children, eyesight, mommyhood

Mommy Bravest

Everyone survived little T.Puzzle’s eye exam under anesthesia. These exams are difficult days for Mommy and son. First you start with the three sets of eye drops (three drops in both eyes each round) where I have to hold him down (thankfully Mad Dog was there to hold his legs) while he thrashes, screams and cries. This does nothing to ease my nervous anxiety about the impending exam.

Then, after waiting what seems like forever and not being able to give him any food or beverage, he is wheeled back into seeming oblivion with a random nurse you just meet and you have to pretend everything is okay. You head to the waiting area and you overhear words like ‘more surgery’ and ‘tumor placement’ as doctors and nurses describe what is happening to the other waiting parents’ children. For me, my psyche is an unfortunate sponge that soaks up the distress of others and my stomach tightens into an ever increasing intense knot as we wait for word of little T.Puzzle.

Mad Dog and I have sat through more than our share of these exams with both our boys only to hear not so great news ourselves; I almost can’t stand the waiting. When the doctor comes out after what seems like ages and shares with us the inevitable news that little T.Puzzle will have to have the eye surgeries to remove his lenses, it’s almost a sad relief. At least we know what we are up against.

As the doctor shows us pictures of his eyeballs and points to how he is only able to use a tiny window of space to see out of his left eye, my emotion can’t take it anymore and the tears start to spill from my own eyes. Logically, I know he is going to be fine but on an emotional motherly level, I just want my kid to have full use of his eye(s) and 20/20 vision. When the doctor leaves, I give myself a pep talk that at least she never used the word ‘tumor’ or anything else equally catastrophic. My boy is healthy and happy and that is all any mother has a right to hope for.

Little T.Puzzle’s displaced lense in his left eye. Note the small, clear space on the lower right-hand side of his iris. This is the tiny space he is using to see.
Little T.Puzzle’s right eye with a slightly larger crescent of clear space that he can see through.

I turn to Mad Dog, take a deep breath and dig deep for calm and courage. Little T.Puzzle will shortly be coming out of anesthesia and he will need me to be strong and comforting. And, I am.

Of course once we return home, I bring him into my room and we nap for most of the afternoon because being brave is one of the most exhilarating and exhausting aspects of motherhood.

We need to rest up, we have surgeries ahead.