Blue-Cone Monochromacy

This morning I had to take the Lemur King into Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan. I have been dreading this appointment since before he was born. He was to see Dr. Heckenlively, the only Opthamologist in the state of Michigan to focus on Blue-Cone Monochromacy. Before being able to see Dr. Heckenlively, there were a couple of other things that we had to accomplish. Our appointment was for 9:30am, but we were not brought back to a room until almost 10:30am. When they to us back into the room they had to put three different kinds of drops in his eyes and he was not happy at all! Then we were directed to another room for Dark Adaptation. Here we sat, in complete darkness, for 45 minutes. Just as he was starting to fall asleep, two figures with red lights on their heads…
We were then redirected into another room for his ERG (Electoretinogram). There was a small table where the doctor directed me to put the sleepy king.  As soon as I went to set him down he started to scream. She says, “Just lay him down and he might calm down. Some babies fall asleep during the procedure and have no idea what is going on. I thought, “Are you crazy? There is NO way that he is going to calm down.” I ask if it is going to hurt, she says, “No.” I ask if she needs him to be quiet during the procedure, she says, “No.” I then say, “He will just have to scream then, this needs to be done.” Thank goodness there was another nurse there to hold his head straight as I was laying over his legs and holding his hands in mine. I knew that I could not get upset, because he was already upset as it was. The nice doctor finally fitted him with these crazy “contact lenses” with electrodes off of them. See following picture to get an idea….
This was followed by many bright flashing lights, more screaming, lots of tears, then suddenly… a break. Not a welcomed break I might add. For in this break came a couple more drops, more screaming and a five minute wait, followed by more bright flashing lights. The process took a good half hour, but as soon as I picked him up, he quit crying and clung to me like a little monkey.
Instead of waiting for another hour for the doctor, I asked if we could go grab some lunch from the cafe. The King was so tired and hungry, I was not looking forward to the second half of the day. We got to the cafe where there were no highchairs and the soup was so horrible that even the King wouldn’t eat it! That is unheard of! The kid eats everything! We went back to check in, then waited for another hour and a half to see the doctor. When we finally got in his room, he spent a whole 7 minutes with us. He started off by saying, “You already know that he has it?”  I said, “Yes, his older brother does also, as well as my birth father.” It was obvious that he was irritated when the King wouldn’t let him shine anymore lights in his eyes and referred us to a Pediatric Opthamologist. When I asked him if there was a possibility that we would be able to get Stem Cell injections in the future to help with his vision or colorblindness, I was told, “Well, he was born without those markers…” , as he looked at the other doctor in the room.  I got the feeling that if money were no object, he might have a different answer for me. I am wondering if I had worn a beautiful long wig, if he might have had a little more to say?
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