Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eye update

"I will walk by Faith, even when I cannot see, because this broken road prepares your will for me." -Jeremy Camp

Dear Faith,

Like most medically complex kids, you are a frequent flyer at doctors office. I have never been consistent about keeping up with a day timer, but with all your various appointments I've had to learn to use one. Two BIG appointments this week; I like to refer to them as the crystal ball appointments. OK..not really...I used to thing that a visit to the opthamologist (eye doctor) and ENT (Ear, Noes, and Throat) were a gauge for what the coming years will bring us. Now I know better, however I do get a little bit anxious when I know these two "biggies" are coming.

Yesterday was your opthamology appointment. I was looking forward to this appointment because it was a fresh start. We have been very blessed with WONDERFUL doctors who have cared for you. We are very fortunate to live in a place where such great care is easily accessible. The one area I feel we have not had very much luck is finding an eye doctor who not only understands what is going on with your vision but can articulately explain it to us. So when we heard your eye doc. at Children's was leaving and the earliest they could get us in with anyone knew was NEXT April I knew it was time to make a change. Fortunately I knew who to call and they referred me to a doctors who specialize in kids with vision loss.

Although the appointment was grueling 4 hours (why we were the last patient seen but we got there at 2:45pm I don't know...very frustrating..but typical..)long it was informative.

The new doc. did not have any records of your past eye exams and I gave him very limited information for the purpose of wanting an unbiased opinion. In a weird, twisted way I was comforted that he had the same diagnosis you received in April 2007 after undergoing two eye surgeries. He used terms I had heard before; scarring, macula dragging, Monocular Exotropia, Malignant Myopia......Obviously he knew what he was talking about. He confirmed what we already new about your left eloquently articulating that the eye is "trashed..." aka blind. He was very apologetic....I laughed, thanking him for his sincerity but reiterating the fact that we have had a long road and are WAY over the fact that our daughter is legally blind.
Interestingly he found that your glasses prescription for the right eye was WAY off. This did not surprise me in the least. You have about a 4 foot field of vision with your glasses. He said either the last doc was way off in prescribing the strength, or that eye has gotten progressively worse within the past 3 months. While we do know that your vision can deteriorate, based upon the amount of this this doc spent testing your eyes vs. your previous exam, I think it was the former. So he doubled your the strength (from -4.0 to -8.0) and excitedly told us how this will open up a whole new world for you.

I will never forget when I first received glasses when I was in grade school. The world as I knew it did change. I didn't know it was possible to actually see when the teacher was writing on the board, or read street signs while riding in a car (I was finally a contender in the "find this letter on a sign..." car game, alright!).

I hope your world opens up just as mine did. You compensate so well for your vision loss. Most people don't even realize that you cannot see very well. Your hearing is impeccable and the rest of your senses are always on alert. You are so comfortable with the little rectangle rug you spend most of your day on; you know where to look when you hear someone at the door, you know where the dogs are coming from when there is swish of the doggy door, and you instantly smile when you hear a familiar voice....all of this without being able to see.

Most of the time we forget that you cannot see- I think this is our gift to you. While we take the suggestions from your vision therapist, we treat you as if your vision was 20/20.

It is when we are in the outside world, where you are not familiar with your surroundings, that we notice how much your vision limits you. On a recent shopping trip we not only noticed how disconjugate your eyes were but how you did not recognize us when we stood only a few feet away from you.

Although the world may seem like a dark unfamiliar place, you will learn to map it just like you have your rectangular rug. Never forget that you are a light to this world and have taught us all to see in ways we never thought imaginable.

So go out my brave little girl and let YOUR light shine,

Love you,

Mommy & Daddy too


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