Thank you so much to Crystal, for sharing her son Grant’s story. You can read more of Crystal’s writing and more about Grant at her blog, Sight Restored. -Ann Z
I could probably make an accurate guess that most of us have heard the story in the Bible where Jesus heals the blind man. I have heard the story a million times, but for the first time ever I have wondered how the blind man’s mother must have felt.
The weekend after our son, Grant, turned 2 months old, my husband and I started noticing this rapid movement with his eyes. We had noticed earlier that he wasn’t focusing that well. Having an older child, we knew that he should already be focusing but we also knew different children develop at different rates. We assumed he was just a late focuser before this point. This weekend was much worse though, and I was worried. He was constantly moving his eyes back and forth…back and forth. On Saturday morning, my husband had to go into work and our older son slept in. I spent a substantial amount of time that morning trying to get Grant to focus in on me. No such luck. My anxiety with the situation was increasing greatly.
We had to go out of town for a wedding that evening, where we met my parents. As my dad was holding him, I decided to confide in my family our concerns. I remember my words (and how crazy I felt saying them) as if it were yesterday. “Dad, I’m afraid Grant might be blind.” You should have seen the looks I got from my family. They had to think I was nuts! They spent the rest of our evening trying to prove to me he was tracking their fingers!
I was not put at ease. Sunday night I was standing over his crib, with his eyes moving everywhere, sobbing, begging him to “look at mama.” I knew something wasn’t right.
We had his two month check up the next morning, and thankfully I convinced my husband he should probably call in to work and go with me. Our pediatrician immediately noticed something was up, and recommended our first step should be to go to an Ophthalmologist. They got us in with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist that afternoon.
I was so scared. All I could do during the three hour break between doctors was hold him. And cry. And pray.
After a quick exam, the Pediatric Ophthalmologist informed us that Grant had cataracts. I felt like I was hit by a Mack Truck. The mother of all Mack Trucks. I lost it. I couldn’t hold it together at all. I kept saying, “So he can’t SEE???” Even though I had thought it all weekend, I realized at that moment that I hadn’t really thought it. He started spitting out things about surgeries, glasses, contacts, lens implant surgeries in the future…. Everything from then on is fuzzy to me. He told us we could walk over to his optical shop and look at the glasses. When I saw the lenses, the tears started flowing again. Those terrible glasses could NOT go on my beautiful baby.
The next nine days were L-O-N-G! I couldn’t get a grasp on what we were dealing with. After all, we had a two year old who had never had a medical issue, much less a vision disorder. I hit the internet. I found a million things on just about every other eye disorder, but barely anything on congenital cataracts.
Nine days after finding out, Grant had the surgery on his right eye. Exactly one week later he had the surgery on the left eye. We have never faced anything so scary. My husband and I couldn’t stand watching them walk away with our baby. Two of the greatest feelings we have ever felt were watching them walk back down the hall with him after both of the surgeries. Especially after the second one. We knew at that point we were finished, and we were getting ready to face a new normal.
The very next day, well there are no words. I will let this video show you what it felt like to see this angel see for the first time. (Please excuse the strong southern accents you hear!)
We are now a month out from the second surgery. We were able to stop all of the drops except for one yesterday (Hallelujah!!!), and we are pretty use to this new normal with glasses. You want to know the funny thing? I prefer Grant with his glasses now. They really have become a part of who he is. I love them because they give him vision. And let’s just face it. I think we will all agree that there is nothing cuter than a little four eyes!