Madison's Eye Surgery Journey

6months old

When my first baby, Madison, was 6months old I started noticing that her eyes were not lining up correctly.  I spoke with her pediatrician time and again and he just kept assuring me she would grow out of it.   I began doing research online and soon discovered that babies do not just "grow out of it."  After multiple pediatrician visits and showing constant concern to the doctor, he finally referred me to an optometrist.  In Georgia, we have  a program for children under the age of 1 that entitles them to a free eye exam, so we made her first visit.  They determined that she needed glasses, and so she was fitted for her first pair.  Talk about stressful!  Trying to keep a bow on her head was difficult enough, imagine keeping a pair of glasses on a little one!  During this time, my husband was deployed to Iraq so I was going through this all alone.  This is a picture of her new glasses:
 So we started our journey with glasses.  
As time went by, I didn’t see any change.  But every month she was growing and we had to  keep up with having her prescription changed and the frames resized at $300 a pop.   I still didn’t feel like her eyes were improving and our insurance only covered the first pair.  After that, it was all out-of-pocket.
6 1/2months old after taking her glasses off.
I continued to do more research still looking for a more definitive answer.  I kept finding information about a surgical procedure that many found successful. So at Madison’s next visit I asked about surgery and the possibility of seeing an Ophthalmologist, but the doctor kept reassuring me the glasses were working and there would be no need for surgery.  But, I was not seeing positive results, and my mother’s-intuition just knew something was not right and I needed to get a second opinion.  So back to the Pediatrician we went.  I told him the glasses were not working and I asked for a referral to see an Ophthalmologist.
We made our first appointment as soon as possible and I felt like this was going to be the right direction.   The Doctor did many tests.  She also checked out Madi’s glasses and found that the prescription was the wrong type and they were actually making her eyes worse!  I was advised to take them off immediately and not to put them back on.

The Doctor also informed us that surgery would be in the near future and start to prepare.  Since Madison had this condition at birth, wearing glasses would not correct her eyes. We were also told that her vision was fine, the eyes were simply going in different directions.  There was also the possibility that Madison would not need glasses until she is much older and maybe not need them at all.  I was very satisfied that I had followed my instincts and pressed on for my baby girl.
At this point my husband came home from his 14 month deployment.  This now created another obstacle with our insurance, changing from Tricare back to his regular employers insurance.  Her current doctor did not accept Tricare so we had to start all over again with a new Ophthalmologist.  Prayerfully and thankfully, we found an excellent doctor that could not have made me happier.  He was great.  He confirmed all the same things her previous eye doctor had recommended and suggested that surgery be done very soon.  His course of action began with Madison wearing an eye-patch everyday on her good eye during awake hours.  We had to do this for months.
Madi wearing her Eye Patch

September 2010 Madison before her eye surgery.

On December 14th 2010 Madi had corrective eye surgery for her condition Strabismus.
She was not happy at the Children's hospital.  She just knew something was going on.

I was trying to calm her nerves and let her know that Mommy and Daddy would be there the entire time.

We arrived at the hospital at 7a.m. with surgery scheduled at 11a.m.  It was a scary process, but we made it through.  Her daddy went back with her while she was administered anesthesia.  As soon as they put the little gas mask on, she fell asleep.  The surgery lasted 30 minutes and the post-op lasted about an hour.   As she was wakening we were able to go back to the recovery room to comfort and hold her.   It was difficult to know she was in pain and see how bewildered she was by not being able to see at all.  The Childrens Hospital in Atlanta was excellent and very caring and attentive to us all.  A nurse brought Madi a Popsicle and a small toy.   At 8p.m. we were able to leave the hospital and take Madi home. 
Her vision was blurry the first couple of days. Her eyes bled for a few days after and I had to change her pillow frequently.  I also had to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every few hours to keep the pain at bay.  The first night she slept through and I had her sleep in the bed with me.  The  next few days, she was relaxed and laid on the couch, but would get up and play a little, then cry, then lay down, then go play again.  She actually did lot better than I expected.  I'm so proud of her!  She was a trooper.  We had a follow up appointment 2 weeks later and everything looked great. 

At this point, we go back in 3 months to see if she will need a second surgery.  But, for now she is doing well and the world is a whole new place for her! :)  Her depth perception is great and she doesn’t bump into things as often.  We have also noticed a marked improvement even in other skills, such as speech.   I'm so glad Madison was able to have the surgery.  God is so good!  All the prayers from family and friends were so appreciated during this long journey.

This is my beautiful girl after surgery and our New Years family picture.  All Madi wanted to do was get down and play with her friends.  She didn't want to sit still for a second!!

Her eyes are still a little red, but have healed and corrected so well. :)


  1. Gotta love a mother's intuition! This is a great post and I'm sure it will help lots of other moms who are going through the same thing!

  2. Thanks girl! :) I hope it will. This has been a ride for sure!

  3. Yay! She is so gorgeous! I love your blog by the way:)


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