Wednesday, October 17, 2012

new glasses

a couple of days after your 7th birthday, i remember waiting in your pediatrician's waiting room thinking about what we were going to do after your yearly check-up.
 just one more official day of summer before school started the next day. 
i really needed to go grocery shopping, 
and it was a wednesday which means double the items on sale at sprouts, 
but we had also been invited to swim at some friend's house.
i was pretty sure you didn't need any shots, but i didn't want to to get you excited just in case.  

i remember julian explaining to you how a shot felt as you played with the little toys in the waiting room...'it's just a poke, that's it'.  
after all he was the expert.  
he had just had his appointment and had received three shots.  
he had been so brave and didn't cry until the last shot.  
my mind skipped around as we waited...dinner plans, swimming, shopping...

we were called in and as in previous visits they checked your weight (always on the low end, my little skinny minny.  although you did weigh one pound more than julian this time), 
your vitals (good) and your vision.  
julian directed you where to stand to read the chart because, remember, he was the expert at these yearly physicals.
all routine stuff.  

you were directed by the nurse to read the various lines of letters.  
vision in both eyes fine, left eye great.  
on your right eye, i remember the nurse going line by line to the larger and larger letters 
until you were finally able to read the letters.  
i stood there and starred, completely shocked.  
i looked at you to make sure you were taking this serious and not messing around.  
i can't remember exactly what the nurse said, but you looked at me alarmed.  
i realized that you were completely serious and that you could not see the letters.  

fear and sadness swallowed me. 

 i looked into your eyes and did what every mother does, 
i tried my best to protect you.  
i tried to ease away your fear and concern and whatever feeling of doubt or sadness you were feeling...
i saw it in your eyes.  
i hugged you and smiled.  
you smiled and we walked into the exam room.

after your appointment we were given a referral to an ophthalmologist.  
you and julian messed around in the back of the car as we sat in the parking lot of the doctor's office while i tried to make an appointment ASAP!!  
i got an appointment immediately.  
they asked if i could be there within the hour.  
of course i could.

after a long wait, no lunch and finally getting into the back office, 
you literally kicked and screamed as the nurse tried to put the drops in to dilate your eyes.  
she had made the mistake of saying it might burn.  
i couldn't protect you.
we were all exhausted when the ophthalmologist came in to see you.  
after extensive tests he determined your vision in your right eye was 20/200.  
yep, that bad.   
he also said that you were primarily seeing out of your left eye 
and your brain was ignoring the blurred vision in your right eye.  
the scariest news that day was that up until the age of ten, you can retrain your brain to start using the vision in the affected eye, after that, the brain can not be retrained and vision is lost for good in the affected eye.  it still gives me chills thinking about that.  
i wanted to cry. (i think a tear or two did fall).  
he was very positive and reassuring, though, and promised you would be just fine with glasses.

i didn't mind the idea of glasses at all, but my heart was broken for you.  
i was upset that it had taken us this long to figure it out.  
i felt like a terrible mom.  
seven years!! 
i thought back on the many times you had said your eyes were tired when we you were working on your homework and i had blown it off as you not wanting to do your homework.  
i thought back on how i just couldn't comprehend how you did not love to hated reading.  the doctor had even said that it is very difficult to read because your eyes go back and forth on a page and when you are only using vision from one eye that can be very straining on the good eye.
as we left the appointment, you were in way better spirits than myself.  
you were excited about getting glasses.  
oh, my girl, i can't tell you enough how much i love you for that.  
if you would have been sad and upset about getting glasses, i don't think i would have been able to handle it that day.  
i just kept stirring the 'what if's' around in my mind.  
i never would have been able to forgive myself if you had ended up blind in one eye.
i called daddy on the way home and cried.

two months later, i can now look back and laugh a little at how upset i was that day.  you are such a beautiful girl inside and out, with or without glasses.  i let you pick out your own frames and you picked such a cute pair.  they suit you.  nowadays when you don't have your glasses on, it definitely looks like something is missing.  they really do suit you well.

today is your follow-up appointment with the ophthalmologist...i'm praying for good news that the vision in your right eye has improved (with the glasses on, of course).  he said it takes a while for your brain to start using your eye again.


  1. We all have had those moments where we've felt like the worst mom EVER. Being a mom is very difficult sometimes. We hold ourselves accountable for so many things:( You're a great mom, Melissa! I'm so inspired by the way you take care of your family so well. Your love and dedication is very apparent!

  2. I absolutely LOVE Ella in glasses. She's so meant to have them. Adorable!! My girls would be so jealous...they want glasses so badly. ;)

  3. Your girl is so sweet in those sweet frames! Love!!
    Our oldest daughter has glasses. We took her in almost a year ago. Things weren't terrible. But, I tell you, I felt so guilty for all the times I was upset with her for not engaging and paying attention. She couldn't see. AH! I felt terribly guilty and tremendously blessed (to be able to give her corrective lenses) all at the same time. It's heavy stuff to realize our kids were dealing with something hard, and we didn't even know it.


Thanks for stopping by!