Jacob has a port wine stain on his face. One of the side effects from it is that he is at an increased risk of glaucoma. Every 6-12 months we see a pediatric eye specialist to make sure his pressures are normal and there are no signs of nerve damage. As Jacob has gotten older, the risks of major problems from the port wine stain and the risk of glaucoma have gotten smaller. To the point that while he still needs to be checked regularly, the chances are very slim he will develop it.
We got to the clinic early and I was expecting a normal exam. Then I noticed Jacob was having trouble seeing some of the letters on the eye chart and only wanted to use one eye. The tech took his readings and began asking questions about the last time he had his pressures checked and if we had them checked under anesthesia. I began thinking about Jacob's eye watering lately when he entered certain department stores and just assumed it was an allergy. But was it really? I began to get nervous. The tech told us to go to the game room and play for about 40 minutes while the drops dilated his eyes. Then we would see Dr. G.
True to their words, almost exactly 40 minutes later we were taken to an exam room. We were told to wait there and Dr. G and his student would be in soon. A few minutes later, I heard Dr. G. talking in the hallway. I heard him explaining what a port wine stain is and the things they are watching for. He began talking about glaucoma, nerve damage and pressure readings. Now I was really getting nervous. Was he just teaching (like I have heard him do before) or was there really a problem. I love going to the university system for medical care because I learn a lot listening to the doctors talk to students but sometimes it is a little scary.
Dr. G introduced his student and stated he was a little concerned about what the tech had seen when he checked Jacob earlier that morning. Uh, oh. Now the warning bells are beginning to sound. I say a little prayer and then ask the doctor if he would be willing to recheck Jacob's pressures. I had remembered him telling me a couple years ago that if Jacob was crying or upset it could artificially raise the pressures. Jacob had been resisting the pressure reading and was scared so maybe that was the cause.
Dr. G looked at me surprised and stated, "Why? His pressures are perfect?" Now it was my turn to look confused and surprised. Dr. G explained that 15 is average but anything between 10 and 21 is normal. Jacob was 14 in one eye and 15 in another. I let out a little sigh but was still concerned. So what are you worried about?
Dr. G began explaining that Jacob is slightly nearsighted in one eye and slightly farsighted in the other resulting in him learning to only use one eye. Oh, that. Yeah, I noticed he didn't like using his right eye on the eye test. Dr. G stated if both eyes were the same, he wouldn't consider glasses because technically he sees well enough. He is just concerned that only using one eye may lead to further problems down the road.
Dr. G begins explaining how glasses aren't all that bad, he only has to use them for certain activities but he can wear them all the time, etc. He tells me not to worry that it is not related to a very scary medical diagnosis of Struge Weber and that my baby will be fine. I'm only half listening to all of this. I can't get over the relief that it is only glasses, he may not need them forever and mostly- he doesn't have glaucoma! I make him tell me again that he doesn't have glaucoma. Dr. G smiles, tells me not to worry and states only a very small number of children without Sturge Weber (which he assures me again Jacob does not and will not have) develop glaucoma after age 4. Jacob is 5 now. This is one relieved and happy mama. Oh, and I found a good deal on 2 pairs of glasses. He will get them next week.