Pardon me while I spend the next seven days trying not to freak the $#@#!$ out.
My son, who is on the autism spectrum, came home a few weeks ago with the results of his eye exam at school. Here in the Northeast, we are fortunate to have nurses in every school and they run vision screenings once a year. Michael’s are always fishy. They always send me a note saying I need to get his eyes checked out. But the pediatrician always says that his eyesight is fine at the well child visits.
A few years ago I decided I better take him to an eye doctor, because I wear glasses, and so does my husband. My husband’s eye problems are very minor and he didn’t even start wearing glasses until he was in middle school. But mine are severe. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was two, and my mother was partially blind in one eye. I have astigmatism, extreme lazy eye and am far sighted. So I figured I’d better get an eye doctor involved since there were questions.
Michael’s visit was a disaster. Three year ago, I think it was. Since Michael is on the spectrum, you can imagine what the bright lights, the asking of questions by strangers, the dark rooms and the strangers in the waiting room brought us. But the worst was the drops to dilate his eyes. I ended up having to hold him down on the floor so they could be administered. And after that? He was not exactly compliant with answering the questions the doctor had.
Still, the doctor gleaned enough information then to tell me that he didn’t believe M needed glasses at all. I was shocked, but relieved at the same time.
Fast forward till a few weeks ago. Michael gets tested again at school, and comes home telling me that he mostly sees out of only one eye. This is classic lazy eye talk, so I promptly seek out a new eye doctor based on friend recommendations (since the other one didn’t exactly handle M’s freak out very well) and make an appointment.
The whole appointment was going about how I expected. The doctor was, as promised, fabulous. Funny, caring, really careful knowing Michael’s issues. Michael is also older now, so much better able to handle his discomfort. There was lots of reading letters, looking through various lenses, and I was sure that they would be writing me the script for Michael’s new glasses.
Michael’s vision is nearly the same between the two eyes, and both are below the threshold for needing correction. He doesn’t need glasses. But he definitely is favoring one eye over the other. The question is, why?
The doctor was perplexed. Normally, lazy eye comes from disparity in vision between the two eyes. One compensates for the lack of ability of the other. But that wasn’t the case with my boy. Either his eyes had been much more disparate in the past and he hadn’t been able to communicate it, and now the eyes are growing and changing and becoming less different, but the habit is in place.
Or this is a recent occurrence. In which case something else is going on.
There’s no way to know. M says that it isn’t recent, that he’s always been this way, but it’s hard to know, because his concept of time is not the same as the rest of us. Also, he never was able to communicate clearly about much until the last few years. His teachers never have thought (even last week when I asked them) he had a vision issue. He’s never had headaches or crossed eyes.
So, we have to find out if there is “something else” going on. Which means an MRI scan at the hospital, next week. With M’s issues, he’ll have to do it under anesthesia, because there’s no way he could lay still for the amount of time he’d need to.
It’s probably nothing. It’s probably a situation that he’s had forever and is just being able to communicate.
I have to wait at least seven days to know that for sure, though. And in that time, I have to be sure not to consult Dr. Google. Because Dr. Google is scary. He talks about things like aneurisms, and tumors and all sorts of scary things.
So I will watch, and wait, and try not to freak the #$@$# out. Still, if you have a prayer to throw in our direction, I would be grateful.