Saturday, May 21, 2011

Triple Twins and IA City Update

Last weekend the boys and I traveled to Nebraska for my cousin Kaylee's graduation.  Our family has been blessed with 3 sets of twins and they all cooperated for a picture!

Aidan, Quinn, Terry, Mary, Hudson, Ethan 
The hotel we stayed at had a really nice, small water park for the boys.  They haven't been swimming since last summer.  They were not timid at all!  Pool time this summer should be lots of fun.

Bracing himself
for the splash!
That was fun!!
Aidan's turn
for a face full of water.

Let's do that again!
Brielle and Aidan having a laugh.
Treven playing with the boys.  They love him!

Yesterday we made another trip to IA City with Ethan.  When we were there in March, Dr. Drack changed Ethan's prescription and wanted to see us back for recheck. We told her that although he's adjusted to the new prescription without any problem, he still does not use the bifocal, crosses his eyes, and at times looks over the top of his glasses.  They of course ran him through the series of exams and determined 2 things.

1. With the new prescription, he has very good vision for someone with albinism (20/60 in distance and 20/30 close up).
2. His eyes continue to turn in slightly for distance vision and severely for close up vision.

She then went on to tell us that kids with strabismus (eye crossing) without albinism have an 80% success rate of having surgical correction of the strabismus.  Most of these kids have surgery by the age of 2.  Kids with albinism and strabismus only have about a 50% success rate of surgical correction because their eyes do not work together, but rather independently.  Because of this, they usually wait until albinism kids are older to do surgery.  Naturally, Ethan falls into a gray area.  Although we know he has albinism (proved through genetic testing), she feels he may have a mild form of it.  The last time we were there she proved that his eyes do work together and this time we proved he does have pretty good vision.  Her recommendation was to start preparing for surgery with him now.  Of course, how successful the operation will be in Ethan cannot be determined until it is over.  We agreed to move forward with preparing for surgery.

To increase the chances of success of the surgery, they recommend doing prism adaptation.  They attached temporary prisms to Ethan's glasses.  These prisms simulate what the surgery will do for him.  He wears the prisms for 1-2 weeks to allow him to "adapt" to them.  We return to IA City for a recheck on them.  The prisms aren't suppose to disturb his vision, but may cause "rainbow-like halos" and may make him feel like his is looking through foggy glass.  Sounds like a visual disturbance to me! :)
The "prisms" on Ethan's glasses.
They will keep changing the strength of the prisms, allowing him to adapt, and rechecking him until the proper strength is determined.  This will then guide Dr. Drack during surgery.  Ethan and I will return to IA City on May 31 for a prism check...and as many times as needed for the next few months until they get the prisms adjusted correctly.  If anyone wants to road trip to IA City with me for a day, please let me know!!

We are looking at doing surgery sometime in August or September.  I will call them next week to confirm a date.  It is an outpatient surgery, but we will spend the night close by because Dr. Drack will see him the next day for a recheck.  The surgery is performed by retracting back his eyelids, detaching the muscles from the inner corners of his eyes and reattaching them to the eyeball.  Thankfully, he is under general anesthesia for all of that!  Surgery will take about 1 hour.  After surgery, they said it is not very painful, but rather will feel itchy, like he has something in his eye.  They give us some eye drops and eye ointment to use to help with this.  They said it is important for him not to rub his eyes for 2 weeks after surgery....that is going to be the hardest part of this whole process. We are hopeful that the surgery will be a success in him and can help get these eyes straightened out a bit!
Aidan got to have a special day with Grammy while we were gone.  It was a yucky, rainy day, so Grammy set up a tent in the basement for Aidan to play in.  It stopped raining long enough for them to go to B-Bops for lunch and sit outside....lucky!
Aidan also got to go shopping and pick out these new hats for him and Ethan.  Thanks for everything Grammy!