Sunday, November 6, 2011

how my 4 year old came to wear glasses (farsighted, +10/+9.5)

how did i know he needed him?  i didn't. i'm still in shock that he has them.  the past week is just a blur to me.  i have 20/10 vision and my husband doesn't wear glasses either.   late this summer (when he was still 3), kendal started doing this "trick" where he'd straighten out his eye and say "look mom, there is 2 of you!" i thought it was just a trick- like crossing eyes (which he would occasionally do too, but on  purpose) and i never thought much about the eye straightening thing because i can do it too (if you can see those stereo/3D pictures - the wavy kind you have to stare at, not the kind with glasses - then you can straighten out your eyes too).  he was just doing it SO often (like every day) that it got me worried.  i didn't find much about it online, but i DID figure out that age 3 - 5 is when they should see the eye doctor for the first time.  so, i made him an appointment (for about a month later, that's when it fit in my schedule so i didn't have to take off work).  of coarse, he stopped doing the "i see 2 of you" thing.  so, i figured it was a trick afterall.  his appointment was at a regular eye doctor.

you know the machine you put your nose up to and they figure out what your prescription is?  well, that machine said he was  +8/+8 (farsighted).  this was at the regular eye doctor.  she said that this was really strong and, though she said that kids have a hard time relaxing their eyes so he COULD be tricking the machine, he would need to see a specialist.  she also described other things that would be sorta "signs and symptoms" of a farsighted child and, well, i was pretty sure he was not tricking it all the way.  so we quickly got into a specialist (pediatric ophthalmologist) and, turns out he wasn't tricking it at all. 
here are some facts about kendal that, turns out, may be related to his vision and not his personality.  i should start by saying  kendal could see the moon, and see the tiniest ant on the ground.  to me, that meant he could see just fine. i could not be more wrong!!!  his eyes were working hard to see that tiny ant, and maybe the moon too!
1.  at 4 years old, he can easily take a 3 hour nap STILL, every day and still go to bed at 8pm and sleep all night.  his poor eyes and brain need the rest from all that work they are doing to focus.  
2.  though he can write and draw, he ONLY likes to do it large.  you know the little lined paper they use at school?  his writing is horrible.  i always chalk it up to the fact he is a lefty.  no.  it is more likely because he couldn't see those dang lines.  (farsighted - can't see up close, can see far away things better.)  
3.  he also is not good at coloring in the lines - compared to other kids his age.  i always just thought it was because he was a lefty.  lefty's are special by themselves... holly, his 2-3/4 year old sister, is a better writer and colorer than him, and she's 14 months younger. (well, she technically can't write ALL her letters yet, but the ones she does write she can write neater and smaller than him.  she also is way better with details, which is probably because she can see them and not because she is any smarter or brighter.)
4. he avoids writing by saying "i can't do it, please help me"
5. he memorizes books - like the i spy books, which had convinced me that he could see clearly, he truly had them memorized.  all 12 that we have.
6.  i could go ON!!!

so when we picked up his $300 twistable and bendable and non-breakable (supposedly) glasses yesterday, and first he was shy, then he was fascinated with his feet.  it was adorable. he said "i can see where i'm walking!" he's asked twice to take (the glasses) off.  but, he hasn't seemed to mind wearing them.  they haven't slipped any (or much) which is surprising because of how thick they are.  they are buggy on his face - i mean, they look like magnifying glasses on his eyes.  i don't know how he sees in them (far away).   i guess i just have to trust that doctor knows what he's doing.  no, i don't guess, i know he knew what he was doing.  (dr. jordan at raleigh ophthomology if anyone is interested.)  

kendal can see the moon.  so, he can see his feet and the moon.  two very important things.  another very important thing that it took me 2 days to figure out is that he is still kendal, just with glasses.  he still acts like a 4 year old (WILD!) - and even worse, now that he can SEE i think i need to get his ears checked because his ears have stopped working!!!

since he has gotten the glasses, he has stopped squinting, his eyes have opened wider than ever before, he has not stopped moving (i.e. moving faster than the speed of sound), he is counting everything,  and is talking about things that he has seen every day of his life like barns, trees, horses, etc.  last night, he wrote between the lines for the FIRST TIME EVER.  he still writes sloppy but that will take practice!

here are some (a lot) of pictures.  remember, his prescription was +10/+9.5 and his astigmatism is 0.5/1.5 at 90.  he looks adorable with them.  i wish i had noticed sooner, but i'm glad i made the appointment and followed the advice of the 1st doctor, and then was placed with dr. jordan.  i am 100% pleased with our results.

see how he is squinting with them off?

happy to see!

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