children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, health, humor, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting


boys play matchbox cars to pass the time at the ophthalmologist's

We are seated in the tiny eye exam room.  I am so beyond stressed that I actually feel kind of calm.

These visits to the pediatric ophthalmologist are not without uncertainty.

Will Full Speed test well?

Is T.Puzzle in a cooperative mood?

I try to convince myself it’s no big deal.  I mean only the future of my children’s vision is at stake here.

We wait for the eye doctor.

She breezes into the room with grace and confidence.

She clearly adores my boys.

This helps.

Full Speed is an unexpected rock star of vision testing.

He tests 20/40 in his right eye and 20/30 in his left.

I almost faint.

He then proceeds to read a line of print so teeny-tiny, I’m positive that only someone with superhuman eyesight could read it (no, it’s not that I’m old in the least and had to squint to read the line myself).

I almost faint again.

I get goosebumps on top of my goosebumps.  My heart fills with immeasurable gratitude.

It hardly phases me that T.Puzzle is mostly uncooperative.  He holds steady at 20/50 and 20/70.

I’ll take it.

During this arduous process of eye surgeries, doctor’s appointments and visits to the ophthalmologist, I have learned that I cannot control the level of vision that each of my boys will attain.

All I can control is how I feel about it.

And today for the first time in my life, I feel absolutely amazing about their vision.

This is one of the best days ever.

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.

children, eyesight, life in pictures, mommyhood

Eye Love Trains

Little T.Puzzle and I are downtown at the eye doctor. Today is ‘pre-op’ day to prepare for his eye exam under anesthesia tomorrow.

He’s handling this better than I am. Of course a backpack full of Thomas the Train gear certainly helps.