Thursday, May 5, 2011
Through Emma's Eyes
With my concerns mounting, I asked my pediatrician for a referral to an ophthalmologist to check Emma's eyes back in January. She questioned the need and looked at me like I was hopelessly paranoid, but agreed to refer Emma. We left the office satisfied, but she never sent the referral. When I brought the concern up again in April, Emma was finally referred to an ophthalmologist.
Tuesday afternoon Emma was patient and cooperative as machines measured the curve of her eyes. She tried to name the cake, horse, duck, and hand pictures that grew ever smaller. She let them put in the drops to dilate her eyes without a peep, and she tried, unsuccessfully, to identify the 3D creatures while wearing goofy glasses on her face. And, once again, I am glad I pushed for the referral.
It turns out that Emma's left eye is extremely nearsighted with a large amount of astigmatism too. She sees around 20/200 in that eye, which is being able to see the huge E at the top of an eye chart and nothing below that. Her right eye is getting her by with decent vision, somewhere between 20/40 and 20/60, enough to barely pass a driver's license test. The ophthalmologist was upbeat, saying he was glad that we caught this early, and that often, with correction, the vision in the bad eye will improve. I guess if we help her eyes to see more clearly those pathways in the brain may become stronger since she is still young. She has some adorable purple glasses on order, due in next week.
I feel a familiar mix of vindication (I told you she had trouble seeing!), relief (maybe life will get easier for this poor child now), and regret. So that's why she spent all those cumulative hours screaming that she couldn't find her sippy cup--maybe she really couldn't. I have no doubt that she screamed at the top of the stairs because, with a combination of poor vision and almost no depth perception, the world really had dropped out from under her. The doctor says we caught it early, but, just like the Celiac disease with Naomi and Hannah, I wish I had caught it sooner.