Preparing for Enucleation
Your child will not be experiencing the vast and bewildering array of emotions that you are going through at the moment. He will probably be satisfied with a simple, honest explanation in familiar language he can understand. Give more information to older children as their curiosity and comprehension allow.
For example “your eye is sick/has a boo boo inside and the doctor needs to take it away to make you better. When he has taken your eye out, you won’t be able to see from it any more, but you will get a new pretend eye that will look just like the one your doctor took out”.
Your Child’s Response
Children’s reactions to this information vary considerably. Some are curious about the process of getting a new eye, while others do not want to know anything beyond the basic explanation.
Children often absorb information without responding. They mull things over and may ask questions hours, days or weeks later. This is normal. Let your child know he can ask questions, as this will help ensure his concerns are not allowed to fester.
Meeting Others With Shared Experience
Introducing your child to others who have lost an eye may help reduce his anxiety. Your doctor may be able to connect you with other families in your area who have experienced enucleation. This will also be an opportunity for you to share your feelings with other empathetic parents.
Before and after the surgery, your child and other siblings may play with dolls or teddies who have poorly eyes or no eyes. Play is the learning medium of childhood, the way young children work through what they are experiencing and feeling.
Understand that this form of play is your child’s natural way of coming to terms with what is happening to him. For more information about imaginary medical related play, click here.