I've been working on polishing up my blog, a bit. And I'm in the process of making a page all about my children's eye condition.
Suddenly, it dawned on my that I've never shared about the backstory. Because, really, this story began in 2003 when we were learning that Emma had a problem with her right eye.
On Emma's 4th birthday we gave her breakfast in bed. She asked for a donut and baby carrots. It was totally cute. But, as we looked at the pictures later, (this was back in the day where we had to develop them) I realized that she kept closing her right eye. Looking up, grinning, cute as can be, but only looking at us from her left eye.
I set up an annual well-check with our pediatrician. Even though Kindergarten was more than a year away, they did a kind of Kindergarten check up complete with a vision check. When we checked Emma's left eye--everything was fine. But on her right... She'd only give us answers while peeking with her left eye.
The nurse blew it off as normal preschool behavior, but I knew Emma and this was very atypical. When the doctor, a dear friend, came in to check her I asked what he thought of her vision test. He flipped through a few pages, turned a couple of papers over and said, "I have no record of a vision testing."
I told him of her weird response. And he had me march her out into the hall, sporting nothing but her underwear, to do the vision exam himself. The left eye was again, OK. But the right... I eventually had to hold the eye stick--you know, the one that looks like a lollipop--over her left eye.
"It's OK, Emma. Just tell us what you see," I comforted her.
The doctor pointed to the largest picture--the picture equivalent of the giant E. "What is this?" he said gently. We hadn't gotten an answer for a single picture that made any sense. Asking about the big picture was a base line.
She strained, doing her best to look. She shrugged a bit and said, "An 'X.'" The picture was a boat. A big, giant boat with a sail. For a moment, the doctor and nurses thought that she didn't understand. "These aren't letters. They're pictures," someone said. It didn't matter. It looked like an X to Emma.
"Perhaps," the doctor said, in his pediatric doctor tone, "you should set an appointment to see an eye doctor."