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Elliotts Eyes, Sick Kids, and MRIs



This mother is freaking out today, and I am not looking for pity, but I am trying to keep this journal real to our family experiences, so your going to hear about it.

For the last 6 months or so, Elliott has been having a slightly flawed ophthalmic condition investigated. As you can imagine, assessing a two year old boy has been difficult, and even worse so when this oddity is only notable when Elliott looks in his left periphery, hence the timely process.

We were fortunate enough to be referred to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, of course, as these things go, We had to back track back to our general Practitioner to have the referral sent, because apparently Optometrists opinions aren’t satisfactory in these situations (interesting to note).

At our first apt at Sick Kids on February 10th, they explained to us that the Nerve that controls his right eye is weaker than the left, thus weakening the muscle and off-setting the alignment of his eyes (again; only when he looks in his left periphery).   As far as they can tell, Elliotts vision is completely unaffected so at this point there is no NEED to do anything, however, if we desired to correct the alignment for cosmetic purposes it would be a quick and simple procedure. This is all good news and we were certainly grateful to hear it.

The scary part, is that this condition is generally contracted from birth, and the fact that we only started noticing it a year ago, means 1 of 3 things.

  1. It was pre-existing from birth, but we failed to notice in his infancy (In which case this would be normal and there is no concern about the possibility of it worsening)
  2. He contracted it from a viral infection (Sinusitis) that he had prior to us first noticing it (which also means there is a low risk for this worsening over time)

or lastly,

  1. There is a condition beyond this that has caused damage to the nerve, and could potentially worsen over time.

Obviously we are all hoping and praying for 1 or 2, however, at Sick Kids they are superfluously diligent and investigate as a proactive measure to be certain to rule out #3.

So that brings me to now, and why I am here writing this today. We are looming on the eve of Elliotts MRI, which we all know is a fairly basic investigative procedure, but because Elliott is only 2.5 and getting him to sit entirely still inside a potentially scary tunnel for a minimum of thirty minutes, he will be put under.

I am battling with it all today, because he is at an age, where these things are incredibly hard to explain to him. I want him to be informed and prepared, but even with my fairly simple explanations, he is still completely unaware. In the morning we won’t be able to feed him for several hours, and he won’t understand why. When we arrive at the hospital he won’t understand why mommy is anxious, and daddy is overwhelmed, he won’t understand why he is being poked in the arm or covered with a mask… then he will sleep, and when he wakes, he won’t understand why he lost a two hour chunk of time. I may be over thinking it all maybe it won’t mean anything at all to him, as long as he has mom and dad there beside him. But for now, it’s nerve-racking that I don’t know how to explain it to him, so he isn’t completely blind-sided tomorrow.

Just another one of those things, listed in small print on the parenting contract, we thought we knew what we were in for, but another sneaky responsibly clause creeps in and makes us do something we don’t want to.

Thanks for listening, Tight Squeeze!


EDIT/ UPDATE; Elliott was a super trooper during the whole experience. He was brave and excited to travel to Sick Kids, and was especially elated to get to wear the hospital gown (like mama promised him the night before). He didn’t cry out in fear once, and took the “sleepy mask” without hesitation. So far, we hear that the results are good, and will soon follow up with our plans to treat this.

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“Look Mommy! I drawing”

So many of our days here are beautifully stained with an element of accidental cheer. Silly me, I taught my children to draw on a painted wall chalkboard Naively unaware that I was teaching them the very skills to turn my hair grey. Today, My son showed me this with such excitement and pride, that even though it doesn’t fit my decor, it may just stay awhile. Even though there was a lesson to be learned here for both of us (for him; no drawing on the walls, and for me; no more painted chalkboard walls) that doesn’t lesson the value of these moments in our homes and in our lives. 

“I will cherish this” – a promise to enjoy even the undesirable incidents. 

Tight squeeze!