How Could I Not ‘See’ That My Child’s Eyes Were So Bad?

eyesNeither my husband nor I had glasses as a child. In fact, my vision is still pretty good in my late 40s except for the need to wear readers when I’m working on the computer all day. I can see far away and read signs when I’m driving that no one else in the car can read. My 12-year-old’s vision is perfect — never a worry about his vision so far, thankfully.

My now 5-year-old had to start patching a few years ago to help correct his eye from turning in, which is called strabismus, also known as hypertropia and crossed eyes. The official definition is “misalignment of the eyes, causing one eye to deviate inward (esotropia) toward the nose, or outward (exotropia), while the other eye remains focused.” I think he was around 3 at the time, and it was no easy feat making him wear that patch for several hours a day.

READ: I Knew Nothing About Eye Patching: Tips for Newbies

Over the past two years, we haven’t received any paperwork from vision screenings at school indicating he had any more vision issues, so we were relieved the patching did the trick, even though every once in a while we would notice his eye turn in. We both figured he’d grow out of it.

eyesLast year, I noticed a yellow sheet in his folder. I was shocked and upset to read he had failed his vision screening big time! He had been diagnosed with astigmatism and nearsightedness, and the strabismus was no better. Um, what!? No, they must have made a mistake. My child can see fine.

Then the guilt and the panic set in. Can he see? Is this affecting his learning and reading? He’s never mentioned anything looking blurry in school or at home. How did we miss this? I went into overdrive mode and immediately tried to schedule an eye checkup. I was being told two months, three months, four months. I was Googling every pediatric ophthalmologist in the city. I made two appointments and asked to be added to the cancellation list. Then, we waited.

READ: Glasses: A Mother’s Story of the Blind Leading the Blind

About six weeks later, we got in to see a doctor. She confirmed everything the vision sheet outlined and added a lazy eye muscle to the list — that’s why his one eye was turning in. And he needed glasses!

My son is very finicky with certain things, and I didn’t think there was a chance in you-know-where that he was gonna tolerate wearing glasses 24/7. Boy, was I wrong! He couldn’t wait to go pick them up. We went to two stores, and he picked out red and black Oakleys. He COULD NOT WAIT for them to be ready. He asked us daily if his glasses were ready.

He wears his little specs all of the time now and loves it. He adjusted better than I could have and hopefully is seeing more clearly now. And he looks pretty sinking cute in them!

Boy mom. Household CEO. Corporate leader. Outdoor lover. Social seeker. Sun worshipper. Curious traveler. Champagne enthusiast. These words describe me, Kerry Schicker, and contributor for Jacksonville Mom. I first approached founders Vicky and Megan after a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I had a very unpleasant experience with my OB at the time and I needed to get it off my chest so I wrote an anonymous blog that resonated with some of our readers. I have since written dozens of blogs mostly about motherhood. I have a passion for writing. My 20-year career has grown through some form of writing including TV news reporting and producing, magazine publishing, public relations, advertising, marketing, blogging and my current day job doing HR and employee communications for a Fortune 300 FinTech company. I am thankful that Jacksonville has such a supportive community for moms like me, and I can't imagine raising my two boys anywhere else.


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