I almost think I will not be able to explain this fully through a blog...but I am going to do my best....
Those of you who have known us for a long time know all this, but I am going to share a little background for anyone reading who doesn't....
Katie, our 5 year old daughter, has had a developmental delay with her gross motor skills from birth. She didn't crawl until 11-12 months and didn't walk until she was 17 months old. Her pediatrician didn't seem overly concerned (although she is quick to refer to any kind of blood test available-another story) but she did eventually refer us for physical therapy for her. She went for a month or so....was catching up somewhat....but still far behind her age group. She is also very big for her age, so it appeared to be even worse than it was...for a child that looked 2 years old to be barely walking. She is smart, was talking, mentally fine. Just confusing to us all around and frustrating.
It really broke my heart as a mom. Why was our little girl dealing with this? I prayed over it, I worried and cried over it....but we were in such a different season of our lives at that time. I was a full -time student...pregnant again...dealing with all kinds of things.
Eventually Katie caught up to be not that far behind. We figured and accepted that Katie is just Katie. She likes to walk slowly, she very very slowly and cautiously took steps one at a time on the same foot, didn't enjoy playground as much as she should...etc...just heartbreaking.
Side story ....at her 4 yr check up, she was slightly not perfect on one eye during her vision screening. They said follow up with an exam, but with the "over-cautiousness" of my pediatrician always reccomending some test or another I didn't ever get around to taking her. Katie is SO smart..already knowing all her letters and sounds at 3 years old, and in the earliest levels of reading at 4. I talked to her 3 yr pre-k teacher who agreed that Katie was doing GREAT in school and didn't seem to struggle with her sight at all, saw things fine in class, etc....plus we did not have vision insurance.
Fast-foward to Oct 2007. Katie is taking Tumbling classes....not doing so well as we expected. I mean I am proud of her because she has started turning foward rolls (a major feat), attempting the balance beam, being a real trooper. In our first year of homeschooling I had started noticing that Katie was having fine motor skill trouble as well. It was a struggle for her to concentrate on forming letters with a pencil and for putting little pegs in a hole. I just thought, well Katie will be a little behind with fine motor skills also.
Nov: 5 yr check up. Same results with the eye screening. For some reason (GOD!) I decide since it is the second time, we will take her for an exam.
Yesterday: Take Katie to the eye doctor. They spray her eyelids with this stuff that makes them relax the eye muslces so they cannot strain. I quickly notice during the exam as it was confirmed by the dr. Katie's vision is extremely bad. She basically sees in blur. Both eyes are very bad, and one is hardly being able to be used at all because she has overcompensated most likely for FIVE years!!!! She has no depth perception. She has no peripheral vision.
I asked the dr. knowing the answer, "Could this possibly affect her gross motor skills?"
The dr.'s answer brought me straight to tears: "OH ABSOLUTELY YES!"
She continued to say that it will also make them complain of headaches (check) and make them feel sleepy (double check!).
It all makes so much sense now. But I never would have thought that her delay in going up and down stairs, jumping, climbing on playground equipment, etc. was due to her sight, as much as it seems SO OBVIOUS now. And her tiredness....just everything. I might have thought of it had there been ANY other symptom (not learning letters, not recognizing objects, not being able to see things we saw) She was "seeing things" but just the way she had always seen them and was smart enough to adjust to that. Motor skills were the ONLY thing that she showed a delay in, which to anyone would seem to be a strenth/movement/confidence issue. Difficult to have confidence climbing a ladder with blurred vision and no depth perception!
At first I felt SO overwhelmed with guilt. But the dr. assured me that it is wonderful that I brought her in when we did because something can still be done about the one lazy eye and that she is just starting serious school so this is year.
As the day went on I went from guilt to complete and total overwhelming joy!
What a BLESSING! Katie, whom I have cried and worried over...who we had just accepted to be a little behind...is going to have a HEALING of sorts over this thing we weren't even thinking about anymore. And I am compelled and happy to give thanks where thanks is due, because I can't even tell you what a miracle this is for us. I really wasn't planning to take her for an exam. She didn't seem to show ANY symptoms at all with struggling with sight. She has dealt with it for so long that it is just normal for her. She doesn't struggle academically, has started reading by just getting by with her one eye. There was no sign that she would need glasses. I fully expected to get the same result as at the pediatrician: she is a little bad with distance. It was the opposite: Katie has trouble with closer distances. Which even further explains the particular issues she has (handwriting, pegboards, balance beams, steps, etc.)
We weren't worried over it anymore actually, we were past that point. I didn't even know that this was an area that was even "up" for a miracle anymore. But we were just dealt the biggest blessing of our lives!
GOD was in this from the beginning.
WHY didn't I take her last year? Because God's timing is PERFECT!
My husband and I have also been on a spritual journey the past 6 months in a new season of our lives....and if we had been given this miracle last year....we would have said Thank God, but not to the degree we can this year. God is real and in our lives as #1 priority to us now, and he knew that ALL HONOR would be given to him...in THIS year, at THIS TIME, and in THIS CIRCUMSTANCE.
I am just so thankful I can't express how much. We are excited to see in a few days when we get her glasses how the world is going to change for her. I am holding on to the faith that was poured out on us yesterday. I will not let it fade.
I know that Katie's first few days with "working eyes" will be an adjustment, but I am ready...SO ready to see how this changes her life. THANK YOU GOD!!!!