So, we met with the eye doctor this morning. Hubby went too, and we brought Kiddo's grandma along to sit with her in the waiting room following the exam so Kiddo wouldn't have to hear the discussion (or see the visual aids, as it turned out).
The news, as we expected, wasn't good. The patches, like the glasses before them, aren't correcting the exotropia. Worse news is that Kiddo's brain is now suppressing the signals/information from her right eye and only "using" her left eye for vision (unless her left eye is covered, then it will use the right).
The doctor is advocating for surgery. He went through with diagrams and explained exactly what they do. This isn't an uncommon procedure, it is done on an outpatient basis and takes about half an hour. Kiddo would miss, at most, 3 days of school and would come home immediately after the procedure. No hospital, even; they do the surgery at an outpatient surgery center.
We discussed at length. I took notes. Hubby and I discussed further. We looked up studies and read anecdotal evidence. There is the alternative of vision therapy, which we considered (that was all the stuff I was doing with the insurance company for the past several weeks). We discussed even more.
The end result is that we've decided to go ahead with the surgery. I'm waiting for the surgical coordinator to call me back to get Kiddo on the schedule. We're hoping for the end of September or beginning of October, so we don't have it right at the start of school.
I know in the grand scheme of things, this is not the most horrible kind of surgery one's child could need to have done. I know that it isn't extremely complicated or lengthy or anything. That doesn't make me feel any better knowing that Kiddo will be going under general anesthesia and that they will be cutting into her eye muscles. We're not telling Kiddo until much closer to the date - no need for her to obsess. Mommy is perfectly capable of obsessing enough for all of us.
I just hope this will work and correct the problem, once and for all.