My nine-year-old son is the center of my universe. This is the story of his childhood as it unfolds. Please read the first post, "Why I started this blog," to know more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Epiretinal membrane due to Coats

Two weeks back, I took Munchkin for his six-monthly eye exam. And for some strange reason, I had this weird feeling in my gut that something wasn't right. It was that 15-month period again and I thought I was being superstitious or just plain idiotic. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear that the disease was stable. There's now a membrane formed over the retina of his affected eye - the doctor says it's something related to Coats. It wasn't there when we had his last eye exam in August 09. His last procedure was in January 09 following the diagnosis that there was fresh leakage, in December 08

The only way to get rid of this membrane, is to surgically remove it - it's called a vitrectomy. Munchkin heard the doctor saying that and although he remained poker-faced through all the discussions I had with the doctor, he freaked out and started to cry soon after we had left the doctor's office and were waiting for the OCT and Fundus tests to be done. I was more or less crying myself, and therefore not the best person to be telling him that everything would be okay. He also seemed worried about the angiogram procedure that the doctor said he'd have to carry out before the surgery.

Eventually, we got the OCT test done and the doctor showed us the membrane. I then asked him to give Munchkin some reassurance and the reticent man that he is, he simply told him to not worry, he'd take care of everything. That didn't seem to go down pretty well with the little fellow. So I asked him to ask the doctor whatever he wanted. At which he promptly asked him whether his eye would get disfigured or if he could go blind during the surgery. While the doctor had explained that there was a 10% chance of retinal damage or detachment (I'm still quaking at the thought of that), he gave Munchkin a really reassuring pat on the shoulder and said: Absolutely not.

The kid's next question was: "Will the injection you give me for the angio hurt my veins?" To this doctor said: "A little. Do you remember how we gave you anesthesia the last time?" Munchkin has had three rounds of cryo and laser since 2007, so he nodded. "Well, it will be a bit like that," explained the doctor. "Okay, thanks." responded Munchkin and then was back to normal after that. Actually, a bit extreme, because he knew this was his opportunity to get me to buy him an insanely expensive and totally useless toy that he'd been hankering for for weeks. I admit, he read me right.

His last typhoid shot and five-year tetanus shot were due the following week and he dealt with those bravely enough. Now, I'm waiting to hear from our second consultant. Fingers crossed and hands joined in prayer.

Munchkin is moving ot a nwe school this June and is very, very excited about it. I wonder if he's worried that his eye will look worse after the vitrectomy and if he might get made fun of. Please pray for him - that the surgery, if we do have to have it, goes off well and he makes a quick and full recovery.

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