getting glasses, needing to wear a patch... Princess Pretty Patch is more of a 'fairytale' of sorts with a big message about acceptance, standing out from a crowd, being yourself.   In the story there are 2 kingdoms - a kingdom that Patches and a 'perfect' kingdom that Matches. Princess Pretty Patch of the Patching kingdom doesn't fit in amongst the perfect 'matchy matchy' world.  The story is one of her coming into her own and accepting things as they are, being proud of her patch and being OK with not blending in with the crowd.  What a great message! 


This Princess Has a Style All Her Own

 
Backcover of Princess Pretty Patch

Because the Best person you can be is Yourself

To see a preview of the book Princess Pretty Patch on lulu:


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Patching Time is Decreased!

Eye Dr. Visit for Belle 9/22/12


Belle has been at 4 hours of patching daily for the past 8 months.  Patching over the summer proved challenging, but we persevered.  I thought it was going to be an issue with patching at school (2 hrs a day at school, and 2 hours after) in the second grade... But, she has been a real trooper.  After being in her new class for a week we started in with patching and she has been extremely cooperative.  After school she battles me to get her hours in, but at school its patch on at 9:15 and then off at 11:15, like clockwork.   We keep her patching at school to in-class only time when they are doing seat-work.  She has a seat up close so she is near the board.

So, off we went to the eye dr this AM for a re-check.

I tend to have a lot of anxiety before these appointments but today both Belle and I were being optomistic. I told her in the car on the way to the dr, that whatever he said about her patching hours that I was so proud of her for how good she has been about wearing it - especially at school.   She, as like always, told me that she hoped today he would tell her that she was done patching.  I told her "we shall see".

I could tell when she was in the chair getting her pre-test that things were going well. She missed very few letters with her 'bad' eye and didn't make attempts to uncover it or scooch forward.  When the doctor came in and did his exam things continued to look good. 

At this time, we are backing off from patching.   We are going down to 2 hours a day. Yes!

In the past, when we have dropped patching we have done OK and then regressed again.  The doctor mentioned that after our next visit in 3 months (end of December) she may be in a place where we could stop patching again. 

In the meantime, we will take the 2 hours for a win! 

This is the first time in forever that we will be at the 'recommended' 2 hour patching time per day.   Belle has patched on and off for over 3 years now. 

I hope and pray someday she beats this!  Maybe the end is in sight... I hope!


Recommended reading: 
NEI  - amblyopia treatment study showing 2 hours of patching just as effective as 6 hours for moderate Amblyopia