Houston, we have a diagnosis…

Well, we’ve actually had one for a while****. And here it is…

Little has a 45-degree bilateral horizontal strabismus (a pretty hectic left-to-right squint in both eyes). Her squint is not as straightforward as being either the type you operate on (infantile/congenital) or the type you don’t operate on (accommodative), it is  officially 50/50 (25 degrees is infantile and 20 degrees is accommodative).

Why are we all of a sudden so certain?  Since my last #littlelenses post we’ve had two appointments – one back in February and one a handful of weeks ago in April – both appointments were with the paediatric ophthalmologist we’ve decided to go with for all of Little’s eye ‘stuff’ and her first (hopefully last) surgery, which is taking place tomorrow at 8am. Yes, like one more sleep, the-next-time-the sun-rises tomorrow.

Will tomorrow’s surgery ‘fix’ her squint? Yes and no. ‘Yes’ because the surgery will correct the 25 degrees of her squint caused by muscles; and ‘no’ because it won’t correct the 20 degrees caused by her farsightedness.

Will she still need #littlelenses? Yes. She’s gonna be rocking #littlelenses ’til she’s big enough to give contacts a go.

Will her eyes be ‘straight’ post-surgery? In theory, yes and no. ‘Yes’ when her glasses are on, pulling the 20 ‘accommodative’ degrees straight. ‘No’ when her glasses are off  BUT… with her glasses on she should have have binocular vision as a result of finally being able to fuse left and right images, which means she’ll have normal depth perception.

How do I feel about it? The whole surgeon cutting into my 16-month old’s eye sockets? Hmmm… about as enthusiastic as a newly minted Michelin-star chef feels about a week-old garage pie.

I’m spending the latter half of my second ever Mothers Day giving a nappy bag a hospital bag makeover* and strategising how to get as much food into a little person’s belly before the ‘nil by mouth after 10pm’ thing kicks in. I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve been asked “How are you feeling about it**?” And, to be honest, I don’t know. I have a sense of peace about it in that I’m confident that the timing is right, the diagnosis is clear and that the surgeon is an answer to prayer.

BUT… I’m not happy about it. I’m not expecting to leap out of bed when my alarm goes off at 4am with a great big, ‘you just won an EU lotto’ smile on my face but I am going to get up***, get her bundled up and get her to the Pretoria Eye Institute at stupid o’ clock because that’s what moms do, we do what’s best for our littles – and what’s best for my Little is a few snips and a couple of stitches under general anaesthetic. No turning back now…

* Snuggle Bunny, back up Snuggle Bunny, change of clothes (for her and me), backup change of clothes for her and me (apparently some littles respond to general anaesthesia by vomming on their moms, a lot).

** ’it’ being the Bilateral Strabismus Surgery

*** (and put my big girl panties on)

**** I just needed some time to let it all sink in and wrap my head around the fact that achieving cosmetic ‘straightness’ is not achievable over night… it’s (to borrow a cliché) a marathon not a squint sprint. Ha ha! I really just typed ‘squint’ instead of sprint #strabismusonthebrain


One thought on “Houston, we have a diagnosis…

  1. Natasha

    Such a beautiful post special Sherinne! We will be thinking of you today! Such a brave little girl, and her remarkable mama! You’re pretty much a hero in my books 😉


    Natasha xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s