Thursday, May 10, 2007

A New Doctor

I've discussed in previous blogs that Buddy was born prematurely. One issue (the only issue, thank goodness) that we have dealt with since his birth has been his vision. He developed Retinopathy of Prematurity when he was about 2.5 months old. ROP is a condition that develops in the retina and causes the veins to grow haywire, which can detach the retina and cause blindness. He reached Stage 3 Plus (stage 5 would be blindness) and was immediately scheduled for laser surgery on both eyes the next morning. He weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces at the time and wasn't even due yet.

Due to the ROP, he has significant nearsightedness in his left eye. He also has amblyopia in that eye due to the nearsightedness. In other words, his brain realized that it's easier to see from his right eye, so his left eye stopped trying so hard.

From birth, we have seen an ophthalmologist. In the beginning, there was a pediatric opth who visited the hospital and checked on the preemies and also had an office in town. Unfortunately, her doctor husband got a job out of town and she left. There was no other pediatric specialist in town.

We started seeing a regular ophthalmologist, who was very nice and we really liked her. In the meantime, there came a new pediatric specialist to our area, but our loyalty was with this other doc. However, she has two small children and decided to take time off to stay with them and a new, unknown person was taking over her practice.

I took this opportunity to ask our pediatrician to refer us to the new pediatric ophthalmologist. And, we saw her this morning. I feel better seeing a doctor who I KNOW has studied children like Buddy and know the particulars about children, preemies and their vision.

Buddy can't go to an optomotrist, he has to see the medical eye doctor (ophthalmologist) as opposed to just a regular eye doctor. Since his vision problems are are related to his prematurity, our insurance covers it under the medical plan. He has been wearing glasses since he was 18 months old and let me tell you, little wee cute glasses don't cost less than adult glasses. It's an expensive proposition with his eyes.

The new doctor is wonderful! She actually thinks Buddy's prescription now is too strong and it's gone from a -7.5 (nearsighted) to a -5.25 in his left eye. A funny thing to be happy about, but I am thrilled. She was able to get him to read 20/40 in his left eye - which is excellent because unbeknownst to me, you cannot get a driver's license without a doctor's okay with vision less than that.

I actually learned some new info at the appointment, which is odd because I feel like I should be awarded a degree as a junior eye doctor myself. I've done that much research on it. I was just so reassured by this doctor. She answered all my questions exactly right and the office is state of the art - very professional.

Now, to get the new prescription and we're scheduled back in two more months! I'm feeling very optimistic!


  1. You and Buddy are so lucky to have found her. It's nice to have confidence in your doc.

  2. That is wonderful news! Here's hoping that his sight continues to improve as time goes by!

  3. Optimistic about the Ophthalmologist. Say that five times fast. Great news.

  4. Ah - it's very good news.

    ROP is insidious - an old friend had a son 3 months early, and this was their greatest worry with him. Timothy is OK now too, but wow, it does take a lot of worry.

  5. Thanks guys! Tiff, Buddy was born 3 months early also - 2lbs, 5oz. I hoped he wouldn't develop ROP, but no such luck. He's (we've) done really well with it over the years though.