Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Those Eyes

We went to see the Opthomologist again today for a follow up on Joaquin's strabismus.  It was a good appointment in that Hector and I didn't allow ourselves to feel rushed and we asked a ton of questions and really got a better sense of what the doctor thinks is going on with his eyes.

The GREAT news is that Joaquin has wonderful vision. He does not need glasses and we can proceed with any reading program and visual activities that we want to do with him. This is a HUGE load off my mind as I have put off some interventions that I wanted to do with him because I was concerned about his crossed eyes.

The BAD news (but it's not really that bad) is that we have to patch again for one more month, patching his right eye (the dominant eye) for two hours a day. In one month we return to the doctor's office and if she feels that Joaquin is using both eyes equally, she will recommend surgery at that time. If she still feels there is an inequality, we will continue patching until the eyes are both being used (meaning there is no dominant eye).

The SCARY news is that it really looks like eye surgery for strabismus is in Joaquin's future. This is really hard for me to contemplate. There are many reasons why. First and foremost, we learned at The Institutes that eye surgery should always be avoided and instead we should work hard on helping to change the root or cause of the problem (the brain injury) instead of the result of the problem (the crossed eyes). Second, I hate the idea of cutting a muscle and reattaching it...especially when it has to do with his EYES! Third, I have sort of come to love Joaquin and his crazy crossed eyes and I worry about the "reasons" for doing this. Is it really necessary or is it cosmetic? The doctor seems to think that there are valid medical reasons as well as cosmetic reasons for doing this. Fourth, there is a 75% success rate for this surgery and the other 25% may need additional surgeries to fully resolve the strabismus. Uggh!

So...we have some time to think. We have at least one month of patching before we have to make any big decisions. In one month, we will see what the doctor says and go from there. We will be pursuing a few second opinions. We may see at least one more Opthomologist and then also consult with a Vision Therapist and an Optometrist. Just a few more things to add to our already full plate but Joaquin is SO worth it.

Such a HAM!

Have I mentioned how much I love this kid? Oh I could eat him up! And Sofia along with him. I can already tell we are going to have a lifetime of fun with these two!

Apparently Joaquin found Sofia edible too. He LOVES to kiss his sister but I guess one of those kisses turned into a "love" bite and Sofia ended up with some teeth marks on one of her cheeks. I can't say that I blame him. Those cheeks are irresistible but I will be keeping a closer eye on him from now on!

P.S. These beautiful photographs were taken by Trace Grace Photography. Aren't they AWESOME?!?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Álvaro del Bosque

Most of you know that Spain won the World Cup this month and for those who follow soccer, you know that this is a huge deal for Spain.  If you ask Jen she'll tell you how passionate I am about soccer. She is probably glad it is over because I was glued to the TV for a month. The day the World Cup started in South Africa we were in Ukraine getting ready to take the train back to Kiev a few days after we took Sofia out of the orphanage. I was so stressed out because I didn't know until the last minute if I was going to be able to watch the opening match. Mexico was playing South Africa, the host nation. I kept flipping channels hoping I was going to bump into it and 5 minutes before kick off time, it came on and I was in heaven.  Every afternoon in Kiev all I did was watch World Cup soccer until early morning, 3 matches every day, and back at home it didn't end until the last day.  Mexico got eliminated by Argentina on the round of sixteens, so I switched to Spain as my favorite and I was really happy to see them go all the way until they raised the World Cup, raising the Cup is such a huge deal. In soccer world there is nothing like it and not many people get to do that.

This morning I got an email from my oldest brother Sergio, he is married to Elena who is from Spain, so you can imagine how excited they both are. In the email was an article about the son of Spain's Head Coach, Vicente del Bosque, who has Down Syndrome.  I didn't know this about him until today so that made the whole thing extra special, and seeing this picture brought tears to my eyes.

This is a abstract of the original article from El Pais, Madrid's main newspaper:

Of the three sons of Vicente del Bosque, there is one, Alvaro, the middle child, that change his life. Alvaro was born on August 6, 1989, back then, del Bosque was the Head Coach for Castilla. A few days after a test confirmed that Alvarito had Down Syndrome. "At first we cried a lot", I confess that now that I look back I think que gilipollas fuimos, how stupid we were.
For Vicente Del Bosque and his friends, there is no thought: Alvaro is a gift that life conceded him. Yesterday in Monclova, wearing a number 6 jersey of del Bosque and before going into the Palace Alvaro gave a big embrace to his father. Later he was seen joking with Xavi Hernandez, star midfielder, in the champions bus. "My son is happy and radiates happiness. He is mischievous, but he doesn't know evil", del Bosque proudly explains. Del Bosque, convinced that things happen for a reason, remembers that when he use to play for "El Real Madrid", every morning there was a boy with Down Syndrome that use to visit us at the locker room: "I don't remember his name, just that he was a lot of fun and we really liked him, he use to grab my mustache".
They say that Alvaro is a charming young man, but that doesn't take away being critic about his father's soccer decisions, he gets mad when he doesn't play, in his opinion, the right player in a match, and every day he use to tell him that he wanted Daniel Guiza to to make the cut for the World Cup roster, the one that didn't make it and Alvaro was really mad. He took a lot of liking for 2 players during the world cup, Llorente and Javi Martínez, just because he went to a Safari with their families, so he defended them and ask his father to play them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Meet My New Sister

Here is my new sister Sofia. We are almost exactly a year apart but we look like twins next to each other. We are having so much fun together already! Mama calls us her little monkeys. I wonder why?