Dad, little redheaded girl and mom, holding hands and laughing; the view of our little family as we walk down the sidewalk and turn the corner to enter the tall brick building that is the home of Makiya’s eye specialists. What is not visible; mom and dad’s hearts, tightening and beating fast.
Makiya, true to her blood lines, is very strong-willed. She does not like anyone touching her hair, looking in her mouth at her teeth, her ears; anything on her head, is out of bounds to her! Thus, the doctors have a hard time examining her, giving her a proper diagnosis. They have been able to slightly notice her eye that wanders outwards, but they can’t really tell the severity/depth of her problem, and have only said so far that her vision itself is perfect. This being the 4th appointment, finally we were given two conditions to “check out on the internet”; Intermittent Exotropia and Divergent Strabismus.
While they have assured us during this past year that it is NOT serious, we are rapidly heading down the road that says SURGERY for our baby girl’s eye problem. Very hard, no matter how you look at it, for the parents to handle! 30-40 minute operation that involves cutting the skin and tightening the muscle on her eye, and apparently children handle it MUCH better than adults; very comforting. During the last appointment, I was told that they wouldn’t consider surgery until she was at least 4 years old. Today, obviously because it isn’t improving, we were told that it could be around her third birthday.
We were sent home today with approval for our own current “technique” in drawing her eye back to focus, extra tips, papers to make flash cards and matching sheets from, preparation for appointment tips, websites, etc. and the wonderful waiting period of another 2 ½ months.
It is difficult to watch your child as her eye strays from its natural path, as it begins to bother her enough that she pulls at it, rubs, squints and points at it. She doesn’t have the words yet to express how it bothers her; is it an annoyance or painful? We wonder also if it is a silent blessing that our girl is such an avid “reader” at her early age; the constant focus on letters, words and pictures surely must attribute to the strength that does exist within the deterioration of this eye muscle?!
I can fully accept and make my attempts at understanding my own journey, all of the steps that I come to realize were necessary for me to walk; but, when it comes to your child, this all changes. As a parent, guide, leader, teacher, we only desire the purest, simplest and smoothest path for the little being in our care. We wish for not a pebble or dip in the roadway that is our baby’s life; we long only for calm waters to be the grounds of their journey. It breaks our hearts to see them in any arena of discomfort.
I guess that I should be thankful; A)she is young enough that we can likely resolve it early B)providing that we are able to resolve it now, she may not even have strong memories of the discomfort that now exists C)she is living an experience that will only open her mind to things she would never have known otherwise…
Grrrr… I suppose that this is another one of those journeys that we are meant to be embarking upon; a learning experience and path that is meant for each of us.