Patching is your new normal
Patching is your new normal. Create and keep this habit by doing it at the same time each day. Kids thrive on consistency so picking a patch start and end time is really going to be your best bet. It may not always be convenient (especially for other people) but picking and sticking to a schedule is going to remind your child that this is nonnegotiable and it is as normal as brushing their teeth each day. Even babies can pick up on routines and schedules. Choose a time that includes leaving the house, this reinforces normality (patching is not a reason to hide away), for you, your child, and everyone else (relatives and friends). Most people find that starting in the morning is best for them, but see what works best for your child. Ignore relatives who ask, “does he have to wear the patch this morning?” Yes, yes he does. Stand your ground, your child’s vision depends on it. If a patch is ripped off, put it back on, over and over again.
So many times, I had family members complain “Oh can’t he just not have the patch on for the day so we can take some nice photos?”. Sure that would have been lovely but my husband and I were thinking of the big picture. One nice photo now was nothing compared with a lifetime of vision.
Don’t get me wrong, we definitely weren’t perfect parents with the patching. There were times when he couldn’t wear it – if his contact was out/lost/broken, he had conjunctivitis etc. But for the absolute majority of the time, he was patched when he was supposed to be. We tried to time his patching so that if there was something like his own birthday party, he had done his hours before the party started. It didn’t always work out but we gave it our best shot.
Looking back it’s possible we were a little too vigilant – but then again maybe we weren’t. We’ll never know whether our almost military style dedication to patching is what contributed to Dane’s exceptional visual result, after being given a very slim chance of success. Maybe that was always going to be the outcome? One thing is certain though, we don’t regret it for a second.