Saturday, July 23, 2011

Joshua's First Retina Rodeo

Joshua started wearing glasses when he was just 3 1/2 years old. We've known all along that neither of our kids would probably have a prayer of not needing any kind of vision correction. So I have been taking him for annual visits to the ophthalmologist ever since. This year, I took Benny as well. We weren't surprised to find that he also needed glasses. I was a little sad to put glasses on his little face, but I think they suit him well.

Joshua also got some new glasses that he thinks are super cool. He is super sensitive to sunlight and must always wear sunglasses when outside or else the poor guy can't function. So his new glasses have the Transitions lenses, which change from regular glasses to sunglasses when exposed to UV rays. They're pretty awesome and he absolutely loves them!

While we were at the ophthalmologist's office, the doctor said that Joshua's optic nerves looked large, which would mean there was a pressure issue, or it could mean nothing, so we were sent to a retina specialist to have a little more extensive check. At the retina specialists' office, they took an OCT scan of Joshua's eyes which showed some abnormalities. The doctor said these kinds of abnormalities were something normally found in a 50 year old, not a 6 year old. Joshua's sensitivity to light kind of hindered the physical eye exam. The poor guy was trying so hard to keep his eyes open, but he just couldn't. In light of the abnormalities shown in the OCT scan, the retina specialist wanted to take a good look at his eyes, and thought that putting Joshua under general anesthesia was the way to go. We scheduled the procedure at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Joshua was so super brave! We showed up at the hospital and were taken into preop, where Joshua was given a total of 12 eye drops in each eye. But he took them like a champ!

The hospital was so great. They had a child life specialist who came in and talked to him about what the operating room would look like, the mask they would use to help him go to sleep, and also offered him some movies to watch while we waited for the doctor and anesthesiologist to be ready for us.

Finally it was time to roll. Joshua got to take a ride on his bed back to the OR, which he thought was pretty cool, and he wasn't scared at all! After about an hour the anesthesiologist came out and told us Joshua was in recovery and resting comfortably. We found out that his retinas had some weak spots that the doctor had to use the laser on to strengthen them. All part of being part of the Duncan family! When Josh finally woke up, he was in a bit of pain, saying his eyes felt like fire and his brain hurt, and did throw up a couple times, but after some pain meds was a bit more comfortable. We came home and he pretty much drifted in and out of consciousness the rest of the day, but didn't complain too much more of pain or nausea. This was yesterday. He slept well all night and this morning woke up just about good as new. His eyes are still a little red and he says they still hurt a little, but otherwise he was perfectly normal!

The doctor sounded a little concerned that he had to take any kind of action at Joshua's young age, but early intervention is definitely the key to keeping Joshua's eyes healthy, and we will do whatever it takes to keep his eyes in tip top shape!

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