Friday, April 6, 2012

Esotropia can be cool :)

five months old, showing esotropia
Today I'm off to see my opthamologist.  I've been going to the same practice since I was ten months old.  The official name for my problem is esotropia, my right eye crosses.  We now know it's from my joint hypermobility syndrome.  The 2nd doctor I saw was my favorite and I was with him the longest, about 18 years.  Dr. D and I were such buddies!  I'd grin at him through my thick lenses that he carefully fitted to me every six months, spinning back and forth on HIS stool and say something like, "so, what seems to be the problem?" just to hear his hearty laugh and whatever witty response he came up with. 
Doubt that lasted long! just shy of 1 year

  He worked hard to fix me, to avoid surgery, to improve my vision and the pain I had in my eyes as they fought each other.  He ordered patches, I wore them biting my lip against claustrophobia and embarrassment as everyone stared in school.  I tried to convince him each appointment to let me be done, mom remembers him gently telling me "almost..almost.."   Iodine drops had worked to correct my eye crossing since before my first birthday-after all what baby is going to keep a pair of glasses alone!  (though the first doc we saw told my mom she didn't have a handle on me and was in so many words doing a bad job because I wouldn't leave them alone.  We switched!)  I needed drops again several times as a 6 or 7 y/o, mom did them and again I bit my lip again against the burning.  All they had back then were plastic frames, all the adults had different styles and colors to choose from.  I remember complaining I couldn't choose a different color! 

I grew older, and didn't think much about it all it's just been apart of my life, and its not like its life altering like everything else that I have going on.  The patching and drops stopped.  I did think the eye exams in school were really annoying.  I squinted and stared and did my best and got concerned looks and a paper with a stern "give this to your mother and go see your doctor."  at first I thought the really high numbers meant I was doing GREAT! ! maybe my eyesight is really good, won't Dr D be proud!  As the years passed I just chuckled and stuffed it in my bag and waved it at mom when I got home, "look, I failed another one"  "Imagine that!" she'd reply.  I just kept squinting, moved closer to the board, used bifocals.  I rubbed my eyes a lot just to see if that'd help!  They hurt me a lot, but I didn't notice until it went away as things improved as I reaached my pre-teens.

My cousin needed surgeries for the same problem.  I look at photos of us as babies and we are identical!  Both beaming at the camera with one blue eye going the wrong way.  We look like twins.  Speaking of John, I'm so proud of him!  He is serving our country overseas.  I love and miss him so much.

By the time I was 11 or 12, I had almost perfect vision and that lasted for quite awhile.  The glass in my now blue frames was thin, and I could see so clearly!  I have relapsed a bit a few times since, including right now, and my eye crosses anytime I don't have my glasses on to some degree.  Not a big deal, you get used to words jumping away from you, like a rubber ball on a slipper surface.  I'm a "alternator" meaning I switch my eyes back and forth to make up for the crossing when I'm reading.  It's annoying and means my eyes don't work together properly, but better than sitting there with it crossed! (by the way, I'm back now!  I learned that in his words my eyes are "wanting a weaker lense" and also needing bifocals again as well as possibly a prism.  Going to try readers first though, but he doubts that will work.  So far I agree with that!)

I was beyond upset when Dr D left, fortunately Dr P is also very nice, kind, and knowledgeable.  I'm going to take him an old photo or two, since he didn't know me as a baby/toddler. I think of Dr D often,  and I always glance over at his old stool can hear my buddy laughing..


  1. Hi Milly,
    Aww, that little kid in the pics is so adorable!! :)
    I have an eye (my left) that turns in too. They wanted to put a patch on my good eye when I was seven but I refused. Net result: my brain blocks all forward vision from my left eye. I have some peripheral vision, but the left lid droops and blocks some of that. (I'm nearsighted and have astigmatism, and now floaters in my "good" eye!)
    I am really glad there are things you can try, and that you had your good buddy Dr D looking after you, and now Dr P!
    P.S. I'm signed in from my other blog.

    1. haha thanks thats me :) thats frustrating I hope you have a good optho looking after you! floaters are incredibly annoying. Don't blame you for refusing, its funny I looked at the patches yesterday and they're soft cloth and so cute with little designs. I was all put off ;D I had plain old sticky brown ones! God bless, hope you're having a good Easter weekend so far!

    2. Yeah, I knew it was you, Milly. There is such a resemblance! :)
      I have a really good neuro-ophthalmologist who has followed me for about thirteen years.
      Yes, I am really enjoying Easter weekend, thanks. Christine is home for a visit.
      Hope you are having a wonderful Easter weekend Milly!
      God bless,