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Not entirely unexpected

I was in eighth grade when I got my first glasses. I was nearly legally blind my vision was so bad.  The lenses in those glasses were coke-bottle-bottom thick, but for the first time in my life, I was seeing things clearly, instead of just blurs and blobs.  Trees actually had individual leaves! I was amazed at what I was seeing, and my parents were amazed that I’d gotten that far without anyone realizing I simply could not see. I had a love/hate relationship with those glasses.   They took an already-shy me and shot my self-confidence to the ground. It was a blessing in disguise when my purse, with my glasses in it, was stolen during swim practice my sophomore year of high school.  I got my first contact lenses and life changed again. Sadly, my vision has not improved in the least.  Without contacts or glasses, I can hardly tell which kid is coming into our room in the wee hours of the morning.  I can’t tell what time it is on the clock beside the bed unless I pull it within a few inches of my eyeballs. I just can’t see.

With all this in mind, I knew when we had kids, at least one of them would be doomed to a life of glasses and/or contacts. I’ve just been waiting for that particular shoe to drop. I was sure when Ryley was born so early his vision would be a problem.  He has dealt with a visual processing issue the past two years. His ophthalmologist assures us his vision itself is totally fine. Amen! Two years ago when Grace had her eyes tested during a well-check, the writing was on the wall.  She tested at 20/40.  Her doctor wanted to keep an eye on it (pardon the pun) because Grace was at an age that kids’ eyes are changing and imperfect vision at the time is almost expected.  I took her back last week for another well-check.  Together, her vision is 20/20.  When you cover one eye or the other, she’s 20/25.  Dr.  S still wants to keep it on the radar but isn’t too worried. 

We got home from school yesterday and in the mail was a letter from school.  Apparently, they’d done vision testing on the second graders and Gracie didn’t do so well.  20/40 in both eyes.  They want us to take her to an eye doctor for further testing. My only surprise at the letter was that she’d  just been tested at the doctor’s office a few days before and the results were different. Honestly, I would not be the least bit shocked if Grace needs glasses. I’m just stumped at the different results in tests so close together.

She is my mini-me.  Doesn’t it make complete sense that she’d follow my footsteps in this as well? I’d just like to catch it early if that is the case, but do we wait it out based upon the pediatrician’s testing, or follow-up based upon a school nurse’s evaluation? Sometimes I wonder if my own experience, and my expectation that at least one of the three would end up with bad eyes makes me notice things that aren’t there…..ie Grace pulling the books closer and closer to her face, Grace mis-reading words I know she’s familiar with, Grace not seeing what’s right in front of her…..Why don’t they tell you before you become a parent how hard it actually is to be a parent?

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