Thursday, June 14, 2007

We're home...

[I'd like to add this as an update to the previous post, but the old browser on this machine isn't allowing me to...]

Everything went very well, the surgeon seemed very upbeat about the results, and Ruby did great. She really is a tremendous bad-ass for a four-year-old, and is a total inspiration. Those of you who know me, know I have kind if a "thing" about eyes and even hypothetical eye injuries (borderline irrational phobia, really—aka, I'm a pussy). Anyway, the way she handles this stuff has challenged me to get over myself.

Here is a basic overview of the procedure if anyone's interested.

Ruby is doing well. The "a little bit bloodshot" description from the doctor post-procedure was not really entirely accurate nor good preparation for Ruby's actual condition—her eyes are a bit more gruesome than that, disturbing in a horror movie kinda way, complete with bloody tears. It's a good thing she's done with school!

Our biggest concern going in was the anesthesia, and we had a great team, particularly the nurse anesthetist who thoroughly explained things (rare) and helped us with our fears. They were able to give Ruby a drug before she went into surgery that was longer lasting than the general anesthesia gas and she had a MUCH better experience in recovery than after her MRI in December.

Ruby is having some discomfort, but Tylenol, lots of My Little Ponies and Disney DVDs seems to be helping. We just need to watch and be sure things are healing. She'll hopefully feel better over the next few days, the redness will last a couple weeks, though I fear some black eyes/bruising might be in the works...and we will have struggle with some ointment applications—bribes could start to add up! Her eyes/vision should acclimate to their new positioning in about 6-8 weeks. For now she has some double vision ("I see two daddies"), but that should lessen as her brain adjusts.

We are really hoping this is the last stressful medical issue for Ruby. At one point we thought they were having us wait for the doctor in what seemed to Rachel to be the grief room, I pointed out that I didn't think they had enough Kleenex for it to be the grief room—but I couldn't shake the feeling that there might have been a complication. They really shouldn't shut you in a small room to wait for the doctor to come "talk with you" though—that just seems bad. Far too much suspense for one day.

If you polled me tonite, I would say watching Ruby go through this wasn't worth it. We just hope the doctor is right and we just have to get through a few uncomfortable days and it'll all be better in the long run. It's tough to ask a four-year-old to go through something that they can't really understand, but waiting until they are older and able to better handle it renders the operation somewhat moot. Doing it now while she is still developing means her brain can retrain itself to use both eyes properly. Later on it becomes too late for the brain to regain "binocular" vision, and more of a cosmetic procedure (her eyes point in the right diection, but her brain is only using one of them).

That's it for now, we're all tired after the loonnng day. Thanks all for your supportive thoughts and messages.

Matt, Rachel, Ruby & Charlotte

[UPDATE: Got my computer back which allowed me to go back and clean up typos. Two days post-surgery and Ruby is doing better—less discomfort and sensitivity.]


Toast said...

I'm glad to hear things went smoothly. Interesting procedure, too. I can't believe that they do that to some adults using only local anesthesia.

I understand what you're saying about eye stuff. Tracy had a bad bout of iritis last fall, to the point where her iris was stuck open. Had to take here to one of Hartford's top opthamologists to get fixed, and the "fixing" involved shoving a rather large needle in right under her eye. She handled it pretty well. I, on the other hand, almost passed out.

Smitty said...

Thank God. I will hoist a beer in honor of your family and for Ruby's stoicism.

Mike said...

I'm glad everything went well. Ruby is, indeed, a real trooper. In a few years this'll be a scary memory for you, but not so much for Ruby.

Which is exactly as you want it to be.