Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When My Baby Got Glasses

(Today I'm sharing a bitter-sweet memory, but also am throwing in a little PSA while I'm at it!)

When our oldest son Trusten turned 3, we took him to his first eye appointment...not because we thought anything was wrong, but because our state offers a free eye exam to kids ages 3-4.

So we went in, just thinking this was a fun little field trip (hence the camera)...I even remember thinking "this will make a good story for my blog"...but they never made my blog until now, because it became such a sensitive subject for me.

You see, the "fun" appointment ended with me in tears finding out that Trusten needed glasses immediately.  In fact, the doctor felt he needed them so quickly that the office paid to overnight them (once we finally got them ordered). 

But let's back up a bit...
Once the exam was over, I was shocked when the doctor came back in and almost congratulated me for bringing Trusten in when I did.  He said if we would have waited until the typical time for a first eye exam (6-7 years) he most likely would have already been going blind in one eye.

The doctor then put lenses up to my eye to show me how my little man had been seeing for those first 3 years of his life.  I broke down right there...I had no idea!

But what was more devastating to me, was that TRUSTEN had no idea.  He didn't know any different than what his eyes saw.  Blurry and dark was just what he thought the world looked like.  He didn't know to tell us something was wrong...

We found out Trusten had a type of accomodative estropia yet because it was so slight (which is actually the worse, because it's so severe but harder to see with the naked eye) that we never noticed it.

I came home feeling waves of guilt, sadness, empathy, anger and worry.

I called my mom and one of my sisters and just bawled...

I can't explain it, but it felt like my world just kinda stopped right then and there.  I think some of the extremity of it all, was that I went into the appointment thinking it was just a fun check off of a list, but then to find out that my child's sight might have been changed forever had I not taken him in was almost too much for me!

It was just so unexpected!  And then having the doctor SHOW me what my son had been seeing his whole life was truly heart-breaking!

Trusten with his brand new eyes!
I still have a lot of hurt I carry from some specific comments about how hard I was taking the whole situation and didn't I realize it wasn't "the end of the world"...that a lot of kids are in much worse situations...

So please, don't get me wrong...I know I am blessed that my son doesn't have a chronic disease.  I know I am blessed that this doesn't change his life span.  I know all that...

But at the same time I feel like my world did change a bit that day.

It almost feels like in those few short minutes in the exam room, I went from the naive, happy-go-lucky, "my kids are invincible" momma to a more cautious, more aware, more knowledgeable momma that doesn't take things for granted any more.

I am forever thankful the Lord laid it on my heart to take Trusten in for what seemed to be just a routine exam.

I am forever thankful that the Lord really does love my little man even more than I do (though it's so hard to believe sometimes!)

And I'm forever thankful that the Lord knows my kids better than me...He is their Creator after all and nothing takes him by surprise...even when I am taken by surprise!

Yesterday Trusten got his newest pair of glasses...they are his strongest prescription yet (every 6 months they've been increasing his prescription so as to let his eyes accommodate to the power of them, because putting him straight into his correct prescription right away would have done more harm).

So while I'm so thankful that there is an answer to his diagnosis, I must admit...

I miss his naked eyes.  I type that sentence in tears.  
I miss seeing his sweet brown eyes...not hiding, not magnified, not disguised, but just his God-given, naked eyes. 

But, he's still such a handsome little guy either way (even when he's been goofy for a picture!)
Oh so what about the PSA?  Here it is: Take your kids in for an eye appointment SOONER than later!

(((Sorry for the long post, but blessings to any of you who really read it all--it was an emotional post for me!)))


This post is linked to...Wednesday Walk Down Memory Lane at my friend Jenilee's blog!  Be sure to visit her today and VOTE for her @ Top Mommy Blogs (she has a link over there!)

...and Pour Your Heart Out (a new meme I just found!)


Rachel said...

I can totally understand missing seeing his naked eyes, but without those glasses, he would miss seeing yours! :) Take care Grace!

Linda said...

What a handsome little guy he is! All of your kids are so cute.

That was a miracle that God put that in your mind to have his eyes checked...isn't God amazing? (smile)

You have a beautiful mommy heart!
This post touched me.

Love in Christ,
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Christina said...

he is way too cute in those glasses!

Shell said...

You know what? Even though there are definitely worse things that could happen...when it's your own child, it's not easy to see it like that. We want our kids to be happy and healthy and not have any problems. So, when anything goes wrong, we take it hard. It's part of being a mom!

So glad you found me and linked up!

Katina said...

I can totally understand your hurt. It is just like you said being in the naive la-la my kids are perfect haze to uh oh something is wrong. Being a parent is so rewarding but so hard. It is awesome to see your children hurting or having a hard time! Thanks for visiting Peaceful Divas.

Jenilee said...

I can understand! I am very blind and my mom felt very guilty when she finally took me to the dr in 3rd grade. I was doing so well in school that she had no idea. I would always put her glasses on and she thought that I was just playing but they helped me see better. Anyway, I got glasses and my eyes would get worse every 6 months. In 5th grade I had bifocals to try and slow down the loss of sight. They finally leveled out when I was in high school and they haven't changed since then. I have "magnified" eyes in my glasses too! :) He is adorable and I understand what you are going through.


We 2 Bees said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I can completely relate, my oldest is in glasses and actually just had to get bi-focal lenses. They are then testing her for some other eye issues. You just feel like you did something wrong or failed them somehow. I appreciate your honesty and openness about how it made you feel!

Gwen Toliver said...

Ack! My comment disappeared! So here's try #2 :)

My oldest son had the same experience - discovered at a regular doctor checkup that his eyes were HORRIBLE! (he was 7yo) However, it was so wonderful to hear him say - as we left the optometrist with new glasses - "Mom I can read that sign!" things like that over and over as we drove home.

So although I miss his brown eyes "just plain" I'm so thankful that he can see now. Without glasses, his vision is all blur.

And to encourage you, Grace, Jacob's eyes deteriorated quickly the first few years, but in the past 2 years (he's almost 13 now), his prescription has barely changed. So Trusten may very well be the same - they probably won't need an updated Rx near as frequently.

Great post, Grace - thanks for sharing your heart :)

Alice said...

Oh Grace! This really moved me! Thank you for sharing your heart. Also, Trusten is a cute as a button in his glasses! :) And I have not taken any of my boys to have their eyes tested yet, so I am really grateful for this post as a reminder. I just never thought about doing it when they were so little... I guess I should have done so before now, and I am going to get them booked in this month!

Diana said...

God is amazing like that... He knows when to nudge us into action, huh. Your little man looks so handsome in his glasses. Thank the Lord for the invention... so that those of us (me, too) who must wear them can see the Creator's beautiful world. Thank you for sharing with us, Grace! ♥

Di said...

I'm so glad I read this. I will make sure to take my Jellybean in sooner rather than later for his eye exam!

Cheri Bunch said...

Just wanted to send you a big hug, sweet Grace! Love you!

Em said...

I can't imagine your feelings that day. I felt like crying just thinking about your situation.

This story makes me think about how, without God, we walk around blind and "in darkness," and often completely unaware of how blind we are, but then God corrects our vision (through the lens of Christ)! Little by little - not too much at once, 'cause our human "eyes" wouldn't be able to take it all in at once, but God seems to correct our vision with a stronger prescription as we grow in Him, making things clearer and brighter as we go. Maybe the Lord will make this experience a part of Trusten's testimony someday :-)

~Stephanie said...

Grace, I understand. Each of my children have had *something* to remind me! Some I take better than others, but it does change you, even just a little.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Oh sweetie, this was so touching to read. I'm glad you shared! What a precious, handsome boy you have. I can relate about life-changing events. It definitely changes you.

Heather said...

Your story almost had me crying. I am so thankful your little guy is going to be fine but I know that I probably would have been crying the same way you said you were.
I am so glad that God is in control because I know that I like to "worry" as if I can keep bad things from happening. I have to continually remind myself of what you said in this post- God loves my son even more than I do!

Amy said...

I can understand why this story didn't make it on your blog until now. I had a similar I still haven't talked about on the blog. Someday...maybe...but not yet. I know how raw a mama's heart can be about such things. {{HUGS}} and thank you for sharing.

marymo5 said...

You are such a wonderful mother Grace. Wanted to send a (((hug)))

Coby said...

You put it perfectly - going from thinking your kids are invincible to realizing they're not!

My one year-old just had a full eye exam today to see whether or not the shape of his head was causing his brain to put pressure on his eyes. The great news is it's not, AND he doesn't need glasses (I have TERRIBLE vision).

Good for you for taking your kids in! This was wonderfully written!

taylormade4christ said...


I can relate. I took my 2 oldest to their eye appt under the same field trip idea. I found out Trinity has perfect vision, Jeremy however needed glasses. He has severe astigmatism. If I waited any longer his vision would be pretty much gone. Is something I struggle with as well. Always wondering what would have happened if I had taken him earlier, feeling bad for not knowing the free exam at age 3 info etc. I want to send you a big hug and tell you Trusten is such a cutie with those glasses on! You did an amazing thing by sharing with all of us your experience. It lifted a big weight to know I am not the only one..know what I mean?

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