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1/19/2016

Amblyopia... A Marathon

Amblyopia

As it is defined... Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye. (https://nei.nih.gov/)

That word that I keep thinking will fade from my vocabulary as quick as it came  seems to form a home in my mind. It is the eye condition our almost 5yr-old daughter has. 


Patches have become our daily norm. 
We just went to our check up appointment with our pediatric optometrist yesterday and, like always, he reminds us that doing patches is part of a marathon for her eye condition. But this time it sunk a little deeper. 

He was in a chipper mood so I jokingly, but very seriously told him family and friend will want an update, because they always do. I chuckled that I don't have much to say each time I have to answer. So he found the words for me.  "When people ask you, "how much longer will she need to keep doing that?" And "is she getting better?" you just smile and tell them about 6 more years."

6 years. 

Six. More. Years. 

I nervously smiled and nodded that I understood but I didn't want to. Was he really serious?  Sure I had heard him say from the beginning that we needed to be strict with treatment during these years until the eyes slow down and are fully developed around age 10. I just didn't realize this WAS the only treatment.

Part of my "instant gratification" mindset... I figured when the patch was either not working or when using it long enough had "fixed" her problem that we would either be at a point to try the next thing or be done all together.  

But, 8 years of using a patch???

My heart sank a little. At that moment a little doubt creeped in. Would it work? What if our years of effort didn't end with the result we so hoped for- that her brain would continue to use the eye instead of treating it like an outcast because it didn't work well, then lead to blindness in it?

I know there are worse things. 

But I reminded myself that girls aren't always as kind in school. When she goes to kindergarten in the fall she will have to wear the patch for most of her say. Will she get made fun of? She will certainly have to be prepared to explain. My heart cried at the thought that her eyesight might actually make schoolwork and her childhood school days a struggle. I guess I just expected the doc to say after 2 years, she was cured and ready to embrace her new world. 

But that wasn't what I heard come from his mouth. 

So now, as I sit here with tears running down my face, I realize a whole new phase of life and the struggles that come with it will happen in a few months. 

Truth. I need truth. 

God made her in His image. 

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." - Genesis 1:26

God knows her. 

Like Jeremiah, He knew her before she was formed in the womb. 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;"  - Jeremiah 1:5

God has a plan for her. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

God loves her. Truly. Wholly. Completely. 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

So today I speak these truths to myself. 
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  - Psalm 104:24

I shall not despair over this minor thing when Christ gave up His life, suffering on my behalf. On her behalf. She is not alone in her sufferings, even if they only exist in my imaginations.  And if she should only suffer in my imagination, let it quickly be covered by the truth of the gospel. That Jesus gave His life up for her. That he knows the struggles in my mind.  Whatever comes, Christ has given hope to us. 

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. - Romans 5:3-5

So I will continue to use this to point my prayers heavenward, that God will use this in her life to draw her close to Jesus.