Orthoptics

10.30am today, Asa had his second orthoptic appointment at UHW. I wasn’t so nervous this time. Probably because I assumed the eye tests would not be as invasive as before… I was wrong! The same pattern of three lots of eye drops ten minutes apart, followed by a call in to the doctor’s office. There were two trainee doctors in with the senior doctor today. He explained what he was going to do – check the eye condition, followed by a developmental eye test. Just like before, Asa didn’t stay still or keep his eyes open, so he needed to have the anaesthetic eye drops before the nurse held him down so the doctor could clamp his little eyes open, one at a time…

Asa howled, much like he did before. Even though I knew what to expect, I still got so upset – and again, mummy ended up in tears! The poor trainee doctors didn’t know where to look as I sniffled and rummaged for a tissue in my bag. They were male and probably not used to crying women! I hated being there on my own. I know, I need to ‘man up’ as Sian Hampson would say! I think though that any mother hearing her baby scream while being held down and seeing metal clamps in their baby’s eyes would probably get upset too… It really isn’t a pleasant experience for me, let alone Asa…

Next, the doctor told me he was going to check Asa’s eyes to see if he would need glasses, even at this early stage. Oh wow, I hadn’t known this was possible at such a young age, and ‘sicky stomach syndrome’, as I call it, reared its ugly head. Asa sat in my arms as the doctor dimmed the lights and shone various lights in to Asa’s eyes to track his eye movements. I prayed all through this stage, silently of course. When the doctor was finished he told me that at the moment Asa’s eyes are the same as any other typical baby and his eyesight is ‘normal’. Asa will need regular eye exams as about half of all people with Down’s syndrome will have vision problems. Our next appointment is in August, so for now we’re thankful that Asa has healthy eyes, that he doesn’t need glasses and that we have a few months to breathe before his next check up comes around.

Please join us in praying that Asa’s eyes remain healthy and that he won’t need glasses! (Not that there’s anything wrong with glasses, I wear glasses! But I’m not sure about glasses on a baby or toddler – I can imagine they would get pulled off a lot and easily damaged!!!).

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Mummy&Asa 22 weeks old
Much needed cuddles with mummy… Oh, how we love you and your sister.
You are both amazing! -x-

Asa’s First Orthoptics (Eye) Appointment

This morning, Asa had his first orthoptics (eye doctor) appointment at UHW. It was horrible. My best friend, Amy, came with me for support as Jon was unable to. I felt sick the whole time. Asa was referred simply because he has DS. Some children with DS have problems with their eyes / vision, around 40% I think.

The appointment itself was stressful, both for Asa and I (and undoubtedly for Amy as she had to deal with me!). He had to have three lots of eye drops – amazingly he slept through the first two lots, each were ten minutes apart. After the final set we were called in to see the doctor.

Asa had a light shone in to his eyes, but as the doctor was unable to get a clear view, the nurse had to swaddle him, hold him down, give local anaesthetic eye drops before each eye was kept open with a little metal clamp. Oh, how my precious little fella howled. And oh, how my heart broke. The doctor assured me it wasn’t painful as the drops numbed his eyes; he said it would be mildly uncomfortable and that he was probably crying at being held tightly by the nurse. Even so, it was very traumatic and I couldn’t help my tears flow down my puffy cheeks as I looked away from my distressed boy to avert my eyes from those harsh little eye clamps.

The doctor was checking for cataracts and nerve damage. He was given the all clear for visual problems at this point in time, but will be monitored again in January, and regularly throughout his childhood.

Right now, I am so thankful to God that all is well and that Asa’s eyes are currently healthy. God is good! Join us in praying that his eyes remain healthy and that his vision will be complete. I’ll post a list sometime of all the areas in which you can pray for Asa and our family, should anyone wish to do so. Thanks to all of who you prayed for today’s appointment. -x-