On the outside, Sol looks like a regular, albeit small, 3 month old. Despite what his MRI might suggest, he can move all arms and legs, fingers and toes, and can do so fairly symmetrically. The doctors have noticed that his reflexes on the right side are slightly stronger, but he otherwise has good strength all around.
One indicator that something is amiss is when you look at his eyes. They almost always are gazing to the left. I had a couple of rough days in December when I’d convinced myself that he could not see. No, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world (heck, the fact that Sol has progressed so far in his first 3 months is a huge blessing!), but the thought of trying to raise a child who would never get to see what his Mama and Daddy looked like or watch a sunrise or head to the movies to see the latest release was a heartbreaking thought. Again, Sol’s therapists and my family have pulled through, reminding me of all the times he moved his eyes when I spoke or squinted when we turned on a light. He can see, it’s just a matter of rewiring his brain so that his eyes are midline and can track in response to touch and sound.
While we’ve been focusing on getting Sol’s eyes to track during his PT and OT appointments, we’ve got some appointments on the horizon that will really focus on improving his eyes. The first is today, a followup with Pediatric Ophthalmology. We’ll be seeing the same Ophthalmologist who did Sol’s vision screen in the NICU. He will focus more on the structure of Sol’s eyes and will let us know if something with Sol’s ocular muscles is causing his gaze to shift to the left. Then, next Tuesday, we will be meeting with a Vision Therapist who will do an evaluation to see if we need to start meeting with her on a regular basis (bringing our count of therapists up to 4!) or if there are some activities our current therapists can begin incorporating into our sessions. Her prescription will help Sol’s eyes coordinate better, so that when he hears or feels something, he will know to look in that direction.
Gazing up and to the left: