Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jaelin's Cataract Update

Our youngest daughter Jaelin who is now 4 was born with a cataract.  Since she was 6 weeks old we have went to Children's Hospital in Columbus to monitor her cataract.  Dr. McGregor has been doctoring Jaelin since the beginning.  She is awesome.  While we lived in Nebraska we drove to Denver to see her sister in law.  We are supposed to patch her eye 6 hours a day while she is awake.  For the first year that is a full time job monitoring when she was awake.  Our babysitter Amy Taulbee was a great patch watcher and really helped develop Jaelin's eyesight.  Now that she is 4 we have other problems mostly people asking "whoa what happened to your eye".  If you would like to get the silent treatment from my daughter that is a good way to do it.  I don't mind people being curious about the patch or cataract.  However I wish they would not ask her about her patch directly.  Mostly because she forgets she has it on and once someone brings attention to it then she wants to take it off.

The long and short of eye problems of any kind with babies is that by the time kids are 5 years old their eyes are fully developed.  Most children's eyes are not checked until kindergarten training.  The brain will use eyes together, provided they work the same.  However if one is significantly stronger than the other then the brain will shut the weaker one off.  When the brain starts only using the stronger eye, the weaker one stops growing causing it to be smaller and then eventually it stops working.  I feel fortunate we found Jaelin's cataract early.  The patch on the good eye then forces the eye with cataract to be used.

I also learned at this visit that if your eyes do not work together then you do not see 3D movies.  That explains why Jaelin would not leave her glasses on during the Lion King 3D.

The last visit we had was the first visit that Jaelin was able to take an eye test with actual letters.  Because she actually knows letters now.  (Thank you to Ms. Brittany her PreK teacher)  She was able to see 3 extra lines on the eye chart.  This visit was even better she could see 1 and a half lines better.  (no credit given for half a line) She now sees 20/20 out of her good eye (this is not a change).  However she now sees 20/40 out of her eye with the cataract.  20/40 is the legal eye sight needed to drive.  Dr. McGregor is excited that if something would happen to her good eye she still will have an eye that is able to function.  With 20/40 vision and potentially being able to get to 20/30 by her fifth birthday in April we may not have to do a surgery.

Jaelin at Children's
Jaelin by the big eye machine nobody really knows the name of.

We appreciate all of the prayers and concerns that people have given Jaelin since she was a baby.  Please continue to pray, because the next year will be crucial for the permanency of the development of Jaelin's eye.


  1. Great pictures she looks so grown up. It's great that she's improving I hope it continues. Merry Christmas I miss you guys and think about you all the time.

  2. Man that is good news!! I can remember when she was first born and seeing the white spot on her eye. It is good to know that surgery may be avoided! I'm happy for her!