I’ve just come back from Sydney, where Josh is recovering after his second lensectomy (removal of the lens). I wrote about why we needed to do this procedure so soon after the first one in this post, and even though we knew what to expect this time, we were still quite anxious. Until now the left eye has been his “good eye” – the lens was out of place, but not as much as it had been in the right, and he used that eye whenever he was looking at things up close. He hated wearing the patch over the left eye as it severely limited what he could see. The lens was gradually shifting away from the centre of his eye, so it was only a matter of time before the vision deteriorated, but it felt cruel somehow, to be taking away his best form of sight…
Again we found ourselves at the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Westmead. There’s something about that place that makes me want to run screaming in the opposite direction. The nursing staff are brilliant but our poor jet lagged boy was kept waiting until 4pm, 2 hours after he was scheduled for surgery, making an incredibly difficult day all the more challenging. He had nothing for breakfast but a banana, and I had woken him up early to go to the doctor before going out to the hospital. It was a long and stressful day, but he behaved so well, and took it all in his stride. He constantly amazes me with how resilient and patient he can be with all that he has to cope with.
The procedure itself was textbook. The anaesthetist had given him an extra drug to help avoid what they call “emergence delirium” – the mother of all tantrums that can occur as kids come round after a general anaesthetic. He was in recovery, asleep, for a long time before they’d let me anywhere near him, and it was tough. He woke up crying, in pain, and trying to tear the protective shield off his eye. We spent about an hour truing to calm him down and keep him from rubbing his eye. His tears were bloody, and he kept drifting in and out of consciousness. We had to hold his arms and it took a couple of attempts to get medicine and fluid into him. At one stage the nurse was squirting little drops of painkiller into his mouth with a syringe and in between doses I was shoving a lemonade ice block in behind it. It took lots of coaxing and cuddling, and the undivided attention of four adults but eventually he was lucid enough that we could explain to him that he needed to put the patch on before they’d let us leave, and he suddenly became very compliant! He threw up twice on me in the car, and held my hand the whole way home but the relief that it was all over was immense.
Two days later and Josh’s eye is bruised and swollen, and he is refusing to wear his glasses, but he’s pretty much back to his usual self. He still has one surgery to go but it’s not as urgent yet, so we’ll delay it as long as we possibly can.
He has one more visit with the doctor and then hopefully he and his dad can come home. Once the eye has completely healed he’ll be prescribed a new contact lens and we’ll begin the long process of getting the prescription right, whether it’s contacts or glasses, or a combination of the two, and hopefully improving his eyesight.
Thanks, as always for all the support xx