Friday, April 27, 2007

Step Right Up, Folks!

This morning I took Lucy to her opthalmology appointment, per the recommendation of our pediatrician. Our pediatrician's thoughts were that her vision, eye movement, focusing, dilation, and everything else eye-related seems normal, but it's just a good idea to get her checked out by an eye doctor. I agreed with him in all respects, so today was her visit to Dr. Peters.

At first a technician came in and administered a variety of vision and tracking tests, which Lucy passed perfectly normal for her age (just under 7 months). She then put 3 drops into each eye (three times, 5 minutes apart) to make her pupils dilate. Lucy did not like this, but stopped screaming as soon as it was done.

Then after a bit of a wait, the doctor and his intern came in to take a look. He shined lights in her eyes, and turned off the lights in the room and held up this amazing little device with whirling colors (I was transfixed, so I imagine Lucy liked it too). I don't know what it was supposed to do... but it was amusing. Then the two of them were just asking me general questions (he even shined the light in my eyes to see their color) and sort of leaning back, pondering gaze at my child. "hmm... yeah, it's subtle but I see what you mean..." regarding an alleged droop to one of her lids. I have stared at her and analyzed her and cannot for the life of me see this. I suppose if you try hard enough, you can see an asymmetry in anyone's face, but I tried not to let it bother me. A few more questions, and a screaming session which involved restraining her on my lap while I held her arms down (as she was kicking me repeatedley), the intern holding her head still, and the doctor shining a light behind a magnifying glass into her dilated pupils. Sound like fun? Imagine if the people doing this to you are 10 times your size!

Anyway, the conclusion is: yes her eyes are different colors. This is known as heterochromia iridium (which I knew thanks to the information superhighway). It can be a genetic abnormality (harmless, but rare physical trait that is not associated with any other disease, or trauma), or it could be caused by disease, injury, various "syndromes" (great), tumors, lesions, etc. etc. etc. All I can say is, aside from her eyes being different colors, there are no symptoms present which would make me think she is anything but a perfectly healthy child. I would suspect that if her heterochromia was a result of something serious, there would have been something more noticeable in her development, behavior, or temperament.

Moving on - they want us to come back in June for further examination. He wants to see how her pupils react to light change before anyone administers drops. He also said that it might be something where we explore more in-depth genetic history, and then I sort of stopped listening. I do take this seriously, but I am not going to spend the next (indefinite?) number of months letting curious doctors and specialists conduct experiments on Lucy. If there is cause for concern, I will pursue it and take all their advice, but I don't like how it made me feel when they were scrutinizing her face. She has her whole life to be scrutinized. In our society it is hard enough for young women to feel good about the way they look. She is unique and beautiful (I have proof).


amberWIRE said...

I love her eyes! I had a friend in elementary school with different colored eyes and I was always wishing mine could have been that way too. I think that's cool!

Mindy said...

Thanks Amber! Most people I know think it is cool. But, I think I am always going to be fairly (overly?) sensitive to people who stare or ask questions like, "what's wrong with her eyes?". I know it sounds silly, but it's inevitable.. I hope that kind of thing doesn't happen often though, and that she can grow up feeling proud of her special trait! We're going to tell her that it means she has magic powers!