the eric update – day 263: not an ophthalmologic emergency! or phew.

about a week ago we noticed that odin had started tilting his head to the side.

how cute! we thought. he likes looking at the world sideways!

but then he started doing it more often and we thought we noted that he was rubbing his eyes more frequently than we remembered in the past.

after few hours of googleing, we discovered that both behaviors could be signs of vision loss due to lingering complications related to retinopathy of prematurity. yikes!

we called odin’s eye doctor two days ago, thinking that they would probably just have us wait for his regularly scheduled appointment in may, since we were probably just being silly alarmists. instead, they told us that they’d like us to come in right away, with just enough of a sense of urgency to lead us to believe that perhaps we were not unduly alarmed afterall.

while we were in the office waiting for the dilation drops to do their dilating thing, odin had his chance to take a vision test typically taken by older kids. he didn’t do so well at pointing and naming the objects, but clearly he enjoyed the bold lines.

while playing the Dilation Waiting Game, odin learned that the eye doctor’s office can be very fun, indeed, since they have all sorts of bold things to play with.

but eventually the doctor arrived and started shining lights in his eyes; odin used to tolerate the exams quite well, but wowza, not anymore! just in case there was any doubt, now the entire building knows that odin no longer cares for eye exams!

unhappiness about the exam notwithstanding, we’re happy to report that he apparently the exam showed that he’s just a bit farsighted which is just what you’d like to see ( ahem. ) and any infant. and both eyes show about the same degree of farsightedness, which is also just what you’d expect.

so, maybe just likes looking at the world sideways after all.

somewhat relatedly, as if to keep a lingering bit of doubt in our minds about whether or not we’ll someday have to deal with unexpected long term consequences resulting from retinopathy of prematurity – we learned that it’s possible that micropreemies who have had ROP will continue to have an increased risk of retinal detachment thoughout their lives. the general lack of “hard” data ( because so few 24-28 weekers with ROP survived long enough to do long term studies ) leads some professionals to recommend the conservative approach of taking great care to protect the baby from the usual bumps and bruises of everyday life ( no small task, for sure ). but others, our doctor included, think that the conservative approach is a little too conserative and aside from doing our best to prevent a “severe” blow to the head, we really should treat him like any other “normal” baby ( leading one to wonder if parents of “normal” babies don’t do their best to prevent severe blows to the head ).

hrrrrm. just when i was thinking about cutting back on hovering.

i’m not sure i’ll look at a jungle gym the same way 🙂

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