To Operate or Not?

That is the question.

So, last May I had surgery on my eye to correct a strabismus problem. This is a problem where the eyes are misalligned and point in different directions. Usually one eye looks ahead and the other looks outward.  This causes double vision, poor depth perception and a difficulty focusing.

There is no cure for a strabismus defect because it is neurological in its origins. In surgery they try to move the eye muscles and realign the eyes despite the problem signals in the brain.  In 80% of cases the surgery works and the brain starts sending the right signals.

Unfortunately, I’m not in the 80%.  Already after a mere 8 months my problem has regressed. (Before the surgery my alignment was off by 20 degrees, then it went down to 6, now it is back up to 14).

This leaves me with 2 choices-

I can try the surgery again.  It is no more less or more likely to work a second time.  Still 20% regress. 80% don’t and have success… This women has had the surgery 4 times  A nurse at the doctors office has had it 7. These are unusual cases but there is that possibility.  Each time 20% risk of it not working.  Most surgeries don’t have that high a risk.

or I can get prism glasses- these are special lenses that bend light and help with the double vision.  They do not correct eye alignment.  As soon as the glasses are off the problem remains.

There are no long-term problems like loss of eye sight or something associated with the condition.  It’s definitely a condition I could live with (I have for 31 years).

So now I must decide is it better to take a risk and have a potentially problem solved or do I go with a maintenance approach with the glasses? I don’t know if I will like glasses? Its like looking through your world through boxes and its hard to find frames that fit my huge head- most of them squeeze and cause headaches.  This may sound silly but I also know I will have problems keeping track of my glasses.

On the other hand, surgery was a hard experience.  It took me 2 days just to recover from the anesthesia. 4 days before I could drive and it was painful.

What would you do- would you take the risk?

It is covered by insurance multiple times as it is not viewed as a cosmetic surgery.

I knew bad news was coming at the doctor but I was still bummed to hear it. Darn it all!

Part of it is I just feel like I look weird.  Maybe nobody else would notice but to me it was glaringly obvious in recent photos.  This one was especially clear:

I knew as soon as I saw this photo. Call the doctors. Do you see how one eyes is looking straight and the other is off to the side?

Although, this could be a way to get my mother to come visit just me again…Strabismus surgery every year! 😉 JK.

Hey, I just found out Abraham Lincoln had a strabismsus problem.  Makes me feel like less of a freak show!  At least

11 thoughts on “To Operate or Not?

      1. No, my eye doctor didn’t charge me any extra for them.. I have 6 total prism.. 3 Base In in each eye? What is your prescription?

        1. Not sure. We didn’t really go over that. Just told that I could either pick prism glasses or surgery….

  1. I’ll pray for you to make the right decision. I hate surgeries. I had to have carpal tunnel surgery on both my hands last year. The left one still acts up sometimes, but my right hand is a LOT better. Still, surgery is hard…

    You’re in my prayer journal! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. That means so much to me. I love that idea of a prayer journal. When I was on my mission I used to write down things to pray for. I think I will do that again.

      It is a hard decision. Its times like these that I wish I had a companion to help me make these choices, but at least I always have my Heavenly Father to guide me. He is the greatest companion and knows what I need.

  2. I decided to operate one more time. I’m a little scared but I know the experience will bring me closer to God and give me the chance to see more clearly.

  3. Hi there! My turnout is similar to yous. I stumbled here looking for information on the surgery. How did it go after the second time? If there is a post here I missed it. Hope all is wee, now that much time has passed.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I would love to tell you all about my experiences in surgery. The second time worked way better because I combined it with vision therapy and that made all the difference. It’s expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it but I’d recommend doing at least one set of vision therapy. I’ve been doing it for the last 4 months every week. At the very least get some of the exercises and do them everyday.
      I’m happy with my decision to have the second surgery. My vision isn’t perfect but it is better and even an incremental difference is worth a lot.
      If you follow this link you can read all of my articles about the surgery including photos

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