Surgery at 0700 Hours
This is my scary event, one that many of you have faced with aplomb. In my own case, it’s slightly different from the standpoint that this could be considered elective surgery, or even cosmetic. Yet, what makes my heart stand still and my knees knock is that it’s not for me, but for Petya, our 17-year-old son.
“How are you doing, Big Guy?” I check in with him throughout the week.
“Okay. A little nervous,” he answers.
“Me, too,” I squeeze his arm and try to fight back tears, since I really, really, really don’t want him to see me this way.
I’m not a teary sort of person. But enough about me.
Before the crack of dawn, we take Petya to a surgery center where a pediatric opthamologist will perform eye surgery on him. Since birth, one of Petya’s eyes has been “lazy” or “wandering”, not always, but it becomes pronounced when he’s tired. Actually the other eye has a slight tilt, too, we learned from the doctor carefully measuring his percentages with prisms. So he will work on the muscles (the whites) of both eyes, the less pronounced one on only one side, the other eye receiving work on both sides of the eye.
The opthamologist assures us:
2. The eyeball is not removed-!
3. None of his patients has ever gone blind.
4. The operation works the first time in 80% of the cases. Otherwise, you come back for round two.
No, no, no. Please.
The operation does not change his eyesight at all. It occurs to me to possibly ask if some free Lasik could be tossed into the package deal that Pres. Obama is definitely not funding, but I decide to stifle myself. Other than assisting with depth perception, where Petya is currently rated at a B+, there’s not much benefit. Still, for his tennis matches, that could be worthwhile.
It’s more cosmetic. While they’re not crossed eyes per se, his condition is still a mild form of strabismus. Unfortunately, a number of Eastern European adoptees seem to have it—thank you, drinking birthmothers. Petya notices that people do a double-take at times, and while he has no double vision himself, he believes that having surgery will cease the double-takes from others.
And thus, we feel it’s worth it for him to undergo general anethesia, the surgeon tightening or loosening the muscles as need be. The 1-1/2-hour surgery should take about four hours, start to finish, and requires fasting from all food and drink. He’s not the only one who will be fasting, as I join him in fasting and praying that all will be well.
The doctor says that his eye will e bloody-red color for about a week, and slowly fade to pink over the course of a month. He will apply cold compresses for a couple of days, and maybe take some Tylenol for any pain. He should be able to return to sports after a few days, anything except for swimming which is prohibited for two weeks. With his tennis season rapidly approaching, we wonder if this might set him back as the eyes need a short while to readjust to their new reality.
I tell him to wear sunglasses and call it a day. We laugh and it breaks the tension. I love him so much.
—————-Tags: adopted kids with strabismus, crossed eyes due to fetal alcohol, eye muscle surgery in teens, facing the fear of your child having surgery, FAS and strabismus, FAS signs requiring surgery, is strabismus surgery cosmetic since it's not covered by insurance?, lazy eye syndrome