Monday, January 26, 2009

beautiful-eyed one

waking up by you.
This afternoon I was working when I heard Adelaide waking up from her nap. I went to our sleeping room there she was, just sitting there so sweetly in the middle of our big bed. The light was so lovely that I ran and got my camera.

She is the most beautiful person I have ever met. My heart just aches for her and I have a feeling that this condition never will pass.

But Lately I have been growing more and more concerned about Adelaide's eyes and her vision. She doesn't seem to see that well and her eyes seem to bother her quite often. And her eyes - especially her left eye - are very crossed, and they seem to be growing worse.

I was hoping that these things would pass, but sitting just now and looking through these photographs in succession I can really see how her eyes are crossed and seem to be bothersome. And my heart aches even a little more for her.

So my questions are, for someone out there: Have you ever experienced this with a child? Have you taken your toddler to an eye doctor before - what was it like for them? Do you know of any specialists who work especially with little children (in the Vancouver area)?

Any thoughts or advice you may have would be much appreciated,

Thank-you ♥

61 comments:

marzi said...

i'm new to your blog, but i have a son who got glasses at 2 years old because we noticed one of his eyes would cross into the center when he tried to focus on things. we took him to his regular pediatrician first who then sent us to an ophthalmologist. it was really no big deal. they dilated his eyes and asked him to look at pictures and tell them what they were. he ended up getting glasses and when he has them on his eye is perfectly straight. it's amazing. when he takes them off, it still does cross to the center when focusing. i would definitely take her to see someone because many times things can be done to help. sometimes it's as simple as putting a patch over the good eye to make the weak eye work harder and become stronger.

anyway, that's my experience. best of luck to you. if you have any specific questions, i'd be happy to help as best as i'm able.

Abbie said...

I've been looking at your blog for awhile but have never commented, but this spoke to my heart because as a toddler my parents took me to the eye doctor and now as an adult I don't "have" to wear glasses on a normal basis. I grew up wearing a patch over an eye during the summers and then I had glasses for many years. Eventually the doctors said I didn't need glasses anymore. It wasn't until I was in college that I got my first pair. I have them now and only use when I'm driving at night to help my eyes focus. I think it's really a good idea to take her in. And I agree with you.. she is Beautiful!

tiel said...

toddlers aren't too young to have their eyes tested.

Listen to your voice in your head. It's mother's instinct and 9 out of 10 times it is always right. So book somewhere in case you can't get in straight away. She'll be fine.
I think though go to an Ophthalmologist not an Optometrist as they are trained as specialists.

keep smiling.

jennifer said...

your work + blog + little one are all so lovely!
i saw your note of concern over on flickr and popped over here to read your post - my twin daughters (now 4) were born prematurely, and as a result, we had them in to see a pediatric opthamalogist when they were about 15 months old. my vision is very weak, so i was all for them being tested early and watched closely. your pediatrician should be able to refer you to a specialist to have her looked at - follow your instincts and find a specialist who deals specifically with children. treatment for so many things can be very effective when addressed early.
warm wishes to you and yours!
xoxo

nicole said...

Trust your instinct. Your pediatrician should be able to give you a referral to ophthalmologist. Eyesight is precious. My daughter was born deaf and we have her vision tested yearly since she was 1 year old.

Jen said...

Hi Sharilyn. When I was a young girl I had some trouble with my right eye and was diagnosed with strabismus. I had to wear a patch over my eye when I was young and ended up getting corrective surgery for it when I was in my teens, but I've heard it's much more successful at a younger age. I would suggest seeing your family doctor and asking her/him to refer you to Dr. Roy Cline, a pediatric opthamologist who I saw in Vancouver. He's very gentle and kind.

Take care! xo.

teresa said...

Sorry to hear about Adelaide. Definitely take her to an opthalmologist. I have friends who have had this problem growing up, but after correction they lead a perfectly normal life.

If you want to google for more information, the term is strabismus.

teresa said...

Just realised that Jen mentioned strabismus as well, sorry!

audrey said...

Hi Sharilyn,
When I was little I had a problem with my right eye. It was weaker than the left and sometimes wandered. My mom took me to the doctor and I had a small surgery that fixed it. I have not had any trouble with it since then. I have heard it is best to do this at a very young age.

*A
p.s your blog totally speaks what a loving and amazing mother you are.

Jersey Girl in DC said...

I had a younger cousin who experienced this as a child with her eyes beginning to cross a bit. She was taken to a doctor and it was corrected with a procedure - her's was just a tad more serious than having to wear glasses or a patch - but luckily, it was corrected and she was fine afterwards :)

Nikki said...

Hey there,

No advice as such but I just wanted to say that you are 100% right - she's absolutely gorgeous. And if she gets glasses then she's totally gonna rock 'em. All the cool kids wear glasses ;)

xox

Sarah said...

Hey Sharilyn

The photo of Adelaide is gorgeous! Yes like the others I think you should take Adelaide to a specialist and set your mind at ease. As a child I had a lazy eye - one eye would be able to look up, but the other eye would stay looking straight, therefore I would get double vision. It didn't bother me too much,in fact it became a bit of a party trick until I had 2 operations at about ages 7 & 8 to correct it. It meant yearly visits to the specialist and being a 'guinea pig' for the student doctors but this also meant a day off school and a cream bun as a treat! I had to start wearing glasses at age 13 for short sightedness but don't know if it's connected and I like wearing glasses now.
And little kids wearing glasses equals cuteness overload!
Let us know how you get on. Take care x

Toni & Hannah said...

It's been so long now, but my 17 yr. old son had a crossing problem when he was 3 yrs. It turned out that it was a vision problem that affected his focusing. He needed to wear glasses for several years but now only wears them for reading, watching tv or any other concentrated work. Definitely have her checked out and don't worry! I don't think this kind of thing is uncommon and it's easily cared for.
Hugs!

Heidi and Seek said...

My partner had his eyes crossed until he had an operation on them when he was about 3. He was fine after this.

He got glasses much later, due to reading in bad lighting.

jodi said...

this is an old story but i'm telling it from a child's perspective. My brother (who is now 21) had eye issues and was diagnosed with a 'lazy' eye. He had to wear a patch over the good eye to strengthen the bad eye. He wore glasses from the age of 2 and wears contacts now. One eye still turns in (especially when he is tired).

I remember my mum being so concerned but she always said that she was so glad she got onto it straight away.

Every eye doctor that we saw was so beautiful and caring and made the whole process a very calm and child-friendly one.

Trust your muma instincts.

adalex72 said...

When my son was about a year old, he was referred to the hospital by our family GP after a routine health check because he felt my sons eyes were crossing.
When we saw the eye doctor it was quite a straightforward appointment, they dilated his eyes and checked them. We were told his eyes were fine, they were crossing a little but that would correct itself in time. And she did add that in photographs eyes can appear more crossed then they really are. He is 3 now and his eyes are fine!

szym&me said...

Hi !
First of all I have to tell you that Adelaide is so so cute !
About her eyes, you shouldn't wait. Here in France there are a lot of pediatricians-ophtalmologist.
It will be no big deal for her. And if she wears glasses now for a while, she may don't have anymore problems in a few years.
It's a real pleasure to come on your blog.
(I hope my english isn't too bad ?!)

Ema said...

Hi Sharilyn, As with everyone else - definitely see your pediatrician and then a specialist -- but I wanted to ask, has your pediatrician ever mentioned it to you before? With my son (only 7 months) he can appear cross-eyed at times but our doctor said it is just the appearance of it. With many babies, especially Asian part-Asian ones like ours, they have so little in the way of a bridge of their nose that it creates such an appearance. Am I making sense? I'm no expert -- so hope that is sort of clear. Well that is what our doctor told us -- I have no idea at what age this would change but thought I'd mention it. I can't really tell from the photos how pronounced it is, but I think it is so true that you are right to trust your instincts. You are her mother and you really do know her best. Of course, it is true what everyone has said even with glasses she will be the same beauty! maybe even more so!

C Sax said...

Hi there-
My sister was age 1 1/2 when she started wearing glasses. She had poor vision and crossed eyes. They helped almost immediately. For a few hours a day my mother would patch one eye and then the other to strengthen it. She still wears glasses, but her eyes don't cross any longer and the prescription she wears is much less than it would have been otherwise.

I would speak to your pediatrician for a ophthalmologist recommendation. It sounds scary, but is quite a simple fix and something that is often correctable at this tender age.

Love your dear blog.
Claire

jess said...

Oh she is a BEAUTIFUL little girl! So is the quilt, btw. :o)
I remember two of my friends had issues with their eyes being crossed, and I'm only in contact now with one, but you can't really notice it anymore. He doesn't even wear glasses. (he may wear contacts...)
Mother always knows best, go with your gut! hugs and good luck.

Caroline said...

it may be a lazy eye. my best friends daughter had that and it was corrected with surgery at the age of 2 and she's fine now. Just ask your family doctor to screen for it - they'll know what to do!
I feel as though my heart is constantly swelling with joy at something my girls are experiencing, or aching over some pain they are in. They are only 1 and 3 and sometimes the world and all they may go through is too much for me as a mother to bare. There is nothing harder in the world than watching our beloved children go through pain! Adelaide is precious, and she will be okay - modern medicine is amazing!! Bless you!

Laura. said...

i have duanesyndrome, a form of strabismus that affects the muscles behind my left eye. i was diagnosed as a baby, but never had surgery until a few years ago as an adult. i have always had glasses for vision, but i would definitely recommend getting her eyes checked out. it sounds like someone else gave you a great recommendation in your area. i would be happy to converse with you more if you have questions.

andrea soos said...

hi sharilyn!

i don't know much about eyes but I know we've had to take carson to a few specialists in his short 3 years and i have to say our experience at BC Childrens has been amazing! I would suggest you ask your family doctor to directly recommend you to Childrens. You will be in great hands with whomever you see there and the experience is not nearly as painful as we have found in other hospitals/clinics... email me if you want more info! If you look on the Children's website you can see the names of the specialists, that way if you go to your Dr with a name, he/she will find it easy to send a referral!
xx

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I agre with everyone's reassurances and recommendations; my daughter (she's 4 now) sees a wonderful pediatric opthalmologist. If it is indeed strabismus, there is a nice Canadian book about that, for older kids I think, called My Travelin' Eye. It's by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw and it looks beautiful. As is Adelaide, and her eyes.

Casey said...

gorgeous picture! I wish I had some advice for you but it seems that you've gotten good advice already, so yay :) good luck

doubleindemnity said...

I don't have first hand knowledge myself because we don't have children (yet) but my husband has younger cousins (on his maternal side) from different branches that had crossed eyes. Both children (boy & girl) wore glasses to strengthen their eyes but eventually, they both had surgery around age 8 to correct the "squint" (Scottish nickname for this condition).

My mother was way less caring about my one eye that crossed (left) than you are with Adelaide. She thought it was disappointing because it was unattractive. Eventually, it worked itself out. If I look straight ahead, my left eye tilts in slightly more than my right but it's hardly noticable.

Jules said...

You've received excellent advice. My brother had something similar, and a few years of glasses as a toddler/preschooler fixed it right up.

Oh, and while this is not important, glasses on someone so little looks so dang precious!

Chandra said...

I love your blogsite! I have been following it for a little while, its so wonderfully crisp and refreshing! My son had this problem when he was a little guy and it self corrected. As a soon to be nurse though, judging from the picture of adorable Addie, I would take her in and get it checked out, just as a precaution. Usually with these things, the earlier you get them nipped in the bud, the better the intended result: eyes that don't cross! :) If you have noticed progression, take her in. She will thank you and you will thank yourself!

tiffanyandink said...

Your daughter is so darling and I absolutely love this photo of her.

My nephew is 4-years-old...no wait...he just turned 5 last month. When he was 2 his big sister noticed his eyes crossing. My sister took him in and they did much the same as Marzi (at the top) describes above. He looks so adorable in his glasses! They have some really, really cool ones for kids these days too.

Please let us know what the outcome is with her. She's so darling! All the best!

Niella said...

You are such a sweet and darling mummy!

Yes, trust your inner voice my dear and visit your doctor to get a referral.

Lovely sweet lil' Adelaide:)

L O L O + S P R O U T said...

Hi there,

Our mutual friend, Sora's husband is an excellent optometrist! He works at Metrotown and at the Henderson Mall in Coquitlam.

Take care!

L O L O + S P R O U T said...

Hi there,

Our mutual friend, Sora's husband is an excellent optometrist! He works at Metrotown and at the Henderson Mall in Coquitlam.

Take care!

Misty M. said...

She is so precious. What a wonderful photograph. I am glad that you shared it with us.

As for the crossed eyes. I have a friend who's daughter has a similar problem and they are pretty sure that with some therapy and maybe glasses at a young age it will be easily correctable. Don't delay however.

Also, as a person who has this problem now. Not due to a natural strabismas (or however you spell it) but due to an accident when I was 18 months old where I lost vision in my right eye... I want to mention this- it is much more noticable in photos. I detest some of my photos and I used to think that I looked that bad all the time. The fact is that the camera seems to exagerate the problem.

Good luck at the eye doctor. Your daughter is adorable, so precious.

Anonymous said...

I'm just reading your post now, and I ran to get my husband, who is an optometrist (and used to work in Vancouver at IRIS). He says, like many of the previous comments, that you and Adelaide should go see an optometrist soon and that the visit will be covered by the BC Medical Service Plan (because she's under 18 years old). MSP covers yearly eye exams for children 18 and under.

A child with a lazy eye will have a better chance of developing normal vision if a treatment plan is started at a young age.

He also says that an optometrist can see children as young as 6 months old.

Hope this helps!

JiLL.

Meghan said...

Like others who have posted, I was diagnosed with a "lazy eye" as a 6 year old and remember the headache of always seeing a double image. My first ophthalmologist suggested glasses and a patch but my parents chose to have second opinion and decided on corrective surgery. I am so grateful they made this decision and at 27 I have had no recurrence of the issue. I'm sure that with persistence you will also find the best solution for your beautiful daughter.

As a side note, thank you for your camera recommendations from a few months ago. I decided on the Nikon D60 which has been perfect for the blog I keep for my newborn.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharilyn,
Your little Addie is beautiful and I am sending the both of you my well-wishes. Hoping that everything works out for the best for you and your sweet girl...
-Jeannie

Anonymous said...

As a mama to two beautiful and delightful boys who have special needs (oldest has Autism, youngest has a cleft lip and palate), I can only say to trust your mama instincts. I know the heartbreak of fearing that something is not right with your baby. But. Luckily, there are amazing people who do amazing work with children and they will make sure your daughter is just fine.

I know there are many things that could use "fixin" when it comes to Canada's medical/health system, but I feel completely blessed to be living here when I witness first-hand the dedication and expertise of the people who care for my boys.

Clear Pink said...

I just had to say that is such a sweet face. If I could have kept mine all that age I would have. They grow so darn fast, treasure it, which it seems you are!

rex and lindsay said...

although i haven't experienced it myself i have a sister and now 2 young nieces who's eye started to turned in at a really young age. My sister noticed early on that her daughters eyes were turning in. In both cases the eye doctor put patches on the eye that was turning in inorder to allow the weak eyes muscle to strengthen. they both have glasses now. the eldest is 7 and her eye seems to be correcting itself now. if you need any extra advice. i can always put you in contact with my sister. since she has a lazy eye and so do both of her children.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharilyn,
I am now in my early 30's but when I was just about your beautiful daughter's age I also had a lazy eye and wore a patch and glasses for several months. I never had to have surgery or any invasive procedures to correct the issue.I have never had problems again with my eyes--I have 20/20 vision now(knock on wood).
Although not at all close to you, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami is the best eye hospital in the US and has incredible pediatric ophthalmologists. http://bascompalmer.org/
All the best,
Maria--from Miami

Anonymous said...

You should see definitely go to see an Ophthalmologist and not an Optometrist, because the latter are basically just glorified glasses prescribers... the former have years more training and qualified to operate on your daughter's eyes if necessary... Optometrists are likely to simply prescribe glasses or a contact lense and that may not be the correct solution...

Anonymous said...

yes, my now teenaged son was diagnosed by a pediatric ophthalmologist with strabismus in one narrow field of vision as a 3 y.o. no treatment was prescribed as it was such a narrow field of vision and the thought was he would likely grow out of it which it appears that he has. the ophthalmologist visit while lengthy was pain free and quite reassuring. btw, my mother first noticed the condition in a photo. we took the photo to the appt. which was found to be helpful.

joana said...

You are so sweet!

Anonymous said...

Here's some info about eye care for your child from the optometrists' association of british columbia.
http://www.optometrists.bc.ca/content/a_b_See/71

ratita said...

hi there
i also was diagnosed with strabismus (lazy eye) at a very young age. i started wearing glasses when i was about two and a half and had surgery at five years of age. the surgery did not completely correct my strabismus, so i have always worn glasses (or contacts). with corrective lenses, my eye straightens out.

the main thing about it is that i have hardly any depth perception. however, since i've never really had depth perception, i guess the way i see things seems 'normal' to me. it's never been a problem, although i suppose i don't have the best hand-eye coordination, but many with perfect depth perception don't either, so... i am able to drive and do everything i want to do. i am now forty and my prescription just changed (very slightly) for the first time in all these years, so it is not a degenerative condition.

try not to worry too much -- Adelaide will be okay.

Jennifer said...

I came across your blog in Country Living. It is important that you go ahead and take her to the eye doctor. They can give you some ideas and possible exercises or glasses to help strengthen her eyes. My husband and I both wear glasses so we took our daughter for the first time when she was 3years old. Her eyesight was fine...actually better than fine, which our Dr said may indicate she will need glasses at some point. Anyway, it is best to get it checked out early so you can help correct it. I don't know anyone in Vancouver....we live in Oklahoma :) Best of luck!

Beth in Texas said...

Just found your blog--lovely! I wanted to reassure you about strabismus. As soon as my son was born (our third child), I knew his eyes were badly crossed. We started taking him to a pediatric ophthalmologist when he was two months old. (The appointments are no big deal, by the way.) We've done a lot of patching and he has had two surgeries. I know that probably sounds scary, but the surgery is not nearly as bad as you might imagine! Very quick and not painful for the patient at all. So, you do need to get your daughter to the doctor ASAP, and I recommend that you make appointments at all the specialists you can so you find someone you like. Try to accept now that this will be an issue you will watch carefully throughout her life--but she is going to be just fine.

Dianne K. Nelson said...

I am also new to your blog but have gone through a similar thing with my son. His eye (looks to be the same as addie's) also crosses. He is being helped with glasses, which he will wear until the eye muscles stop developing (around age 9) and may avoid surgery. While he has 20/20 vision, he had no depth perception because of the crossed eyes. The glasses have improved things immensely! The sooner you get things checked out, the better. Watch out for the eyedrops--they sting! Still, it's worth it when they can catch a ball and be more active because they have depth perception. I would encourage you to get her eyes checked. I know that I'm glad I did for my son (he was 4).

Suzanne said...

I would highly recommend you find a eye doctor who specializes in children and have her eyes checked. My 3rd old duaghter has been wearing glasees since she was 14 months old. A pediatricion is not equipped to diagnose most vision issues. There are so many things that can be corrected before the age of 7. I am doing everything I can to spread the word and encourage everyone to have their child's eyes checked at age 1. I wish you all the best and would love to chat about it in more detail if you wish.

Ashlee said...

I just found out my son needs glasses and has to wear a patch a few hours a day- he failed a preschool eye screen and when we went to the doctor we found out he has a lazy eye (amblyopia). It sounds like your daughter may have strabismus. Regardless of what it is- www.patchpals.com is a great resource for kids with eye issues- lots of helpful information and fun kid-friendly patches. Click on "eye patch parents" to find the terminology definitiions. Good Luck!

Lori said...

jumped over from flickr to say that my husband had the same problem when he was a child, had to wear glasses (aw, he looked so cute ;^) and then by the time high school rolled around he didn't need them anymore. no problem. :^)

hukolb said...

Hi there! I haven't had much personal experience but my husband is starting his Ophthalmology residency this upcoming year and already has learned a lot. He says strabismus (cross eye) is so important to fix as early as you can, with a doctor's recommendations, usually a patch that must be diligently worn, and the problem should correct itself. If it isn't fixed early it can lead to permanent, irreversible vision loss or blindness. I would suggest asking your pediatrician and getting a recommendation for a good eye doctor (ophthalmologist NOT optometrist) in your area as soon as you can. Hope it goes well, we feel for you!

Christina said...

Ditto. My Becca has to wear glasses and we patch her left eye (her strong eye) for two hours a day. Her eye has been improving, we had to patch her for four hours a day for the first six months.

Adelaide will like wearing glasses, I assure you, when she realizes she can see better. Also, it's so fun to pick out new glasses!

Andrea Edgar said...

Hi - I just stumbled upon your blog via Oh Happy Day - you are so talented and your daughter is scrumptious! Our son, who was 3 1/2 at the time, woke up from his nap one afternoon with his eyes crossed. I called my doctor, who referred us to pediatric opthamologist, Dr. Ross Kennedy. I HIGHLY recommend him! He has offices in both Surrey and Vancouver and is super with kids. Sawyer was diagnosed with strabismus. He prescribed glasses (so cute!) and then additional patching, but to no avail. My son was then scheduled for surgery, which freaked me out, but it was so simple - he was in and out of BC Children's in a few hours and was his old self in a few hours after that. From diagnosis to treatment to surgery - 3 months, which is not bad. His eyes are now beautiful and he stopped wearing glasses three months after surgery. We kinda miss seeing him in his them, though!!

Anonymous said...

My son is now 10 but has been wearing glasses since he was two. His eyes turn inward but with the glasses they straighten right out. He first needed to ear a patch to strengthen the eye muscles. I would highly recommend seeing a pediatric opthomologist. I brought my son to MA Eye and Ear Hospital and saw the head of the department and was told the exact same thing that my local ped. opth. told me. Bottom line, I agonized over my son having to wear a patch and glasses. Guess what, it was no big deal to him and he now never wants to be without glasses. Words of advice, Etsy makes great eye patches and there are some terrifically fun glasses out there for kids! Best of luck and keep in mind that the earlier the intervention the better!

Glenn+Jenn+Owen+Ian said...

I am also new to your blog, but wanted to say that my brother had surgery at 9 months (over 30 years ago!) to correct crossed eyes and he is fine! I have a sister in law in Vancouver and can ask if she knows any doctors. Best wishes...

Tina said...

I just found your blog and had the best time looking through your recent posts! I guess this post spoke to a lot of Moms out there and you got some great responses! I had a "lazy eye" as a child and had surgery twice. It hurt, but my parents didn't make a big deal out of it, so it wasn't a big deal to me. They bought me a HUGE stuffed bunny to take with me and I still have him over 20 years later! My pediatrician noticed that my daughter seemed to have a bit of a lazy eye and sent her to a specialist. It was no big deal for her (and she is terrified of doctors!)
God bless as you walk through this with your daughter!

Making of a Montessori Mum said...

Your blog is so beautiful and such a treasure to stumble upon. Have you heard of Braingym eye exercises for children? They can also be lots of fun. Might be a good complimentary thing t do as well as getting her eyes checked out. Best of luck.

XUE said...

You have already gotten so many advice & comments on this "eye" post!...wow!
I am writing from Tokyo. I took my daughter to an eye doc a couple of months back. She's 8 & was having blurry visions. It tuened out that the teacher started using an overhead projector & when the children looked at her talking, my daughter had the light right in her line of vision. Plus, new seating arrangements in class meant she was facing a red brick wall, outside the window & where the sunlight bounces off. Problem is when they are younger like your little girl, it is not easy to figure out the root of the problem. By now, I hope Adelaide's vision problems are over (?).

The Obsessive Researching Mommy said...

Please take your child in as soon as possible to have her eyes evaluated and corrected. My father is a pediatrician and even HE waited too long to do this for me, and I have the use of only one eye today. The younger the patient, the better the chance to correct and restore vision in BOTH eyes. You will not be too late, as it has been shown that vision therapy is useful up to the age of 17.

Having two eyes is useful indeed. As a one eyed person who had crossed eyes at birth that were corrected too late in life, I can tell you from my experience that I have to be much more careful than others taking care of my one "good" eye. I have limited depth perception and so I'm terrible at ball sports and... driving.

I recommend Dr. Kennedy but not Dr. Cline or Dr. Rees. Both of my children have been seeing a pediatric opthalmologist since they were practically babies, to watch for signs of my problem (strabismus, amblyopia) since it tends to run in families.

Best regards, and take care.

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