Monday, May 7, 2012


Last week I mentioned that Ben had three doctor appointments in one week but I didn't mention what they were for.  I wasn't sure I was going to talk about it, but y'all seemed genuinely concerned so I thought I would share.  Besides, I think you would have caught on when you saw Ben in pictures. 

On Wednesday Ben went to an eye specialist because we had been noticing (especially in photos) that every once in a while Ben's eyes would look like they were crossed a bit.  We originally took him to a regular eye doctor who assured us that Ben's vision was fine, but that his muscles were not working together.  Basically he was switching from eye to eye instead of focusing with both eyes.  After two separate appointments with the regular eye doctor to make sure that Ben's eyes were healthy (they were) that doctor referred us to a specialist to try and determine where to go from there.
Throughout all of the tests and uncomfortable eye drops Ben was such a trooper.  He was getting pretty sick of all the testing but he kept up his usual jovial attitude like a champ. 

The specialist did even more tests on Ben and determined pretty much the same thing the previous doctor had told us.  His vision is good, his eyes are healthy, but the muscles aren't working together (it is called Esotropia).  It seemed to affect his depth perception a tiny bit and he was slightly farsighted, but so are many kids his age.  The specialist said that sometimes glasses can help the muscles learn to work together and sometimes it doesn't help at all and surgery is needed.  Before we go on to surgery (ACK!) we are trying the glasses for a few months.

Ben was NOT happy to learn he had to get glasses.  He was NOT happy trying on all the different glasses at the store either.  Every time he tried a pair on he would say, "Everyone is gonna laugh at me."  Made me so sad.  Of course I tried to reassure him, but you know, kids are mean. 

We ordered his glasses on Wednesday and at school the next day I let his teacher know he was nervous about kids laughing at him once he got his glasses.  The teacher asked if it was okay to talk about it in class and prep the kids so that it would become something exciting for him.  It worked.  When I picked him up from school that day he said, "I wish I could get my glasses today!" 

Ben has been wearing his glasses since Friday and now he is less enthused.  He always tells me, "I don't wanna wear these stupid glasses but I know I have to so I'm just gonna try and be good about it."  He is not a fan but he is such a good boy.  I hope it is just an initial adjustment period and soon he doesn't even notice them there.  For now we are working on getting him to look through the glasses instead of over the tops of them all the time.  

His classmates were very sweet to him when he came to school wearing them today and that made him feel better.  And his brothers have been a huge support to him too, telling him how cool he looks and that they want glasses now.  That has definitely helped a bit.

Anyway, that is our medical update.  I am hoping the muscles just learn to work together and he doesn't need the glasses anymore but that is highly unlikely.  My gut feeling says that he will need the surgery which SUPER FREAKS ME OUT.  Surgery on my baby's beautiful, blueberry eyes.  *sigh*

In the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal.  I know that.  But it does make me worry.  Cause, you know, that's what I do.  I guess we all just want our kids to have carefree, easy, fun, happy lives every second of every day, but that's not life, right?  Right.  I guess that is why I've always loved the saying, Don't pray to have an easy life, pray to be a strong person.  Very wise.

Thank you all for the prayers and good wishes!  We'll definitely take 'em! 

*On a funny aside, during Ben's eye test the doctor put images up on the wall for Ben to call out.  When the doctor got to the airplane Ben said, "Ford tri motor!"  The doctor kind of raised his eyebrows and looked at Todd and I and we just had to laugh.  We said, "That is a type of plane.  We just visited EAA."  The nurse and doctor had a good laugh at that.  They said that was a first.  Hehe    Such a smart, funny little Ben. 


Tabor said...

If surgery is the end need I would try to get the doctor to refer you to someone who has gone through this so they can prepare you for what the doctor doesn't. That will ease your mind and make you pro-active.

Mom24 said...

I'm so glad it wasn't anything scarier. I hope and pray the glasses work, I'm sure you hope not to go the surgery route.

Kat said...

Tabor- That is a great idea! Thanks!

Mom24- While I don't want him to have to have surgery I also don't want him to have to wear glasses forever if he doesn't have a vision problem. Having glasses myself (but I get to wear contacts) I know what a pain they are. I'm sure he'd get used to it. Kids adjust. But still. The surgery is supposed to be out patient, but it still freaks me out. We'll just pray for the best, I guess!

ROBIN said...

He is adorable, glasses or no glasses! I hope it all goes well. I know it's a worry, no matter how minor it may be. My son has to have ear surgery this month, and though it's pretty common, it still makes me worry about him. They're our babies...we can't help it.

Kelley said...

Aack! I just posted a long comment, and the computer ate it. Let me try again.

I know EXACTLY how you feel about this. My daughter had to have the surgery when she was 9 months old. We started noticing her eyes crossing when she was 5 months old, and took her in to see a specialist. She was diagnosed with Congenital Infantile Esotropia meaning that her eye muscles aren't as strong as they should be and don't always point her eyes in the same direction.

Most kids have a 20% chance of needing the surgery again at some point. Unfortunately for my daughter, she also has mild Cerebral Palsy, and those kids have a 40% chance of needing the surgery again. She's had it three times - once at 9 months old, again at 3 years old, and the last one was 2 months ago. This last one seems to have been pretty effective so hopefully the interval will be longer this time. The CP makes it a bit tougher for her.

Though it's awful to think about what's going to happen, it actually goes pretty smoothly. The hardest part is the afternoon after the surgery. She tends to be a little sleepy and cranky, but as long as I stay on top of her Tylenol and Motrin, she does okay. Her eyes get SUPER blood--shot on the side where the surgery was, but that clears up in a few days.

It's not fun, but it's not too bad either. If you want to talk about it some more, email me at

Kat said...

Kelley- That's pretty much the same thing with Ben. It is Esotropia but probably not infantile since we just noticed it within the last 6 months to a year. I hear the surgery is pretty routine, but it is still a little freaky. Thank you so much for all the info. It certainly does ease my mind a bit. Thank you!!!

chrissy said...

Oh, poor guy! I hope he gets used to the glasses soon. Tommy had eye issues too, but his issues were the opposite- they were turning out slightly and causing him to see double. He just finished 40 weeks of vision therapy for it. He had to do a lot of tracking exercises to strengthen those muscles, but he has worked through it and can see much better now.

Here's hoping Ben's eyes adjust on their own without surgery! Sounds very nerve-wracking for Mama.

Tonya said...

Kat I was there last year with my second oldest. He was told he needed glasses for everything but reading. (he is not a big reader) Everything you wrote about we went through. Well except the possibility of surgery. But the not liking any of the glasses, the emotions and fears of what the other kids will say. Now my son was going into 4th grade with glasses for the first time. SO hard.

Also wanted to let you know we have some friends whose son had to get glasses at age one because his eyes were going crossed. Some thing you are describing. He has had them for almost a year now though I haven't asked the mom what the latest visit has showed. I will have to ask her.
Hang in there I really don't think he will need surgery!!! I will pray he doesn't :)

Kat said...

Chrissy- I was doing some research and really wanted to check into vision therapy. I think it makes a lot more sense in this situation since he doesn't have vision problems. I would much rather look into that than surgery, but I am having trouble location a vision therapy center around here.

Tonya- It sounded to me like the doc thought after having the glasses for a while his eyes might start working together better, but she was very vague about it. Thanks for the prayers!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How cool that his brothers and classmates have been supportive. This year we've noticed a number of kids in B's class getting glasses--perhaps it's the age? I don't know, but Ben sure looks cute in his. Good luck in these next appointments! said...

He looks very handsome in his new glasses. good wishes he doesnt need the surgery but like you said life isnt perfect. he is such a good boy.

Jeni said...

That was really good that the teacher used this event of Ben's as a teaching moment for the whole class. Little things like that can ease a lot of issues along the way. Hope the glasses do the trick for him, but if surgery is warranted, I don't think it is as drastic as we adults tend to regard it to be. Serious, of course, but not as difficult for the patient to cope with in the end.

April said...

Awww, he looks so handsome with his new glasses on!

Wisconsin Girl said...

I love the saying you shared. "Don't pray to have an easy life, pray to be a strong person." It's all of these day to day challenges, some bigger than others, that make us stronger moms/friends/wives. It sure is hard to see our kids face any kind of hardship. Ben looks great in glasses and older too...I almost didn't recognize him!

And I love your list! I try to do something like that mentally a lot, to remind myself of all the good in my life, even when I'm in a rough spot. Thanks for sharing!

lime said...

here's hoping the glasses do the trick. if it's any consolation to ben my boy got his first pair of glasses in kindergarten and got bifocals when he was only 9 years old. i wondered if he would be teased when he first got them but he always had lots of friends and one time i went into his k-garten class and two adoring girls were swooning all over him. he's a real athlete too. the glasses won't hold him back ;)

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

He sure looks good in his glasses. And, I'm hoping this is one of those times that your mommy gut is off!

Riahli said...

Such a great idea to talk to his teacher about it. :) I hope he gets use to them and no body bothers him about it, kids really can be so mean. :( He looks adorable by the way!

Kristin said...

My daughter's friend had this same issue. At age of 5, she wore the glasses for some time and it corrected her slightly crossed eye. Surgery was mentioned, but no need! Hope this eases your mama concerns a tad, tad bit! And your son looks adorable in his new glasses. They only enhance his cuteness!:)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson