The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good:
Henry came to work with me Thursday morning because of an Ophthalmologist appointment I made a while back to have his eyes checked. Amblyopia and Strabismus run in my family (my sister and I have both).

Henry and I had a good morning. He was a little too stuffed up to nurse that morning before work, but he ate his bagel and cream cheese for breakfast like a champ, so I wasn’t so worried. I figured that as he woke up more, he’d nurse better. And, he was great throughout the rest of the morning.

We got to work and he played and then went down for a nap before we headed out to the appointment. He was tired (I had to wake him up from his nap to load him up) but otherwise happy. And, he was a little ham when we got to the Dr.’s office -smiling and “talking” to everyone.

The Bad:
His eyes were checked for straightness (strabismus), and I was told that they’re beautifully straight. Then they dilated his eyes with drops and we waited in the waiting room for them to take effect. About 15 minutes later we were called back and the Dr. looked into Henry’s eyes with all sorts of objects and lights. And then he laid the bad news on me….Henry is at risk for developing amblyopia (lazy eye).

Right now, his left eye is twice as far sighted as his right eye. When amblyopia develops, the weaker eye (in this case – Henry’s left) stops being used by the brain because the eye sight in it is so bad, and therefore, the stronger eye will compensate. Meaning that the longer it goes untreated, the weaker the weak will get until it simply isn’t used by the brain to see anymore. The good news is that this is all treatable, and that we’re watching Henry to see if it does indeed develop.

The doctor wants us to come back in a year to check his eyes again. If his vision gets better, then we’ll probably do nothing, because nothing will need to be done. If his vision stays the same or gets worse, then Henry will be put in glasses and patched to strengthen his left eye.

I’m handling this news ok. I went through this myself at his age, and I know that with treatment that he’ll have perfectly normal (possibly corrected) vision. I am a bit upset that it looks like he got my horrible eye problems…but there was a 50/50 chance that he would. So, nothing much to do there.

The Ugly:
After we got back to my office, I nursed Henry before we were both going to have lunch, and while nursing him I noticed that his cheeks were really pink, like, almost red. And, he felt a little warm to me. He ended up falling asleep nursing, so I let him nap while attached to me, and I figured we’d eat and I’d take his temp when he woke up. He woke up about 20 minutes later and I changed his diaper and then took his temp. He was running a 102.4 temperature on Thursday afternoon.

I called the eye doctor to make sure that the eye drops they gave me couldn’t cause a fever, and that this wasn’t some sort of allergic reaction. I was told that the eye drops don’t cause fevers, so it looks like he was hit with a cold. So, I made an appointment with his Ped, and they looked him over and told me that his ears were clear, his throat looks good, and he was a healthy sick little guy. So, we just had to wait this cold out.

All of Thursday, Friday and Saturday Henry had a fever. It got all the way up to 103.1 twice, which freaked me the hell out, which led to J calling the doctor asking what to do. But, sometime during the night on Saturday his fever broke and he’s been slowly getting better. We tried to keep his fever reasonably in check with Tylenol, and he got about 2 doses of it a day. He hasn’t been sleeping so well lately, and I think it’s mostly due to how congested he is. J and I have been suctioning rivers of snot out of his nose. I have no idea how a boy so small can make so much snot, but it just keeps coming.

I’m glad that he’s on the mend. It breaks my heart when he’s sick. He just wants to cuddle nonstop and be held. So, all of Thursday and Friday I spent cuddled up with my baby, and he’d lay his head on my shoulder and just sit like that for hours. It was sad and sweet at the same time.

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