Life is difficult, and has many twist and turns. Kristopher has had the privilege of learning this lesson early. He has learned early in life, that we are all a little different. At such a young age, wearing glasses is different. Thankfully, he has taken wearing glasses like a champ! I don’t have to fight him to keep them on, he rarely takes them off, he hasn’t lost a pair yet, he hasn’t broken a pair, and he actually askes for them if we somehow forget to put them on him. Along with learning that people are different, he has learned a great deal of responsibility at a very young age. My son is a very rough and active little boy. I just knew that he would break 20 pair of glasses a year and lose another five pair, but he hasn’t. At night he knows to take them off and in the mornings, he will ask where they are. The secret is…. He needs them. His doctor told me that the moment he realizes that he sees better with them, he will wear them without any issues, and he has since week one.
It’s been easy, but I get alot of crazy questions: “Are they personality glasses,” who puts personality glasses on a one /two year old? LOL. “Does he have a disability,” I’m still lost on the connection between him having glasses, and therefore having a disability! “Can he see with them on,” nope, I just put them on him to watch him walk into walls! I have learned that adults are special people. However, the question I never get tired of is, “How did you know that he needed glasses?” That question makes me smile, because it provides me with a chance to educate another parent, and potentially help another child. I first noticed that something was a little odd when Kristopher started crawling around. At about 4 months, I noticed that everything he wanted to look at, he got super close to, to see. It was concerning, but people told me that’s what all babies did. It nagged me a little, but I eventually let it go. At about 16/17 months while driving home from daycare, I looked back to admire my little one as I always did. He was staring out into nowhere, and it was then that I noticed his right eye shift further right, without his left eye moving. It freaked me out!!! I asked everyone if they had noticed it, but no one else had seen it. My family assured me that he was fine, and not to worry. Other moms just assumed that I was overreacting. I almost believed everyone, but the unsettling feeling in my stomach would not allow me to. About two days later, I saw it again. I couldn’t take it. I cried to myself in the car and called his pediatrician.
Here’s what happened after that:
Step 1: Contact your child’s pediatrician
Your child’s pediatrician will typically be the main doctor that your child will see the first years of his/her life, and is familiar with an array of children issues; including vision issues. Our pediatrician gave us an immediate appointment and tested Kristopher’s eyes. Of course his right eye stayed perfectly aligned. No matter what the doctor did, he couldn’t break his alignment. I became EXTREMELY nervous. Not because I was embarrassed, but because I was afraid that he would recommend nothing when I knew that I was right. His doctor stopped, looked at the fear in my face and said, “Mom, if you saw it, it is there.” I wanted to cry and hug him at the same time. He explained to me that most children don’t receive vision correction until they are school age, because parents usually miss it. He said however, when it typically is discovered it’s usually a teacher or mother. He reminded me that no one knew Kristopher, as well as I did. He wrote me a recommendation for a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. I left the doctor’s office scared, yet determined.
Step 2: Don’t waste any time and research
As parents, we can be big procrastinators. We do so much daily, that we forget the basic stuff. Please never wait when it comes to the health of your children. The first thing I did, was researched the recommended doctor. The reviews about his skills were phenomenal; however, the reviews about his office service were not. People complained of long waits and delayed appointments. I still called the ophthalmologist, because he was rated as one of the best. After calling 3 times with no answer, and then being told they could squeeze us in a month later, I was over it. Good or not, I couldn’t wait a month, and I’m very inpatient with extended waits. I started researching other good pediatric ophthalmologists in the area; I read a multitude of biographies and testimonies. Within about two days, I found the perfect doctor, and scheduled an appointment.
Step 3: Be prepared for anything
When going to appointments, set aside emergency money for prescriptions or whatever else may pop up. I had to purchase Kristopher a prescription to take home, because his eyes wouldn’t dilate in the office. We had to use the drops for a week, and it gave him an allergic reaction. I didn’t expect any of that to occur, but it had, and I had to roll with the punches. Kristopher was diagnosed as being severely nearsighted. His doctor informed me that he had probably never seen clearly, and that everything since birth has been a blur for him (I cried a million tears again). I asked if he would grow out of it, and she said that it was unlikely. I was crushed and felt like a failure. My mind told me, that I had allowed my child to walk around without being able to see clearly for 17 months. I had major guilt.
Step 4: Congratulate Yourself
After, we received Kristopher’s glasses, I let go of my guilt and found the brighter side of things. I now think back and smile with pride. I am proud of myself for discovering this early, and even more proud of him for being such a good sport. It also helps that he is super cute in his glasses!
Kristopher’s Mom, Kristina
(First time in glasses)