Monday, August 1, 2011

Four Eyes

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Aub was scheduled for her 15 month well baby check-up. We actually went closer to 16 months because of a previous lapse in insurance. I enjoy going to these appointments because I get to see how well she is progressing and how much she has grown. I went in with high hopes but this check-up turned out different from the others.

The doctor lingered while checking her eyes. I thought nothing of it at the moment because Aubrey was moving her head a lot and I just figured that the doctor wasn’t getting a good reading. Then she turned the lights back on and asked me if I had ever noticed anything different in her right eye when I photographed her. I said I hadn’t. Then she delivered news that I wasn’t expecting. She was referring us to a pediatric ophthalmologist because Aubrey’s right eye wasn’t reacting to light the way that it should. I asked her what that could mean and she spat out a bunch of medical jargon that I was too stunned to make any sense of. Luckily we were able to schedule an appointment for the next morning with one of the top doctors in the area who works out of All Children’s Hospital. There was a cancellation while the nurse was on the phone scheduling our appointment which was a Godsend because otherwise we would have had to wait until the end of August.

Here comes the nearly 24 hour waiting period. I did the worse thing you can do in times like these. I turned to Google. I don’t remember the first thing I typed in but it was a combination of “eye not responding in light”, “baby’s eye in photographs” and “infant eye conditions” . The most popular response I came up with was Retinoblastoma which is a cancer of the eye that effects about 300 children in the United States every year. Of course before I really read into it, I called my husband in tears. Being the calm cool and collective man that my husband is, he told me I was over reacting and he would call the pediatrician to see exactly what she thought about the whole situation. She told him that she wasn’t sure what was causing it because she didn’t have the proper tools but she was almost positive that it was not retinoblastoma.

We were relieved that it most likely wasn’t cancer but we were still concerned when we arrived at the hospital the next morning. We were called in and they dilated Aubrey’s eyes. We waited 20 minutes and then the doctor looked inside her eyes. This doctor was amazing, so good with children. He got Aubrey to stay focused by making a large array of animal noises.

Then came the news. Aubrey would need to wear glasses to correct her right eye which is far sighted. This was a big relief because it was best case scenario. We were still a little taken back because we don’t have a family history of children needing glasses at such a young age. I wear glasses and contacts but I didn’t need them until I was 16 and my husband doesn’t wear glasses at all. The doctor told us that it could have been passed down from someone in the family from years and years ago.

I’m going to be completely honest. I had a bit of a meltdown that night. I didn’t want her to have to wear glasses. I thought she would feel like a different child. I went online looking for answers but all I found were other moms complaining how strangers rudely commented on their children’s glasses which just made me feel even worse. My husband was mad at me for this. He said I was being selfish. He said that Aubrey having to wear glasses was nothing and there are other people in way worse scenarios.

He was right. He was totally right. I was being stupid. I should feel fortunate to have such a smart beautiful happy healthy child. That one night was not one of my finest moments and I have not let myself get upset about it since.

Not much has changed since she has started wearing glasses. She looks pretty stinking cute with them on. She doesn’t wear them all the time but more like eighty percent of the time. I haven’t had any rude comments from strangers. Most people say how cute she looks with them. Others ask how we knew she needed them and I have no problem telling them. I hope that this can help any other moms out there who are just finding out that there little ones need glasses. I wish I had found a positive story when I first found out because it would have made all the difference.

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Beneath the Rowan Tree

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5 comments:

  1. Found you through the link-up and I am so glad I did! My nephew is 13 months and he was just referred to an ophthalmologist as well. Same thing - one eye was not responding to the light like it should. His older brother had to get glasses at 3 years old and his mom was pretty devastated at first as well. But he is adorable in them, just as your daughter is! :)
    Praising God that you figured it out early and that she won't have problems developing since she'll be able to see better!

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  2. SOOOOO STINKIN CUTE IS RIGHT! SHE LOOKS SOOOO ADORABLE!

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  3. I just had to come back and update. My 14 month old nephew has to wear glasses now too. His mom just found out this morning. And I thought of this post... Anyways, your daughter is really adorable. :)

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  4. My now 3 year old has been wearing glasses since he was 18 months old. And yes, it was horribly devastating for me, until I just told myself that it could have been much worse than simple glasses.

    Your daughter is adorable. And her little glasses are precious too!! :)

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  5. Oh Mallory I had EXACTLY the same meltdown. I felt like I had failed, everyone would think my child defective. Naturally, after about 10 minutes she completely forgot she was wearing the glasses, she was able to see clearly and she looked cute as a button, and I felt like such a wally for the previous weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (well, not quite, but you know what I mean!). The only thing I have had to put up with is REALLY dumb strangers asking me "why does she war glasses so young?" (what answer are they expecting? Ummm, as a fashion statement? What do you think thicko!)

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