Friday, May 20, 2011

Angel Eyes

Angel Eyes… do you remember that song? I have always loved that song… did you know that Jeff Healey is blind? Ironic isn’t it?
I had a pretty amazing experience yesterday, certainly one worth sharing- in my opinion.
Olive had her appointment yesterday at the Casey Eye Institute, I was a little more nervous than I expected to be. It was at 8AM, so we needed to leave here by 6:30 which meant getting Natalee to daycare by 6:15. We made it out of town on time and miraculously there was very little traffic so we were there early. I got up to the 5th floor where the Children’s clinic was located and no one was there yet, except for a teenage girl, Stacy, who was also waiting. She was cute, wearing glasses and using a cane to get around. She walked up to me and said “You can come sit with me, I found the waiting area with my cane.” So Olive and I went to sit with her. She sat down and said “So, is she blind?” while looking at Olive. I was taken aback, no one really just comes out and asks me about her eyes (even though they are wondering), but I figured she was completely within her bounds to ask so I told her that I didn’t know. She asked what was wrong and I tried to explain the best that I could. I asked her if she had always been blind. She told me that she always had bad vision, but then it started to get worse and she woke up one day with no vision. She told me it was scary but she didn’t let it slow her down, even though the doctors didn’t know why it happened. She told me all the things she still does and that it really didn’t change as much about her life as you’d think. I was just in awe of this girl… the receptionist showed up and asked us to check in. When I turned back around Stacy was already gone. Meeting Stacy made my day, week, month… what an amazing girl. I wish I could hug her and tell her how much better she made me feel about everything. I was finally not afraid for Olive. In an instant my fears for her happiness were gone.
A few minutes later, Olive was called back. We met 3 different doctors, they put numbing drops in her eyes and had to touch her eyeball with some machine that measured the pressure in them (it was normal, but I didn’t watch that part). They had all kinds of toys and things to see if she was tracking objects, which she wasn’t. Then they held her and kind of spun around in a circle to see if her eyes stopped moving when the motion stopped, and they did! Finally, her eyes were dilated and they were able to look into the back of her eyes. The news was generally good. She does have the retinal Coloboma in both eyes, but the left is only intermittent and may not have much effect on her vision. It is certainly her stronger eye. The right eye has a significant defect, about 20% of the retina and iris is missing. They predict that her vision will be about 20/100 (this means that she will see at 20 feet what a “normal” person would see at 100 feet, I learned something today!). Anyway… they said that we will likely patch her left eye to force the right one to work a little harder. After that, she will most likely wear glasses and function relatively normally.  We will work with some specialists to keep her from falling behind until she can really tell us what she sees. These are all just guesses at this point but I feel really positive about the whole thing. I’m so glad that we went there and thankful that I got to meet Stacy. We are in good hands now…


Sheila said...

Awww, that's awesome that you feel better! And what a neat experience meeting Stacy! Sounds like you needed it.
Glad things are looking good for baby Olive, too! She just looks tooo precious!

Nichole said...

Sounds like Stacy was put there just for you. <3 What a great story. Glad to hear good things for Miss Olive too! Best wishes!

Lyndsay said...

I agree with Nichole - I think there's a reason Stacy was sitting there this morning!

Will you still go to D.C. when Olive is 1?

Colleen said...

This is wonderful news! When you said that she would have 20/100 vision, I physically relaxed. Vision is a big deal in my life. I have 20/800 in one eye and not much better in the other. My left eye is correctable with a contact lens, but my right eye isn't correctable. So I walk around half-blind, sort of. I don't really think of it as half-blind because my left eye compensates for the right. If I were to close my left eye and only use the right eye, I could still see colors and lights and shapes and function totally normally, I'd just have a problem reading and watching tv.
Anyhow... all that to say that if they are able to correct her vision with glasses, that's great!

Kati said...

Stacy sounds like an angel. I'm so glad you were able to put some of your fears to rest.