Well, Tyler has had glasses for over a month now and I have been promising my parents I would post a photo so they could see him, but I am just finally getting around to it. Yikes! Needless to say, I have not been great at keeping up with my blog lately and I need to do better!! I have good intentions every day to update because there are so many things I want/need to be documenting and then the day seems to get away from me! I have got to do better!!
I saw this quote on Ali's blog the other day and it really touched me:
Anna Quindlen : "...but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."
I have always tried to take time for the little things and to recognize all the small moments that really make my life meaningful. Lately, since I have been so sick with this pregnancy, I feel like I haven't done the best job with this. There were many days these last few months when I just wanted the day to be over so I could crawl into my bed and sleep. It was the only way to escape the sickness. Now that I am feeling better, (and thank goodness for that - I know there are many people out there that are sick the whole 9 months) I feel more like myself and I feel like I can start enjoying my life again!
This quote was a good reminder to slow down and treasure the day-to-day. And, the other thing that I really want to work on is documenting the "doing" as Anna Quindlen puts it. I don't want to be looking back wishing I could remember all of these little moments. I want to have it written down, scrapbooked, etc. That is why I originally started this blog - so that I would have one specified place to document our lives - and I have got to get back to that! I am recommitted!
Now, on to the story of Tyler's life the last month...
A few months ago, I took Tyler in to the pediatrician for a routine well-check visit and the first thing she said when she walked in the room was "Tell me about Tyler's eyes." I didn't know what she was talking about and she told me she could tell that his right eye turned in a lot and that it was moving independently from the other eye. I told her that we had noticed him squinting his right eye a lot but we thought it was just something he did - part of his personality. I guess we were just really used to it so we didn't think anything of it.
Consequently, she referred us to a pediatric eye specialist and we went to him a few weeks later. They did some testing where they would cover one eye and have him look at black and white shapes on the wall and he had to name the shape. With his left eye he could name each one with ease. Then, with his right eye it quickly became clear that he couldn't see anything. His eye would just wander around aimlessly and he would just guess what the shapes were. The doctor then dilated his eyes to check further and found that his vision in his left eye was good but not perfect and that his vision in his right eye was really bad. He said that his brain has basically shut the vision off in that eye because it was so blurry and so hard to see out of. And, as a result, the eye has become a lazy eye and he is not using it at all to see.
He said that we do have time on our side because it is not too late to restore the vision in that eye. He told us that if Tyler were a few years older it would be too late and he would basically not have any use of that eye for the rest of his life. We feel blessed to have caught it early, but the doctor informed us that we have a long road ahead of us.
He prescribed glasses and Tyler has been great at wearing them! They don't seem to bother him at all and he immediately said he could see better with them on. I could tell when he first put them on that he was looking at things differently, like he could see things in a different way. We were happy and felt good about things. After about 3 weeks we returned to the doctor to see if Tyler was beginning to use his right eye. The hope was that with the glasses he would realize that he could now see out of that eye and that his brain would turn the vision back on in that eye. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. The doctor said he wasn't surprised, but it was upsetting to us. The doctor said that he believes Tyler hasn't been using that eye since he was an infant.
The next step was to start putting a patch over the good eye to force him to start using his right eye. The doctor told us that it would be a battle and that it would be hard but absolutely necessary if we are to restore the vision in that eye. He told us to aim for 6 hours a day but not to do it when he goes to school.
The first time I put the patch on it was clear that he really couldn't see anything. He would just sit there with his head down like he was blind and I turned on the xbox so he could play. He wanted to play basketball but he had no idea what was even going on. He would have the ball and he would just run out of bounds or just sit there. I sat there with him, crying, trying to help him through it. I would tell him when he had the ball, when to shoot it, etc.
The first week he would just cry the whole time he had the patch on and beg to take it off. It was so hard because we hated to see him suffering, but we knew we had to do it. With some time, he started to be able to see things. It really takes a lot of work and effort for him to see out of that eye so he gets very frustrated and he really does hate having to wear it. He says it hurts, which I am sure it does, because he is straining so hard to make that eye work.
We are going on 3 weeks now with the patch and we average about 3-4 hours a day. It is always a struggle when I first put it on and sometimes he will act o.k. and other times he will just cry and lay down and say that he is not going to do anything while he has it on. We really have to try to distract him and do something fun with him while he is wearing it. We will take him outside and shoot baskets with him or we will sit down and play a game with him. He seems to be seeing out of it, which is at least some progress. We are not sure how well the vision is yet. When he is trying to focus and look at something, that eye really moves around a lot and we have to remind him where he needs to try to look. Sometimes he will say that he can't see anything, but now I think it is a matter of whether or not he wants to work and put forth the effort to see out of it.
Bless his little heart. I feel so bad for him, having to go through another struggle in his life. It is so hard as the parents to watch your children go through difficult times. And it is even harder sometimes to know how to help them through it. It is especially hard when we are the bad guys, always making him wear the patch that he doesn't want to wear! At any rate, the doctor said we have a long road ahead of us. We go back in a week to see what progress he has made.
Well, this has gotten really long so I will end the story there for now. There will definitely be more to this story so I will keep updating. If you have made it through this entire post, thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading that novel!!
And finally, here is a photo of the little cutie in his glasses. Doesn't he look handsome?