Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We just got home from the hospital after meeting with the opthamologist. When she checked Hope's eyes 2 weeks ago, they were fine. Today they are showing ROP, or retinopathy of prematurity. Rather than try to explain that on my own, I'm just going to quote from the pamphlet they gave me. "ROP occurs when the blood vessels in the retina suddenly stop growing normally. When this happens, the developing peripheral or outer retina does not have an adequate blood supply. If untreated, ROP can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye (a retinal detachment), which can lead to blindness." This disease can sometimes skip stages and progress really quickly, thus being called Rush disease. This is what Hope has. The doctor said it is developing at an alarming rate. Hope is really young - they usually don't get to this point until they are at least 35 weeks. Hope will be 33 weeks on Thursday. The doctor will check her eyes again on Friday morning. If they have not improved, she will perform laser surgery on Friday afternoon. Again I'm going to quote from the pamphlet. "To perform the procedure, the baby is sedated, and the pupil of the baby's eye is made bigger (dilated) with eye drops. An instrument called a lid speculum is used to hold the baby's eye open during the procedure. The laser is aimed at the peripheral retina through the baby's pupil. Since the laser treats the peripheral retina, the baby will lose some peripheral or side vision, and this may cause some reduced night vision. This usually does not present a problem for the child as he or she grows older." The doctor said the surgery lasts 1-2 hours and is done in the NICU. One of the nurses told me it is not as hard on them as the PDA ligation she already had. However, if she has this she will need to go back on the ventilator and will be off of her feeds for a bit. And the doctor didn't think one surgery would get it all in Hope's case because she is so young. So she thinks she'll wind up with 2 surgeries. And if that doesn't work, she'd need to be flown to Portland for some other operation. So, here is what we're asking everyone to do: Please pray that when the doctor looks again, her eyes are better. God has done amazing things in this little girl's life and we are confident He can heal her of this. Please pray with us about this. We are going to call the doctor with some more questions tomorrow. We'll keep everyone updated.