This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
In this post, I’m going to talk about Loghan’s eye surgery and her super-human speedy recovery. If you missed any of Loghan’s story and want to catch up, click here.
To recap a tidbit from Part 1 of Loghan’s Story, on August 5th, 2019 Loghan was officially diagnosed with congenital entropion in both eyes and epiblepharon in her right eye. Entropion occurs when the edge of the eyelids (bottom eyelids in her case) turn in causing the lashes to rub against the eye. Epiblepharon is a lid anomaly where a fold of skin and underlying muscle push the lashes against the eye. Left untreated, these conditions can cause damage to the cornea, eye infections and vision loss. She also has intermittent Esotropia of the right eye, where her eye occasionally turns inward (“cross-eyed”).
- Eye malformations are relatively rare, occurring in approximately five per 10,000 live births.
Loghan’s initial pediatric eye appointment was back at the end of July at the Sanford Ophthalmology Clinic in Sioux Falls, SD. A few weeks later, we took a one-day trip to the Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic for a consultation. The consultation took 15 minutes max. The car ride was 8 hours total. You can about imagine how happy our squirmy and energetic child was sitting in the car that long, but we did what we needed to do (Baby Einstein was a lifesaver!).
At the consultation, they asked us some questions, put a colored saline solution in her eyes and then looked at them with a different colored light to make sure her eyelashes were not scratching her corneas. Baby’s eyelashes are still soft so they hadn’t caused any damage yet, however she did have sensitivity to light and wind due to this. Her eyes would also produce extra eye matter to try to protect her eyes from the irritation of the lashes being in her eyes. This was probably the most annoying part for her. That, and her eyes crusted over every morning so we were constantly wiping out her eyes multiple times a day.
After the Dr. Ali looked her over, he agreed that she would indeed need to have surgery. Loghan would need lower eyelid entropion repair on both eyes. It is a mouthful, I know! They advised they wanted us to wait until a couple months past her first birthday before they did the surgery since she was so small, but the surgeon told us she should get immediate relief, so that is what I focused on.
November 3rd, 2019, the day before Loghan’s eye surgery. As you can imagine, I was a little anxious at this point. I felt like the day would never come. We drove up the day before and stayed in a hotel near the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital where she would be having surgery the next morning. We had to be to the hospital bright and early at 6AM, so driving up the morning of wasn’t really an option. However, we made the most of our hotel stay and made sure to give Loghan lots of love and attention.
November 4th, 2019, it’s time for Loghan’s surgery. We woke up at the butt crack of dawn and headed to the hospital. I say the butt crack of dawn because daylight savings had just taken place. Funny story – My phone never updated with the time change so we were up an hour earlier than we should have and didn’t realize it until one of the nurses made a note of the time for Loghan’s records. I have never had this issue and Paul’s phone updated so it’s no wonder everyone looked at us like we were nuts when we showed up so early to the hospital!
Since we beat most of the hospital staff into work that Monday, we had quite a bit of a wait before we could get into our room. Once in our room, a nurse did all the standard checks and we put Loghan in her hospital grade, ugly jammies that she could practically swim in (ha!). Even though the jammies were a sight for sore eyes (pun intended), Loghan didn’t seem to mind.
After the nurse looked her over, we had a visit from the resident anesthesiologist, followed by the anesthesiologist and the surgeon. We know how the process goes for these sort of things now. Check-in, get looked over, meet her team and then the hard part of being put under and wheeling her out of sight, but never out of mind. Then she has the procedure completed, gets brought out of anesthesia and placed in recovery. After that, finally, mommy and daddy get to see her again (my favorite part)!
In between meeting everyone from Loghan’s team, we had some down time to hang out, take a nap and play. She found fascination with our nametag stickers and the light-up vibrating toy the hospital provided. We do everything we can to keep Loghan occupied in times like this and try to keep everything as seemingly normal to her as possible. It takes a lot to be able to hide your emotions from your kids (for me anyways) but that’s why Paul and I have each other. When she finally does get wheeled off, we have each other to breakdown with and to help compose ourselves once we can see her again. Support!
As Loghan’s team made their rounds one last time before surgery, the anesthesiologist explained how Loghan would put her under and for how long. The surgeon explained that they would make a small incision right underneath her bottom eyelashes, do what they need to do to ensure the eyelids will be everted, and then stitch her back up. Dr. Ali also marked both eyes to ensure the surgical team knew to do the work on both eyes. After the coloring session, it was back to snuggles and giggles until go time.
Snuggle time is over and the time had finally come. The anesthesiologist came in to get us and we walked with Loghan all the way to the surgery door before we had to say goodbye. The hardest part! Paul and I both picked Loghan up and gave her lots of kisses. Okay, who are we kidding, I gave her lots of kisses and then a lot more until I got “the look” that it was time to go. No use delaying the inevitable. It didn’t help that she had started to cry, so as I set her back in her bed it took all my strength not to look back, otherwise I would have lost it. As Paul and I practically ran to the waiting room, we did find some comfort in each other and that the entire surgery should take less than an hour.
In the waiting room, they had a TV set up with all the surgeries going on and what stage they were in so we could follow them through the process. We both snuck in a power nap and before we knew it, a nurse was coming to get us. It did go by faster than I expected – what a relief!
Off to recovery we went. Of the three times Loghan has been put under general anesthesia, she came out of this one the worst. She was not a happy camper, but I think some of that was because they had braces on her arms to keep her from rubbing her eyes, not to mention she just had eye surgery and was probably hangry!
I was able to calm Loghan down a little bit by breastfeeding her, but as soon as she was done eating it was right back to an unhappy baby. We tried removing the arm braces, treats, toys, singing – you name it, we tried it. One of the nurses mentioned that sometimes little ones just aren’t happy until they are out of the hospital and back to their normal environment. With that, we got Loghan to eat a bit of food and were given the go ahead to get on the road back home. One of the nurses even gave Loghan a balloon, which made her happy for a whopping 30 seconds, but it’s the thought that counts!
Once we got settled into the car and on the road, Loghan settled down and was able to take a short nap. I rode with her in the backseat as daddy played chauffer. We wanted to make sure she didn’t rub her eyes and didn’t want her left alone right after surgery for a four hour car ride. Surprisingly, she didn’t sleep as much as we thought, which made the car ride feel a little longer. I was constantly grabbing her hands to keep them out of her eyes and we had to make a pit stop for some drugs, aka Tylenol. We were to alternate Tylenol and Motrin and didn’t have any with us.
After we got some meds in her, Loghan settled back in and we chilled out and watched some Baby Einstein. I will say it again – Baby Einstein was a lifesaver on this trip for us! What was even more eye opening (again, pun intended), was just how much I noticed a difference already. Dr. Ali had told us she would have immediate relief, but this was amazing! She was giggling at things on Baby Einstein that she had never giggled at before. My heart was happy!
When we finally made it home, it wasn’t long before Loghan zonked out and we all took a much needed nap. I was surprised when she did wake up that she didn’t try to mess with her eyes too much. Her eyes were still a little gunky the next morning but the next day they were practically gunk free. It was like magic, and besides a little puffiness and a little black and blueness, you wouldn’t even know she had just had surgery.
We kept the next couple days at home pretty low key. Visits from grandmas and grandpas made our day and there was no shortage of love for Loghan that’s for sure, and she deserves every little bit of it! Now the only thing left to do was heal.
You know I couldn’t leave out pictures with Grandmas and Grandpas! Enjoy! (Top left-right: Grandpa Tom, Grandma Linda. Bottom left-right: Grandma Marti, Grandpa Jim)
Healing would be the longest part of the process. Dr. Ali advised that healing would take upwards of 6 months, but at 3-4 weeks it would be barely noticeable and the sutures would be gone around 4-8 weeks. We were given eye ointment we had to rub on her eyes three times a day for a few weeks and were told to ice her eyes as much as we could, if we could find a way to do it. If you are wondering how I accomplished this, the answer is breastfeeding and the soft beaded gel packs. I used the ones my wonderful husband got for me, for my breasts, when my milk first started coming in. They worked great and this was the only way I could get anything cold over her eyes. The doctor also said we could try a washcloth dipped in ice water, but that didn’t go over very well.
Besides icing and ointment, there wasn’t a ton of restrictions. We weren’t supposed to get her face fully wet for a week, especially in the bath tub. They didn’t want the bacteria from the bath water to get in her eyes, so for the next week Loghan had a wet washcloth head rub instead – she didn’t seem to mind! Other than that, all of our follow-up appointments with Dr. Tufty will be in Sioux Falls, which saves us time, money and our sanity.
Loghan’s first follow-up a few weeks later went as smooth as could be. Dr. Tufty said everything looked great and we didn’t have to schedule another appointment for three months. That’s one less reoccurring appointment for the Nagels – Woohoo!
Another picture from her follow-up appointment. I think she knew we wouldn’t have to come back for a while!
Pictures from her follow-up appointment. I think she knew we wouldn’t have to come back for a while!
All this good news is cause for celebration. This little girl, my goodness, you wouldn’t think Loghan even had surgery with how happy she was, even after only a few days. I remember telling friends and family that she handled her surgery better than most adults would and they didn’t disagree! From here on out, things are looking up for Loghan and the Nagel family!
I will leave you with a before (left is the day before surgery) and after pic (right is two weeks after surgery). Try and tell me you can’t see a difference! Heart = Happy!
This is the last post in the Loghan’s Story series but I will continue to use this thread to share updates about Loghan. Thank you for following our journey and don’t forget to subscribe!