I am going to start by saying…patching is HARD.
I remember when they told us Olivia was going to have to patch for hours at a time, I went home and just cried. I kept thinking to myself, there is no way! There is no way that you can cover up the only eye that is allowing my baby to see and think that she is going to just let you do it. And I was right…kinda.
The first time we patched Olivia was the worst. We occluded her good eye, leaving only her ‘Nemo’ eye (the eye that suffers from PFV) open to receive light. She was miserable. She wanted to patch off, she cried and fought us and we were only able to keep her patch on her for 5 minutes. And let me tell you…it was the longest 5 minutes of our lives! That was the day we fell in love with Mickey Mouse Club House. The bright lights on the giant big screen TV allowed Olivia some comfort as she watched her favorite Disney characters (or at least the light they created) jump around the screen. The songs calmed her and allowed us to get that solid 5 minutes. After Olivia went to bed that night, Dan and I just cried in each others arms. Patching was the scariest – and seemed like the cruelest – thing to put Olivia through at the time. We were so afraid and had NO idea how we would get her up to patching for 3+ hours! It seemed impossible.
I am here to tell you – it is NOT impossible. You can do this and it gets easier with time! Eventually, Olivia just got used to having to patch every morning. We try to make it fun and exciting. Since we started patching Olivia, we have been able to postpone her realignment surgery because the patching is working! Olivia was going to have to have another surgery to help her eyes become more aligned but patching is helping her to do that without an invasive procedure. Despite how hard it is at times, every minute of patching has been 100% worth it.
So our very first favorite patching activity = MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE
We held Olivia up really close to the TV and let the lights, songs and Disney magic speak for itself.
Just Keep Patching friends!