By Gwen S.
To say the least, the world of prosthetic eyes has invoked experiences that I never could have imagined, even in my wildest dreams.
We, like many of you, have had to learn new terminology and learn how to raise a well-rounded blind child (and in our case, well-rounded siblings too).
So I would say life is a smidge different than the original blue-print.
Yes, different. And not so much because of the drama of explaining to people that Ivey does not actually have eyes (she has bilateral anophthalmia), but more so learning to laugh, when we can, in the oddest situations that we tend to find ourselves in because of her eyes, or lack thereof.
I remember our first visit to the ocularist. I do not know about your experience with doctors, but ours was a little rough around the edges! Ivey was only weeks old and there we found ourselves sitting in this office that we never knew existed waiting on this person to come out to meet us and give us a set of eyes!
Emotional does not quite cover it. The actual moment of meeting the ocularist was worse than anything I could possibly have imagined. Now do not laugh, but of course at the time I was still trying to figure out just how someone actually wants to make fake eyes for a living. Obviously, it was not an area I had ever put thought into.
Anyhow, a man welcomed us into this office and began talking, but all I heard was the sound of the teacher in the Peanuts talking: “Wankkkk. Wankkkk. Wankkkk…..” I was traumatized. He was beaming at photos of people he had made eyes for; all the while I was petrified.
He even pointed out a picture of a horse he had made an eye for. Somewhere in the conversation he lifted his closed fist to me, I offered out my open hand, and then about five little eyes dropped into to my hand to only stare back at me. Needless to say the meeting was over for me. Yet we still went home with a set of conformers. Looking back, I can only laugh at the irony of the situation. I should have gotten a sense of humor sooner.
There are countless stories about Ivey’s eyes that we joke about, and only in good humor, but none makes us more proud than relating ‘The Elevator Story’. To make a long story short, Ivey does not like to wear her eyes. Therefore, she literally plucks them out whenever possible. Imagine an eye falling in between the floor and the elevator, which happens to be about an inch wide, if that, down the elevator shaft from the third floor. Sounds impossible, yet it is. When it happened we laughed, those who did not know us must have thought we were nuts. Imagine explaining to security that you need to go down to the basement to find an eye in the elevator shaft. Obviously, that takes some explaining on your part and an imagination on their part.
Apparently, for those who do not have children with bilateral anophthalmia or microphthalmia, that particular situation is one deserving of sad tears. Needless to say, we laughed until we cried.
Ivey has not worn her eyes in over a month now. Like I said, she is plucking them out left and right, day and night. On top of that she is putting them in her mouth and chewing on them like bubble gum. So after a long battle, we put them in a drawer until a later time.
Last night I opened the box they are kept in just to take a peek at her beautiful green eyes. I miss them sometimes. Imagine my surprise when there was only one. So now we are down to one eye, and so far no chance of finding the other. All of which has nothing to do with the current topic, except to think that somewhere there has to be a funny story just biding its time.
My point is… sometimes you just have to laugh. We need not always take things so seriously. In between IEPS, therapies, specialist, etc, our children’s lives revolve around serious people; it’s our job as their parents to laugh, to teach them to laugh. Most importantly, sometimes we need to laugh.
Read this article in Arabic: حيوا-السيدة-العمياء