August 31, 2012

The Way I See It

In 1998 I was diagnosed with Amblyopia. As a result of seeing double, I struggled to figure out which object was the "real" one. My mom recalls me saying that I could see two scissors when I practiced my fine motor skills. At times I would tell her that I saw two mommies. After a visit to the doctor, they said that I was almost legally bind in my right eye. My brain found it easier to stop using my bad eye instead of laboring to see out of it. We were also told that my right eye has Accommodative Esotropia, otherwise known as a Lazy Eye. Although this wasn't good news, we were blessed to catch it as early as we did.
Just before my 4th birthday I started Eye Patch Therapy. Wearing an eye patch throughout the day became the norm for me. My left eye was covered with the patch, and I was forced to start using my right eye again. This treatment helped strengthen my weak eye, and it also retrained my brain to use both of my eyes together. I can distinctly remember how painful it was to remove the band-aid type eye patch each night. Eventually, I didn't have to wear a patch anymore, but wearing my Bugs Bunny glasses was a must.

Fast forward to 13 years of wearing glasses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because I faithfully wore my glasses at an early age, I now have 20/40 vision. It is apparent that my left eye can see better, but day-to-day tasks are not hindered. I'm not allowed to wear contacts, but wearing glasses full time isn't the end of the world. My lazy eye is kept under control with the help of my glasses, and it only turns in when I am over tired. Recently, I was thrilled to find out that my driving is not affected by my condition!

I still have some trouble finding the right frames that will hide the thickness of my right lens. At the moment I am battling a glare issue with my newest pair of glasses. This kind of stuff can be so frustrating! They have replaced 5 pairs of lenses, and they still aren't right. I feel like I am irritating the owner of the store by attempting to fix the lens once again. My biggest fear is that my right eye will decrease in clarity as I constantly try to look past the glare in the bottom half of my lens.

There are nights when I lay in bed feeling stressed about my eyes. "What if I start to lose vision in my bad eye?" "What if something bad happens to my left eye?" Questions like this run through my head, and sometimes I end up crying out of fear. I find myself asking God why He gave me two different eyes. Life would be a lot easier if I could be "normal" like everyone else. This is when I stop and say, "God could have given me perfect vision, but He chose not to." I need to look past my jealousy, and be thankful that I can use both of my eyes so well. God does not make mistakes. I can trust Him to protect my eyes like He has in the past, and remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 139:14 

Medical Definitions
Amblyopia - An uncorrectable decrease in vision in one or both eyes with no apparent structural abnormality seen to explain it. The loss of one eye's ability to see details. Amblyopia is the most common cause of vision problems in children.
Accommodative Esotropia - A form of strabismus, or "squint", in which one or both eyes turns inward. The condition can be constantly present, or occur intermittently, and can give the affected individual a "cross-eyed" appearance.

Children who get treated before age 5 will usually recover almost completely normal vision, although they may continue to have problems with depth perception. Delaying treatment can result in permanent vision problems. After age 10, only a partial recovery of vision can be expected.

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