Monday, March 28, 2005

Blogging from the edge.

I think I’m finally ready to talk about what happened last week. I know my absence freaked some of you out since I typically post several times a day. I truly appreciate all the good wishes I received. It does help to know people care.

Last Monday I took my son to the eye doctor. He had been complaining about the vision in his left eye being fuzzy, and he hadn’t had an exam since he was a little boy. Still, I didn’t think much about the appointment. I was sitting out front, sucking on a blow-up and reading a gossip mag when the doctor called me into his office.

It was pretty clear the Optometrist was concerned about something but it was also clear that he didn’t want to say too much. Especially in front of my son. First he asked if anyone in my family had a problem with astigmatism. I told him no. He didn’t seem to believe me (why in the world I would LIE?) so he asked to look at my glasses and after examining them he confirmed that I do not have astigmatism. Duh. He then questioned me about my family and I again told him that there are no problems with astigmatism. The doctor seemed confused.

He then proceeded to tell me he thinks my son has a condition called Keratoconus which caused his cornea to become thin and bulge into a cone shape. Then he told me that I needed to take my boy to a specialist. I asked him how to treat the condition and he told me I needed to talk to a specialist. I asked him if he would need surgery, and he told me to talk to a specialist. It was pretty clear this guy was not going to give me any more information. He did say he was going to fit my son for glasses because his vision in his left eye is 20/80 and that glasses really wouldn’t help much. That’s great. Thanks a lot Doc! As soon as we left the office I called a “specialist” (a.k.a. an Ophthalmologist) and made an appointment.

After picking out glasses my son and I went to the library and ran a few errands but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about what the doctor said. I couldn’t wait to get home and look up the strange word on the Internet. After dropping my son off at a friend’s house I went straight home and turned my computer on. That was when I discovered the Internet is no longer my friend.

I learned that Keratoconus is a progressive disorder with no known cure and that people with the condition often describe their vision as being “blind with light.” That was about as far as I got before I completely freaked out. For a minute I seriously thought I was going to choke to death on the giant knot which had suddenly formed in my throat. Then I started bawling and running all over my house looking for some place to go where Keratoconus would not be. I called my mom and tried to tell her in between sobs that my son is going blind. I called my friends and I called my family and I called his Dad. I completely lost my mind for about two days. Needless to say, I didn’t want to go anywhere near my computer. Ever again.

Eventually I calmed down. After all the questions about astigmatisms, my son thinks that’s what he has. No big deal. Not wanting to freak him out, I forced myself to pull it together. I also learned more about the condition and realized that IF in fact my son does have Keratoconus it does not mean he is going to go blind. It could mean that he will suffer with vision problems all his life. It could mean that he will have to wear painful, hard contacts to treat the bulging cornea. It could also mean that he may someday have to have a cornea transplant. Or it could mean that he just has one wonky eye.

All I know for sure right now is that he won’t be able to play baseball anymore and that he will never be able to become a pilot in the Air Force. Those are the two things he talks about most. That and learning languages. He loves learning new languages. (It’s hard to believe he came out of my body.) After we left the doctor’s office, he looked at me and said, “Well, I guess this means I’m going to be a linguist.” Yeah, my kid is THAT great.

So, that’s the story behind the “family emergency” that caused me to stop blogging. The emergency was that I lost my mind, and anything I might have been able to write would probably have come out as gobbley gook. I now have a stack of papers in my bedroom full of news I neglected to comment about. I’m starting to remind my self of the crazy old cat lady down the street that never throws anything away. If things don’t get better soon, y’all might want to consider organizing an intervention.

I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things this week and start blogging again. I’m also hoping to get some good news when I take my son to the doctor. But most of all, I’m hoping I don’t lose my mind again if I don’t.