After a fair bit of further discussion and a consultation with some helpful anaesthetists over at Doctors.net.uk, I persuaded Barry that we ought to go ahead with the operation. I’m glad now I did, because when I saw the orthoptist again (yes, she is an orthoptist! I finally clarified that point! I still have no idea what the difference is between this and an optometrist, but at least now I know whom I’ve been seeing), she told me that she recommended getting it done sooner rather than later. Although, as the ophthalmologist said, the vision in that eye won’t be changed by the operation, it’s not quite correct to say that it’s purely a cosmetic thing – what the operation will give him is a chance of regaining binocular vision, if we do it soon enough. So I’m glad we decided to proceed. (Hell, if I’d known that I’d have put his name down even sooner. Oh, well – hopefully he’ll never harbour any thwarted ambitions to be an RAF pilot or a professional tennis player, and it won’t matter.)
His eyesight in the squinting eye still appears to be doing fine. Pat (I should just call her that – much easier) told me several months back that when he was around two we could test it more formally, by getting him to name a set of line drawings. (Funny how far away that seemed then.) Anyway, I knew his language wasn’t going to be good enough for him actually to name them by this stage, and she said that we couldn’t get him to point to them as we named them, because that would count as prompting. Fortunately, there was another alternative – getting him to match identical drawings. I knew he could learn to do this, so, at his last appointment, I got Pat to give me a copy of the sheet of pictures she used so that we could practice. I copied it and then cut the copy into separate pictures so that I’d know he really was learning how to match the pictures themselves and not just their positions on the page, although this approach proved to have a drawback – he was so intrigued by what was effectively his first pack of cards that it was quite difficult to keep his mind on matching pictures. Still, it didn’t take long for him to get the general idea.
When Pat tested him she got me to hold him on my lap with the sheet of pictures while she stood at a distance holding up matching ones of different sizes, and Jamie took a careful look at each and then picked out the correct match for all except the smallest ones. She pronounced herself happy with how his sight was going, but we still have to keep going with the patches, at least until he’s had the operation and maybe afterwards. Which is a pain, because he’s much less willing to have them on than he used to be and it’s getting to be an increasing struggle. (Oddly enough, he’s still quite happy with the idea of putting them on. This morning, he managed to get hold of a box I’d left lying under the stairs, opened one of them up for himself, and toddled up to me with his glasses off and the patch in his hand all ready. I put it on, and he ripped it off within a few minutes.)
Still, all in all, it seems things are going well. So his name’s going to go down on the list now, and hopefully we can get the operation done in June or thereabouts (rules and regulations about waiting lists mean it shouldn’t take longer than that). After that, we’ll have to wait & see how it goes.