Thursday, October 18, 2001

Eye Doctor update for Geoff

We went to the ophthalmologist yesterday for Geoff. It does not bode well, and I feel incredible guilt because of it.

When Geoff was about 15 months old we noticed he was running into things, falling down. We knew immediately it was vision-based because of Doug's bad eye history. We took him to see a doctor who declared Geoff to be severely farsighted, like his daddy, and he also diagnosed esotropia, which is where the eye turns inward (you can really see it in some of these pictures...) because the muscles are getting weakened due to the overwhelming strength of the other eye.

So he sent us to a specialist in Boston. A really nice doctor who after three visits declared that Geoff was super and to keep up the good work in keeping his glasses on and patching his stronger eye until further notice.

Well, he (the doctor) had retired to Florida. We kind of lapsed in patching his eye. The boy is violently opposed to wearing glasses at all, so we went through about four pairs, with intermittent periods of the glasses in limbo, missing somewhere in the house. And time just kind of flew past us while we weren't paying attention. The last time he saw the doctor was August of 1999. I thought it was August of 2000. Damn.

He hasn't worn his glasses since May. We have no idea where they are. So I wanted to get him a new pair, and wanted his eyes checked to make sure the prescription is still the same... after all, if his vision is better or worse or whatever, I didn't want him to be wearing glasses that weren't going to help.

So off to the doctor we go. I saw on the chart that he has Geoff at 20/70 vision... which caused me to drop my shit. I was stunned. I think it was 20/50 the last time we went.

Geoff was a trooper, sat really still, behaved really well. This particular pediatric ophthalmologist is awesome... he was very patient. We were there over 2 hours, with the initial assessment and then dilatation of the pupils and a full hour of Geoff sitting on my lap while the doctor peered deep into his baby greys with a retinoscope (if that's what it's called).

This doctor wants us to see a surgeon, to have Geoff's eyes operated on... to correct the problem because obviously glasses and patching (what little we did) aren't the path to go down. So we've got another appointment on October 30th with the specialist to spend time assessing Geoff and what we're going to do with him.

I feel horrible, and kind of defeated. We were incredibly lax with this and we knew that it was incredibly serious for him to be well watched after. The last 2 years have been rough, with him being the biggest whirling dervish and pain in the ass and us just being unwilling to day after day after day deal with fighting with him. He is hard to handle as is, and freaked when we'd cover his eye or make him wear the glasses. He gets mad and wrenches the things from his face, twisting the frame, dislodging the lenses. It's so hard that he simply won't listen and doesn't grasp the levity of this -- that we only want to make him see better. We gave up very easily in this fight. And should not have.

I think that now he is a little older and he can be reasoned with, that if we got back in the regimen of patching and making sure he has on his glasses we could still improve his eye without surgery, but we shall see what the specialist doctor says. Geoff did really well in the past couple of months when he had the glasses with keeping them on all day, and putting them away carefully.

I think starting a kid before he is two on an eyepatch and glasses, and trying to explain why you are pinning them down to patch their one good eye is so hard. We did well for a while... but we failed miserably. So we'll see where things end up.

Sigh. I am sad. I am feeling guilty. I could have done so much better. He's my charge, my love, my little man. And I'm a fucking failure at taking care of him. This makes me sick to my stomach, and I'm not feeling much like talking about it anymore.

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