Raleigh cried today! I mean, he REALLY cried! Tears... REAL tears! Out of BOTH of his eyes!
I know that it probably sounds crazy to you to hear me say that I am so so happy about that... but, let me explain. Since he was born, there hasn't been one time that he has cried without me looking at him and wondering if tears were going to come or not. I've had nightmares about it.
Mainly because the first year of SJ's life was a tearless, horrible nightmare when it came to anything realted to her eyes. When Sarah Jane was born, she had clogged tear ducts - that means, she could not cry tears. Instead, her eyes filled with gook... thick, green gook. My sweet little baby would wake up in the mornings with her eyes sealed shut. She would scream like she was in agonizing pain when i would try to wipe them with a wet cloth to get them open. She lived with big red circles around her eyes. It was so pitiful -- so, I took her to the doctor, like any first time Mommy would.
My pediatrician sent me to a local eye doctor (whose name I won't reveal here, but if you ask me in person... I will be HAPPY to give you his name b/c I would rather cut off my pinky toe than send him any business) - We'll call him Dr. D just for fun.... use your imagination on all the wonderful things it could stand for. Anyway, Dr. D told me he was going to do a probe surgery on her eyes... which is basically just what it sounds like. He was going to put her under anesthesia and probe into her tear duct and remove the blockage. Seemed harmless enough and I was a new Mommy, so I didn't know any better and doctors ALWAYS know best, right? WRONG!
I took my 4 month old baby to Phoebe and handed her over to the nurse... they took her away and I cried in the waiting room until they brought her back to me. We went back to see Dr. D a few weeks later and he said that her right eye was no longer blocked, but her left one was and he wanted to try it one more time. So when she was 6 months old, we did that surgery again.
He called me in the waiting room from the operating room to tell me that there was alot of scar tissue and he wasn't sure if it worked or not. Her little eye bled for the rest of the day.... and two weeks later, he confirmed what he told me after the surgery. It didn't work.
He then told me that he didn't have any other options... he was going to have to a DRN (I have no idea what that stands for, and he didn't tell me) --- but basically, he wanted to cut her face and make a tear duct for her.. leaving a scar on her face. He told me not to worry about the scar, it could be removed when she was a teenager... ????!!!!?? ummmm, no - at that point, I told him I would just deal with the clogged tear ducts.
Now, I know that this sounds like a petty problem to a lot of people, and maybe it is on the grand scale - well, it definitely is... but she was still my baby, and she was still in pain, and it killed me. I cried everyday, every time that she cried. It was heart breaking.
I very vividly remember standing in line at Hobby Lobby in front of a lady that had several leftover acne scars from her teenage years and she asked to see the baby... I knew what she was going to say. The response was ALWAYS the same... but I stepped out of the way anyway, only to hear her say what I knew was coming "Oh, What's wrong with her eye" (I mean,in retrospect... my baby had green bugers ALL OVER her little red chapped eye... I probably would have wondered too) ... but I snapped on that poor unexpecting lady. I just looked at her and said, "What's wrong with your face?" and then I turned around. She didn't say anything and neither did I. Years later, I still feel terrible about saying that to her. SO, unsuspecting Hobby Lobby shopper... if by chance you are reading this blog, I am SO SO sorry... it had been a long few months of people asking me what was wrong with my baby (that I thought was so totally and completely perfect)...but, still - shame on me for taking my frustrations out on you.
When I told my friends what Dr. D had said, one of them told me that their mom was a nurse in Dothan, AL --- so she called her for me. MUCH to my suprise there was a pediatric opthamology specialist there. I quickly called and set up an appt with him. He was great - and I will gladly send anyone who asks me about eye doctors to see Dr. Sugg in Dothan, AL. He's worth the drive, I promise!
Dr. Sugg told me that he had never heard of a DRN... and that doctors are not supposed to perform ANY surgeries on infant eyes until they were a YEAR OLD! I was more than a little ticked with Dr. D... I still am more than a little ticked.
Dr. Sugg waited until Sarah Jane was a year old and he tried the probing surgery again, but it still didn't work - too much damage from the first two surgeries. SO, he waited a month and he put tubes in her eyes... It's alot like putting tubes in your ears. He ran a small tube from her top tear duct to her bottom and through her nasal cavity.
She was supposed to leave the tubes in for 6 weeks, but 4 weeks into it Sarah Jane rubbed her eye and her little pinky got stuck behind the tube...
Dr. Sugg was out of town at a pediatric opthamology conference.. in Los Angeles! I called him on his cell phone and he told me he would catch the night flight and fly back to meet me at 5 a.m. at his office. He assured me that the removal surgery would be no big deal and that he was going to do it in his office and it would take no time -- but in the meantime, my SJ had a tube sticking out of her eye and putting pressure on her little nose bones.
SOOOO... I asked him if it wasn't a big deal, if I could do it myself. He seemed a little shocked, but he put me on speakerphone in the middle of the table and him and a group of his colleagues talked me through the tube removal.
It was something I never want to do again - Sarah Jane, George, and I all three cried... but when SJ cried, there were tears!! Our tears of fear and sadness were immediately tears of joy. It was a horrible, WONDERFUL day!
At the check up from that experience, Dr. Sugg did a test on Sarah Jane's eyes and told us that since she had so many surgeries and trauma to her eyes, her vision was severely impaired. Without her glasses, Sarah Jane sees comparable to how someone with good vision would see if they opened their eyes underwater.
So, at one year old - we put my baby in glasses, thick glasses. Thanks Dr. D.
Sarah Jane looks adorable in her glasses, but this year in school she has had a hard time with people picking on her --- 4-eyes, dork, nerd, so and so doesn't like you because you wear glasses.... ugh, kids can me SO mean! I don't know what to say to my 6 year old when she cries and begs me for contacts. I'm tempted to let her have them just to spare her the cruelty.
Anyway, I say ALLLL of that, to say that today was a WONDERFUL day here in the Houston home - Raleigh cried baby tears, and I cried Happy tears! Never thought I would be happy to see my baby cry, but I was!