They say hindsight is always 20/20.
Looking back, there are so many signs that Miss N had an eye problem. I remember her first puzzle. It was a little one with animals and underneath the piece was an identical image of the animal. She could figure out which hole they went in, but it took her a very long time to figure out she had to turn the animal to fit it in the hole. I remember telling her, "Put the eyes with the eyes" and she just didn't get it, but she was a toddler and I figured it was just her developmental stage.
Then there was the difficulty writing neatly. But she was 3 and 4 and I figured it was just developmental, or that she had inherited my poor handwriting. Plus, she's left handed, and my lefties when I taught always struggled a little with handwriting.
Then there were the eye spy books. She couldn't find the pictures. Again, I assumed it was just developmental.
Then there were the headaches. That was the sign I finally realized meant there was a problem. But she was only barely 4. How could she go to the eye doctor?
If I had had Miss M first, I would have known. Miss M could do all of these things by three. She can write some clear letters, put together a 50-piece puzzle with ease, and find all of the images in an Eye Spy book. These were not developmental issues. Miss N could not see.
Yesterday was our every four month excursion to Chicagoland for her visit with the pediatric eye specialist. Her right eye is the bad eye, and it has gotten worse. Even with her glasses on she was unable to see the 20/40 images. The next step up she could see. She will be getting a new prescription and wearing an eye patch two hours a day in an attempt to train the brain to use the lazy eye and not just the good eye.
This makes me, as her mom, so sad. My child has a vision problem, and chances are had I noticed the signs, it would not be this bad. All of those years of struggling to see with her one good eye have left her with this weak eye. I guess as a parent it always makes you feel sad when your child has a struggle, but when I feel I could have prevented that struggle, it's even more difficult.
I am also confused. The optometrist we saw in our town that wanted her to do the vision therapy (hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month) said eye patching was like giving tylenol for a migraine. This ophthalmologist has a different take, and she said that there is no scientific evidence that the therapy works. Frankly, we do not have thousands of dollars a month to spend on therapy, so I want to trust the ophthalmologist, but these conflicting reports are hard to accept. But, I can stomach less than $10 a month for patches a lot better than the cost of therapy.
Thankfully, Miss N is thriving in school and does not seem to have any problems as a result of this vision issue yet. But, it still makes me sad.
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