At first, she was inching herself closer and closer to the computer if there was a video playing. Constantly making her move her body back “to protect her eyes” made me wonder. Then we noticed she would sometimes strain and cross one of her eyes to see something in the distance. It was time to get her vision checked out. Result? My baby needed glasses.
As a mother, I felt both agonizing heartbreak and lung-filling relief throughout this process. I was heartbroken to hear the doctor explain she has probably never been able to see much in the distance. For four years, this child has had such a limited scope of vision! I feel so negligent. And then, to see her able to see things for the first time, exclaim excitedly about a detail in a picture that she’s lived with her whole life but never truly seen, and to see her eye no longer crossing itself: well, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
The experience of going to the Beijing hospital on second ring road (west) that specializes in ophthalmology for children was, to be blunt, harrowing. We had to take a number, the line-ups were ridiculous, the factory-style diagnoses were disconcerting, and my daughter felt scared and nervous in such chaos. Nevertheless, it seems we have solved the problem.
When we are back in Canada this summer, I intend to get her re-tested. I think having comparative assessments from both countries will finally settle my lingering anxiety. It’s also important to re-test regularly in a developing child, as we were told by the physicians.
And she loves the color. They had to be pink. She’s thrilled!
Photos: Courtesy of Ember Swift