Apparently PJ did not just get her grandmother’s eyes, but also her grandmother’s eyesight. So this week at the ripe old age of 27 months she got her first pair of glasses.
Ever since she was a baby, in photos it often looked like one or the other of her eyes was turned in. I did some research and found that it could be the fact that she has deep set eyes and is going to have a large nose (sorry Honey, but take a look at Mommy and Daddy… I don’t think you can avoid it). I did mention it to her doctor at some appointment and he said to keep an eye on it (oh bad pun that I can’t delete for some reason). Three-months-later when I saw the doctor again he asked about it and I told him I had forgotten about it (I guess I had moved on to worrying about other stuff.)
Then last winter, we were vacationing with friends and SAG was reading a book to three kids. I was sitting across from them watching and I noticed how one of PJ’s eyes seemed to jump around while the other children’s eyes did not. A friend of mine who I respect a lot told me about a great ophthalmologist that she took her baby too and also told me how incredibly important it was to get eyes checked out early. I made an appointment and we saw the guy soon thereafter.
At the end of the exam he told me that he didn’t necessarily see her eyes behaving independently, but that she was significantly farsighted and I probably needed to take her to a specialist fairly soon. He also said that he didn’t think it was likely that they would give her glasses at such a young age.
So, I waited a few months. And then we were getting our house ready to put on the market. And then we were moving across the country. And then we were bringing our son home from Ethiopia. And then we had no friends, family or babysitters in our new community. But mostly I was procrastinating because when a young child goes to the eye doctor she has to get her eyes dilated, which means her Mama has to hold her head still while someone puts painful drops in her eyes. And this is a terrible thing to have to do. I believe it is my God-given right to hurt you if you try to hurt my child. I do not believe that it is my duty to hold my child still while you hurt her… and she knows it’s coming… and she knows I am helping you….The beautiful thing is she is already over it – I am not – obviously.
Now we have seen the best children’s ophthalmologist in Missouri. In fact he won a National Doctor-of-the-Year Award. And this Doctor-of-the-Year told us PJ’s right eye is more-or-less normal but her left eye is far-less-than normal. Because her eyes are so different, if untreated her brain will turn her left eye off completely, leaving it with no direction, wandering around in her eye socket doing nothing but looking a bit funky. Hence, the glasses and weekly eye drops. We have tried to put a positive spin on the glasses and thus far she is excited. She kept saying she wanted blue glasses so that is what we ordered. As for the drops, I didn’t have the nerve to ask if they were painful. I know she can take it, but I am not sure if the same can be said for me.