|For your five month birthday, we got you these free NASA approved solar viewing |
glasses and a once-in-a-century total eclipse. You're welcome.
No, he did not view the solar eclipse. But yes, this is the first pair in a long line of pairs of glasses this adorable little guy will wear. A couple of months ago we noticed his eyes moved back and forth a lot. I come from a multi-generational line of folks who could do a really cool party trick we called "jiggling our eyeballs." And I'm rather socially awkward parties, so that and wiggling my ears was really all I've got! I will say that my favorite response to this (and a frequent one) is when folks try to mimic my unique talent by vigorously shaking their entire bodies, veins bulging in their foreheads as they gleefully ask "am I doing it? Am I doing it?" No, you're still not doing it... But enough about me and back to this little googly-eyed guy.
He passed his early vision tests and has been reaching developmental milestones all on target. Nonetheless, by his 4 month check-up, I asked again about it as the nurse ran vitals. Our pediatrician is notoriously less worried than I am. I like that in a pediatrician. This time when he came in, he asked me how life was with a 4 month old, but was totally looking at my son's eyes while I answered. So much so that I could have said "watermelon, dairy farm, masquerade" and he would likely still have continued with "ah hah, yeah, oh yeah..." He made a diagnosis of congenital nystagmus and mentioned the one other patient he has with it. He talked about potential developmental delays and services we'd qualify for, surgeries, genetic testing, invasive imaging, associated disorders and diseases...Then he and the nurse told me how cute my baby is. It almost seemed apologetic at that point--like he's super cute in spite of his googly eyes and everything that may or may not go alongside that.
I think any parent can relate to the utter panic that sets in when you think something might be wrong with your child's health. First you fear the very worst, G-d forbid. Then when that fear subsides, you fear for the ways his life could be affected--everything from development to learning to how others will perceive him and how he will perceive himself. We are fortunate enough to have a great resource in my stepmother who is a pediatrician and has more than one patient with nystagmus. She quelled quite a few of my fears and so began the couple of weeks of waiting until our first ophthalmology appointment.
I got horrendously lost trying to find the darn place even with my own new glasses on. Y was a total trooper and fell asleep waiting for his eyes to dilate. Then he woke up long enough to open them and have them examined. The verdict at this point is that he is a googly eyed cutie pie who will wear some super cute baby glasses! His nystagmus is a seemingly isolated familial quirk and although he is farsighted, he is big, strong, feisty and, thank G-d, healthy. We aren't doing surgeries at this point or invasive imaging or genetic testing. We are monitoring closely and keeping our eye on it (oh yeah, pun definitely intended). In about a week, we will bring his new glasses home and he will finally get to see how incredibly good-looking I am! (Oy, I hope he still likes me!)
Maybe Y will inherit the ability to be the life of the party. Or maybe he will need some extra support to see that party at all. But for now, I can stop worrying about it. I guess, I'll have to find something else to worry about. Maybe I'll worry about my worrying again...it's been a while since I've worried about that.