Preparing for Surgery

Retina & Cataract Removal

When we left the retina specialist, our hearts were in our throats. As soon as we got home, we took a few – or a little more than a few – deep breaths and hugged our beautiful girl as tight as we could. We were in complete shock that our 3-month-old daughter would have to undergo a complicated eye surgery in a few short weeks. We didn’t realize it then, but the time between the diagnosis appointment and when we found out a surgery date, was the best time we spent together. We both knew that the surgery was coming, but without a set date, it didn’t seem entirely real or set in stone. When I got the call a week later with a surgery date, my stomach dropped and all of a sudden, the reality of what was to come finally hit home. We had to come to terms with the fact that everything was about to change.

The surgery coordinator set up all of the details for us regarding the surgery itself over the phone. She informed us that babies are usually put on the schedule first thing in the morning due to the fact that she is not allowed to eat for 5 hours before she went into surgery. During this call, we made the pre-surgical appointment and set the surgery date.  A few days later, we headed up to NY for the pre surgery appointment. This appointment was not as scary as we made it out to be in our heads. The nurses did a basic check up on Olivia to be sure she was healthy and ready to under go the anesthesia within the week. They checked all of her vitals and prepped us regarding what to expect. Olivia was cleared and ready for her surgery in a few days.

The day before Olivia’s surgery we started a diligent eye drop schedule. This was the first time we had ever had to put eye drops into her eyes and there was a definite learning curve. For any parent out there reading this, please know that putting eye drops in a baby’s eye is so hard! You are not the only one struggling – it is near impossible! Lucky for that baby, we as parents are determined to get those drops in their eyes no matter what. We found putting the drop in the inner corner of Olivia’s eye and then massaging the bottom of her eye to get her to blink the drops in was the best way to get the medicine in there. When she blinks, we could see the drop disappear into her eye and now we know from experience, her eye got everything it needed going this route.

Since we live 3 hours away from the surgeon, we decided as a family to get a hotel up near the hospital. This worked out really well for us because the surgery was scheduled so early in the morning and the surgeon already scheduled a follow up appointment the next day at his office. We also found it very reassuring to be near the hospital just in case we had any questions or concerns post op. That night in the hotel was the longest night of my life. We sat in bed watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network, trying to distract our minds from what was to come.

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