Friday, January 29, 2010

Peter and his eyes

In my introduction I did mention that we were told that Peter would be blind. We lived about a year, not really knowing if he could see. Day after day I did the "follow my fingers" move, but really could not assess if he could see. So we just waited and hoped. Interestingly, Peter loved laying upside down, to the point that he struggled on my lap to position himself so his head was hanging upside down. And there he stayed for extremely long periods, content. Later, we learned it was probably related to his vision as he could see much better in that position.
About the age of one years old, we knew he could see, just not how much. Happy though, that he could see some things. At first, the doctors felt he could see shadows, but not really sure how much or what. Later, it was determined that he could see straight ahead, but did not have a visual field above or below. That became quite clear when I had the cutting board open one day and he ran smack into it as if it was never there. So. knowing this, we tried to keep his visual fields safe. As he grew, still not sure what was going on with his eyes, he wore glasses. actually very large glasses! After time, we decided he could see "well enough" without the glasses and keeping track of the glasses was always an issue. Today, if you met him, you would never know that we thought he would not be able to see. Actually, he defies all odds as no ophthalmologist has ever found an optic nerve in either eye as it is obliterated by his colobomas. As defined by Wikipedia "coloboma (also part of the rare Cat Eye syndrome) is a hole in one of the structures of the eye, such as the lens, eyelid, iris, retina, choroid or optic disc. The hole is present from birth and can be caused when a gap called the choroid fissure between two structures in the eye, which is present early in development in the uterus, fails to close up completely before a child is born. A coloboma can occur in one or both eyes". And if you looked into Peter's eyes, he looks as if he does have cat's eyes. But who cares...he can see and that is all that matters. I do wish, I could get inside his head and see what he sees, just to understand...but I can't and he has adjusted so well!
As usual there is always a special person who took the time and patience to treat Peter. Growing up, he had a vision therapist throughout most of his schooling, and an extremely patient ophthalmologist. A thank you to the doctors who treated him by patiently encouraging him to look into the machines, taking longer than normal just to do an exam, and to Linda who kept tracked of him during his school age years, she was like a school angel. Thank you for your patience, you have a special place in our hearts.

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