Saturday, June 30, 2012

Journey's Ocular Shell

Did I ever get around to mentioning that Journey had an eye procedure under anesthesia in May? Her ophthalmologist (and yes, I can spell that now without looking it up!) wanted to get a more in depth look at her eyes, which isn't possible to do with a toddler who is awake. He also had an ocular prosthetic specialist come in and fit her for an ocular shell. This one is clear, and does a few different things:

-It acts as a place holder in her eye socket for the painted ocular shell she'll have when she's older. Eventually she'll have an ocular shell that is painted to look exactly like her other eye, so they will be symmetrical.

-It lets the maximum amount of light into her eye, which may help strengthen it, if it is able to be strengthened. . If they decide her eye is able to see enough, the only painted part will be the iris, and the pupil part will be clear so she can see through it. If she doesn't end up having enough vision, the pupil will be painted.

-It also magnifies her eye a little bit, making her eyelids more open. Her eyelid sort of droops over her eye because the eye itself is so small, it's called a micro eye. With the shell, her eye is more open. The domed shape of the shell makes her iris look a little bit bigger, which is just a cosmetic benefit.

The appointment was a little bit traumatic for both of us, he showed us the shell, and how to put it in and take it out, then he took it into another room and we heard some machine noises as he made some adjustments, then he came back in and put it in again, then took it out again, and made some more adjustments. He gave us some advice, and some suction cups, and we were on our way! Surprisingly, Journey wasn't at all bothered by having a chunk of plastic in her eye, I thought I'd be fighting her the rest of the day to leave it alone, but she never even touched it. The traumatic part is pinning her down, holding her eye lid open, and sticking a suction cup in it!

Here it is with the suction cup attached.

Without the suction cup attached. There's a small hole at the bottom of the shell for drainage.

Here you can see the shape and thickness of it

And here's the suction cup we use! To use it, you squeeze the stick with one hand and attempt to hold the eyelids open with the other hand, put it on the ocular shell, let go, then pull the lower eyelid down and slide it out. I got it on my 2nd try, I was pretty surprised and excited about that! I was dreading this day, imagining a screaming baby with a suction cup in her eye, making phone calls to the doctor because we couldn't get it out!

We have to wash it with soap and water and put it back in in the morning, wish me luck!
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