Yesterday the boys were off to see their pediatric opthalmologist for a checkup. They haven't been to see Dr. Pegado for 6 months, but prior to that he was seeing them every week or so in the NICU. He got to know our boys' eyes very well, looking for Retinopathy of Prematurity. Last time we saw him, when the boys were 6 months old, he had no growing concerns so this appointment was just a follow up.
We also have had no major concerns with the boys' eyes; however recently noticed that Asher's left pupil is around 1mm bigger than his right. Our first instinct was to panic, but the nurse in the house did some tests and his pupils appeared to always react normally and equally. Of course I did some googling and found that an enlarged pupil CAN mean a lot of bad things, but also can be nothing if the difference is small enough. Since Asher wasn't showing signs of any further brain trauma, we tried not to worry. We even ran it by our GP and she was stumped.
As for Asher's pupil size, the doctor couldn't check it out because he had already given him drops to dilate his pupils. He wasn't overly concerned and said the likely answer is that he was born that way, or that his quick, traumatic birth may have damaged it (literally yanking him out could have been the problem). The other possibility is that it's Horner's Syndrome and if that's the case he would have to see a neurologist for further tests. I won't even go down the road of worrying about what Horner's Syndrome can lead to (neuroblastoma for one). I am done worrying about the future when it's probably (hopefully!) not even Horner's Syndrome in the first place!
The other thing about Asher's eyes is that the doctor was previously always worried about his "tortuous" blood vessels. He didn't have ROP, but his blood vessels weren't "normal". Asher's strange vessels were actually the reason that we went back to see Dr. P after only 6 months from our last visit, as opposed to the standard 9 months. Anyway, Asher's vessels apparently look 100% normal now so it all resolved itself. For whatever reason, Asher's eyes just looked premature for A LOT longer than they should have. What else is new Asher, doing things on your own timeline!? Anyway, great news - officially ROP-free for both of them.
Onto the not quite so great news, both boys are near-sighted - Nolan worse off than Asher. (Asher - can I get an AMEN that for once you're not the trouble maker?) Additionally, they both have slight astigmatism. Neither of these worry the doctor greatly, but he does figure it means that at least Nolan, possibly Asher, will have glasses by elementary school. Like I said, not great news, but could be a whole lot worse. A lot of kids have glasses, and they weren't 14 weeks premature! All I care is that they likely won't need glasses until they are old enough to understand they need to stay on and they need to be careful with them.
At the end of the day, a pretty decent checkup. No ROP and no strabismus - two major concerns in preemies' eyes. Glasses (hopefully far down the road) we can handle!
Next step - Asher's Horner's Syndrome test in 4 months, then a general checkup to check in on their near sightedness 8 months after that. Again, we are thankful to have such excellent follow up and specialists available to us. Nothing but the big guns for these two!
Update on Asher's cold - He's not much better, but so far he's not worse. Thanks for your good wishes. So far the trip is still on!