Lindsay blogs about her son Jack, who was born with cataracts, at Jack’s Journey. She shared this lovely letter that she’s written to her new baby girl. – Ann Z
Someday, you might be reading this blog and wondering why I wrote all of this for your brother. Well, now that you’re at the wise old age of 3 months, it’s high time I explain a few things to you. After all, by this age, Jack had already had 2 surgeries and was wearing glasses!
First off, I love you baby girl, but you are a terrible sleeper. It’s enough for me to put on matching shoes every day!
But that’s not the only reason. You see, your brother was born with cataracts. They’re kind of like special beauty marks on your eyes, except that he couldn’t see past them! He had to have two surgeries to remove them and now he wears his glasses, or the special contacts that go on his eyes.
You were born into the world of eye doctor appointments, glasses and contact lenses. You were 10 days old when your eyes were dilated for the first time. The doctor and your mommy and daddy wanted to make sure that if you had cataracts too, we caught them right away. So far, so good – you’ve already had 2 eye doctor appointments and several trips to the pediatrician!
You’ve never known your brother without glasses. Now that you’re grabbing things, they’re one of your favorite things to grab when he comes in for one of his many kisses a day. You’re very lucky for many reasons. One is that you don’t have cataracts, but I think you are the luckiest because you have a brother that did. Your brother is the strongest, bravest, neatest kid I’ve ever met. He is such a good big brother and loves you so much.
You may be wondering why you have to keep going to the eye doctor, or why you keep getting those special dilating drops once a year. Well, it’s because we know. We are now highly educated in the field of eyes…baptism by fire, some may call it. We know what to look for in pictures if your eyes cross, we rejoice when your pictures come out with red eye in them. We feel guilty for staring at your face, relieved there aren’t a pair of glasses on them. (Don’t get me wrong, Jack pulls off glasses better than anyone I know, but there’s just something about staring at his glasses-free face sometimes.) We constantly panic when we think we see a white fleck in your eye, only to be a reflection.
There was a time when we were scared we couldn’t have you, for fear that what Jack was going through was so bad, we couldn’t possibly do it again. At the end of the day, our family has so much love to give, and the good news is, not only could we do it again, I have pure faith that you would be a fighter, just like him.
So if you ever wonder why Jack has a blog and you don’t, please know that you a big part of his story, and “eye” love you, too!
Mommy and Daddy
My daughter Beth was born with cataracts also, she inherited them from me. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was a year old. The way they “fixed” them in 1948 was using needles to puncture the cataracts. I went through 10 surgeries in one & 1/2 years. My daughter was diagnosed at 3 months. She had 2 surgeries and started wearing contacts at 4 months and glasses at a year. Many times the dog would eat the lens when they fell out. Made for some fun times between trying to find them on floor and get to them before the dog. This was in 1974. Over the next year she had to return to the Cleveland Clinic for 8 more surgeries. Mostly to make sure that her left eye was ok. Both of us are legally blind in our left eye. I got implants while in my 50’s. That things have changed so much for children today who are born with bilateral cataracts, there is a better outcome. We went though the same thing with our second daughter, having her checked out and glad to find she was fine. Good luck. By the way beautiful children.
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Very cute way to explain this to your little girl 🙂