Tuesday, April 22, 2008

 Vision

It’s a word that can have many connotations. From dreams and imagining what could be, to simply what we behold with our eyes. On more than one occasion I have taken the physical function of vision for granted. Have you ever thought about it? Like really thought about the complexities of our eyes taking in data which our brain interprets? What would life be like if we were not able to experience a sunset in all its fiery glory? Part of the joy in my life comes from colors, faces, beauty. I will always enjoy these things, but I am realizing that there is so much more to true beauty than what our eyes can see.

It’s probably pretty obvious by now that a lot of my life lessons (writing material...) have come from a certain little boy who wears braces on his legs and calls me “mama”. He has helped me to appreciate aspects of my life which I had rarely taken note of before his entering it. Now my other two are continuing the lessons.

K can see very little. He has two things working against his eye sight. Neurological and optical issues have both tried to sneak in and take a precious function from him. Being the resilient little guy that he is, he has adapted and thrived in spite of these things. Much is to be said for the medical professionals who have made tremendous strides in so many areas that have been helpful to K. Above all we know the real reason that he sees even the little that he is able to. The one who gave him his life has seen fit to bless him in this way.

When K was in the NICU he required the assistance of a ventilator for over 2 months. An ill effect of this life giving measure was causing trauma to the blood vessels in his eyes. He suffered a condition called retinopathy of prematurity to its highest degree, stage 3. He had laser eye surgery but was still at risk for retinal detachment, due to the ROP, for a couple of years. There is also possibility that the ROP has caused him to lose some vision in his upper quadrants. Regardless of what has caused it, we know that he is extremely near sighted. We aren’t sure exactly what K can see. From our observations it would seem that he can not see much past arms length. I think even at that proximity he only sees shapes and forms. When he looks at books he prefers his nose to have contact with the pages. :) He loves watching DVD’s, and often scoots his little Elmo chair quite close to the TV for viewing them.

On Friday we took K to a new eye Dr. We weren’t extremely pleased with his previous one, so we acted on the high recommendations of some of his therapists and Dr.s. We took him to a great pediatric ophthalmologist who is extolled as the best in the far reaching area. We now agree! Again, I just can’t say enough for the amazing qualified people who have come along side us and become valuable parts of K’s care and well being. K now has a prescription for new glasses which will be significantly different than his current pair. I can hardly wait till the new lenses are ordered in and we are able to observe K with this change for the better! His previous doctor had told us that the prescription he has now is the strongest they could give him. He led us to believe that they had done every thing they could for K's vision. I am really hoping that our new Doctor is right! I am always so pleased when any thing can be done to improve his enjoyment of life.

I try not to get stuck on thinking about the things K may miss out on in life as a result of some of these vision issues. This affects his eyes, not his ability to dream and to see so much that even I can not. His intuition is already showing up to be quite outstanding. He will be a man of vision. I know that God has a unique and wonderful plan for his life. I am humbled to have the privilege of being a part of that plan and watching it unfold.

I am delighted for this opportunity of fresh perspective. The perspectives I've had as a mom who would do any thing in my power to give my little boy the things that would make life easier for him is changing. An understanding is dawning on me. Easier isn’t always better. In fact, quite rarely is that the case. It is such a deeper, more meaningful life which takes the road less traveled. The one who can see things internally and contemplatively may have the upper hand.

Last night Dave and I were able to share our story to an education class at a university. I met a really insightful student who walked with a walker that was a larger version of K’s. Some of his story is similar to K’s. He talked to Dave and I after our presentation and I was struck with some of the intuitive perceptions he vocalized. We shared our perspectives with these students as they prepare to go into classrooms and teach. Some of them are focusing on special Ed and wanted parental feedback on such issues. This particular student, who could relate with K on some levels, was an example to me of God’s amazing plan for each person. We all have gifts that differ largely. We can’t all have the fastest legs, the craftiest hands, the quickest wit, but we all serve an important purpose. Those who may get overlooked or judged harshly (and wrongly) may just be the ones God will use to change the world.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Yay for new glasses! And double YAY for second opinions!!

PS - So glad you started the Seeking Him...wish you were here to discuss it with us :)

Sarah M. said...

I am excited to see how K's new glasses work!
It is neat to see how God is strengthening Him and how he continues to defy medical understanding!

Lisa said...

This is beautiful! What an inspiring post...
I am so glad I found your blog - you and your family have taught me so much...

Amanda said...

i have so enjoyed coming to your blog...seeing how God is using K to change the way you see things and to teach you. you have an incredible way with words!