So Tommy will be getting an ocular shell for his left eye this summer. Tom’s Dad took him to his eye checkup with his pediatric ophthalmologist a couple weeks ago and came armed with questions about a shell. His doctor was on the same page and had actually planned to bring up the idea during the appointment.
We always knew that Tommy might need a shell, but we have been noticing the difference in his face more lately. Tommy’s left eye is micro and as he grows you can really see the difference in volume. His face seems less filled out on the left side and a shell would help.
So what is an ocular shell? It’s a small piece of plastic that is molded and shaped to fit in the eye socket. It can go over an eye like Tommy’s will, or it can take the place of an eye when there isn’t one. Tom’s left eye has always been his worse eye and I’m just thankful that it doesn’t cause him pain. I’d hate to have to have the eye removed after all Tommy’s been through, but sometimes that’s what needs to be done when pain is an issue. But we aren’t there yet!
The shells can be clear or painted to look like an eye. From what I’ve seen, it looks like the first couple shells are clear and then people get painted ones if they want. I don’t really care either way. Tommy’s eye has a pupil so it’s fairly average looking from afar, though small. It would be more difficult if his eye was clouded or different looking because people love to make comments!
My friend Heather sent me a blog post to read called “A trip to the Ocularist.” It was just what I needed. Because I’m a part of several mom groups, like Facebook’s MAPS Moms group for parents of kids with Micro and Anopthalmia, I get lots of insider info before I have to go through it. This blog post is just another awesome example of parents sharing their stories to help others. I love it! It helps to build awareness and dispel fear. A big thank you to Heather at A Mom’s Musings who blogs about her son Orion, who is DeafBlind.
If you have experience with ocular shells for your child I’d love to hear from you. Any tips would be appreciated!
I hate to put Tommy through more discomfort when I feel like he has had more than his share, but this needs to be done. I know that he will be just fine. He can handle just about anything, even this crazy cold winter with a smile. I suspect that’s just because he’s forgotten what warm weather feels like though.