When I started telling friends/co-workers/neighbors that I was going to have surgery, I found out that nine people I knew, children and adults, had some form of strabismus. It wasn't noticable to the untrained eye and so I had no idea! I thought of myself as more alone in this condition. Apparently not!
Many of them had had surgery also. There were four people of the nine who had surgery by my doctor. Just another reassurance that my upcoming surgery would be okay.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
It all began at a ballpark. I was working the concession stand for my son's baseball team. Another mom came up to me and said, "Have you ever seen a doctor about your estrophia?" I had in fact, many times over the years, seen opthamologists about my left eye. I said, "Not in a while." She referred me to a specialist here in St. Louis who does corrective surgery. At first, I thought, this doctor won't tell me anything different. It was several months before I got around to calling to make an appointment to see him.
The staff and Dr. Blatt did a very thorough first consultation. It was obvious they knew exactly what they were doing by the exam I was given. I hadn't been tested quite the same way before. The shocking information was that yes, surgery would improve my peripheral vision and my eye would look much more normal. The technique used would disconnect and reconnect the in-turning and out-turning muscles to my eye, repositioning it.
I'd always been told that surgery would only be cosmetic and there was a risk that my eye would "float" later. Since my eyes don't see together, it wouldn't improve my vision at all. Well, I wasn't going to have surgery for that.
But now, I felt my condition was holding me back. Sometimes, people had trouble holding eye contact with me. I came face to face with another person who had strabismus and realized with a jolt, that is how I looked to people who didn't know me. If something could be done, I was going to do it.