A New Set of Eyes

2013 has been a medically active year for young Kohler.  He has already had three procedures done with the possibility of a fourth.  Not to fret, however, as he takes it all in stride and the medical procedures are all for his own good.

He rang in the new year on January 2nd with an eye surgery to correct a condition called “strabismus,” which is a misalignment of the eyes.  In Kohl’s case, he had “exotropia,” where his eyes would sometimes point too far outward.  The doctor says it affected his balance and depth perception so correcting it was important not just for his vision, but it would have tangential benefits as well.

The surgery went well, and the recovery was minimal. For the first few hours, he was a little grouchy from the anesthesia, and he cried some tears of blood, which is pretty bad ass:

He does not want your pity.  He eats your clear tears for breakfast.

Moreover, the improvement we noticed was almost immediate.  His eye contact and visual tracking has improved, and he seems to have better balance and spatial awareness when he sits up.

The surgery, however, was not a magic pill.

The occipital lobe, which is the part of the brain that receives signals from the eyes to process images and allows us to see normally, was unfortunately one of the many parts of Kohl’s brain that was damaged.  That said, he will continue to have visual problems.

He tracks objects only intermittently, and he makes very little eye contact, which can be gut-wrenching.  It is easy to overlook how important eye contact is until you have a child that does not look at you as much as they are supposed to.  You see other healthy children and you see how much they look at their parents and smile.  It is hard to admit, but it makes you jealous.

But then you have moments of clarity that make you grateful.  Kohl may not look at us that much, but when he does, our hearts melt.  It might not happen often, but when that little turd looks at one of us right in the eye and smiles, it is like he is doing it for the first time.   We realize then that we are the lucky ones.

We can’t wait to see what else the little dude does with his new set of eyes

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