When I had M, my first little mons-ner (above), he was such an adorable peanut. The softest skin, the bluest blue eyes, long skinny spindly legs. I called him my little tadpole with those legs. In fact, he still has very blue eyes and long skinny legs, in many ways, he is very much the same. I still remember the very first time he smiled at me and looked me in the eyes – its the same smile he has now. He has my eyes, and I remember being so in awe that I saw my own eyes looking back at me! How shocking that was! My world suddenly changed and nothing was about me anymore. Eventually, we had our roly-poly blue-eyed second little boy, A, and then our vibrant Miss. S. Now, my world is constant motion revolving around my 3 little mons-ners. I simply didn’t care anymore about going out with friends, seeing big movies, having the newest must-have electronic toy. I cared about baby classes and diaper bags and which diaper cream would be best. I could not have been happier about that. Now, however, because in my world, everything is still about them, I find it difficult to fit in all the things that keep me going: doctor’s appointments, hair cuts, um, lunch. I finally pulled out the calendar and the phone and got to making some appointments all at once for myself this past week to get them out of the way for the year. Friday was my optometrist appointment to get a quick exam and new glasses. I had to fit the appointment in between 2 school schedules and swimming lessons – no problem. I arrived at 11 AM, had the eye exam, pressure test and went to pick out frames. The doctor came back to find me to re-do the pressure test. No problem. One more pressure test and back to looking at frames. They really didn’t have the darker pink color of frames that I was looking for so I settled on purple. The sales person was beginning to get irritated with me because I kept leaving…. to have an additional pressure test. After the 3rd or 4th pressure test the doctor pulled me back into the examination room for a consultation. Now I was nervous. My eye pressure was elevated and he suggested I see an ophthalmologist soon. “Absolutely”, I said, “I will make an appointment on Monday”. “No, I mean you need to see someone today”. Oh. Um, ok. He gave me a card for a referral and wrote some notes for the new doctor that I would be seeing and sent me back over to look at the frames. Again. At this point, I did’t give a flip about the frames. What good were frames if I wouldn’t be able to see out of them in the first place? I picked up the purple frames that I had casually looked at once before, paid with the wrong bank account (sorry honey! I was very scattered!), and left, an hour and a half after I had arrived. I called the ophthalmologist’s office on the way home and got a harried receptionist who obviously needed a lunch break or something and didn’t want to be on the phone right then. After hearing that i would be a new patient, she really didn’t want to talk to me because that would mean more paperwork (I’m guessing?) for her and booking my appointment. She said they didn’t have any availability for a few weeks and asked if the referring doctor had given me any further information on my contact sheet. I read her the list of numbers in reference to my eye pressure and said that I couldn’t make out the rest of the handwriting. She put me on hold. When she came back on the line, she asked if I could come in at 3:45 PM that same afternoon. I hesitantly said, “sure”, and tried to mentally figure out how to work everyone else’s schedule around mine. Now I was really nervous. My stomach was in knots. Thankfully DH was home for the weekend and we swapped mons-ner duties. Later that afternoon I was in the ophthalmologist’s office having test after test after test on my eyeballs. I was actually tired from seeing so many flickering lights. I should probably point out that up to this point, I had only been wearing “driving glasses” for a couple of years and have never had much of any trouble with my eyes whatsoever. After all the testing, the doctor sat me down and said, “You have a really good optometrist. It is very unusual to catch something like this so early. You have glaucoma with pigment dispersion syndrome”. What?? I have what? And suddenly, just like that, while I was sitting in that blue chair, my world turned inside out and now my focus was completely on me for a moment instead of the mons-ners. It had been a really long time since I mentally focused so much on myself. The doctor gave me a bunch of literature and a prescription for some trial medication to start and tried to reassure me that I would be fine, not to panic, that I had caught this very early. The trick was, I would have to be extremely vigilant with my treatments and medications because any further damage would just add to the permanent damage that was already done. :::deep breath here:::: Ok. ok.
I called DH and explained my diagnosis and well, went on with my evening appointments for the day. When I did get home eventually around 10PM. I was just emotionally exhausted. It was a different kind of worry to be worried about myself instead of my mons-ners. I need to be healthy and actively able to care for the mons-ners in order to do my job. I was going to have to figure out how to organize myself to keep me going strong, and learn not to take that for granted. Its new, so I’m working on it. I have a medication schedule now as a visual reminder of what I took when, so that I don’t miss anything or accidentally cause fluctuation in my eye pressure. As a parent, I think its natural to have a shift in focus so that children become the forefront of our lives. As they grow older, I am learning, it is also important to shift a little of that focus back to ourselves so that we can stay strong for them. It is a long road, after all.