Ryan’s eyes are sewn mostly shut (known as a partial tarsorrhaphy). He has just a small opening on each, on the nasal side. This is necessary to protected what eyesight he might have left. The problem is, Ryan doesn’t shut his eyes naturally and isn’t efficient at blinking. The result is his eyes, without the tarsorrhaphy, are prone to “exposure.” In everyday terms this means his eyes would suffer severe dryness and lead to corneal erosion and scarring. It is extremely painful.
His eyes would literally melt away if left untreated.
Last Friday I took Ryan to see a Corneal Specialist with the hopes that he would no object to us opening Ryan’s eyelids a bit more. Then, the doctor must be willing to take him on as an ongoing patient (most doctors won’t). Good news. Both goals were met.
This opens the door to the next step… getting the eye surgeon to agree to remove a stitch or two. We’re scheduled for a visit right around Thanksgiving. This procedure is easy enough to do and is performed right in the doctor’s office. Really, it’s nothing more than removing a suture (or two). That’s not the concern though. The issue is if by opening it a bit more it might make Ryan susceptible to erosion and infection. In this case, Ryan would need to go back into surgery and have it closed back up again.
It’s the recurring dilemma I often face. I call it “competing objectives.” It’s no different in this case. On one hand, we want Ryan’s eyes completely protected. On the other, we want him to get as much visual input as possible. I’m hoping there’s a tradeoff there that will do both, but who knows?
I sure as hell don’t. And if I don’t, there is no one on this earth that does.