So we took her to Dr Abrams in Orem, at the Excel eye center. By this time she was 5 years old. Luckily we had health insurance for her. He checked her several times, did some basic tests and sure enough, we weren't crazy. She was crossing her eye. It was strabismus. He suggested she get surgery. Neither glasses or a patch would help cure her eye. I had Tyler come into one of the appointments to confirm this. He didn't believe it was that bad. We both thought she was mentally allowing herself to cross her eye for attention. Or I thought it was a "tick" that some children pick up when they feel certain emotions. But Dr Abrams suggested it wasn't mental at all. That it was her muscle in her eye that was forcing it to cross to the center. So she had surgery.
February 24th: I was nervous for this but had to be brave so she could be brave. She had to fast once dinner was over the night before. We had to be at the surgical center at 7am to check in. She got a special t-shirt to put on and then we had to wait. The nurses came in and told me briefly what would happen and what to except And then I had to say goodbye. I couldn't go in. They felt it was better for that I, the parent, wasn't there to distract her. So she had to go alone. They tried to make it as comfortable as possible for her. She willingly obliged and went with the nurse. She was to breathe into a tube that would relax her and then they would give her anesthesia. Then they would operate, on both eyes, which took very little time. Once she awoke from her anesthesia they'd bring her out to me.
Dr Abrams insisted she would not feel any pain once she woke up. He said it would feel like the foreign body syndrome, when something is gone or added to your body and you can't get rid of it. Or like a speck of dirt is in your eye, but you can't get it out. Baloney. She was in pain. She was scared. She was uncomfortable. She cried bloody tears. I felt so helpless. They let us wait in the recovery room for a few minutes until I could get her to walk by herself or be willing to go outside to the car. She was hungry. She was tired and she was scared. She was afraid she was blind. Afraid to open her eyes because it hurt to her. She just wanted to be held, so I held her. Reminded her not to rub her eyes too hard. Not because it would disturb the stitches or the work that was done on her eye muscles, but because it would not hasten the healing process. She would not accept a popsicle, a drink or anything. I just held her and tried not to cry myself. It was hard.
After 15 minutes or so, we drove home. With no pain medication. They said it wouldn't help. Perhaps Tylenol if she really needed it but it wouldn't focus on her eyes anyway. I encouraged her by telling her she would be able to pet our new puppy when we got home. That gave her comfort too.
A few days before her surgery with our brand new puppy, Zoey.
I put her in bed and suggested she "sleep it off." She still hadn't opened her eyes. She finally went to sleep and when she awoke we let her eat whatever she wanted. She requested chicken nuggets. So Tyler went and got her some Wendy's. She wore her sunglasses constantly as her eyes were still very sensitive to light.
By the end of the first day she was in good spirits. She barely opened her eyes but mainly she walked around, with her arms outstretched, feeling her way around furniture, like a blind person. It was actually sort of humorous.
By the second day, with her bloodshot eyes, she felt better. She was scared of her own eyes at first. I was too. They looked scary But then it became something she was almost proud of. She'd go around and stare at other kids hoping they'd notice her creepy eyes. Then, if they did, she'd tell them why, and wait for their curiosity and fascination.
I still marvel at how brave she was. Although she did not expect it would be so intrusive to her. It was probably better that she went into the surgery "blindly" otherwise she would have been too scared. She doesn't want to go through it again, and I don't either. Sadly, the surgery was not a complete success and her eye still crosses, but not as severely. It does not affect her school work but it does need to be cured before it gets worse. So after we moved to SLC I decided I wanted a second opinion. There are only about 5 doctors who specialize in this. So we went and now she is getting bifocal glasses. I'll post a picture in a about a week once her glasses come in. She's excited about it, which is GOOD. But now I wish I would have gone to this doctor in the first place....wondering if she ever needed the surgery at all. But I can't know now. A gal I visit taught in Provo had a grand daughter with the same problem, but worse, and she went to the SLC Dr and she had surgery too. And this same gal knew of another girl in the stake who had to have the surgery at least 3 times! Then I also visit taught a girl who had a SIL who didn't get her crossed eye surgically fixed until she was 30 years old! She lived with it her whole life, in embarrassment. So I am glad there are options out there. And glad for a mostly healthy Jocelyn.