Baby Blues

Nov 28, 2005

My little boy turned one this past Monday. Two days later he had surgery. He spent the first part of his week examining his new cache of toys. He spent the rest of the week recovering.For those who don’t know, my little one had and has a problem with his left eyelid. Put simply, he just can’t open it all the way. Without resorting to fancy terms, he’s missing the pieces he needs to yank that sucker open and that’s a problem. It’s a potential problem for his future eyesight in that eye and, yes, it was at least a slight cosmetic problem as well.As a parent, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter problem that’s bothered me the most, but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect. I’ve always thought that the issue with his eyelid registered about a 2 out of 10 on the child ricter scale. There are children far worse off than mine. The eye itself is fine. His eyelid could be considered a blessing compared to what many parents are forced to reckon with. But the cosmetic aspect of it made it something that couldn’t go away in public. We were asked about it — queried about it at every turn. I carry my beautiful boy around and people want to talk about his eyelid. I wanted to show them everything else.

But cosmetics weren’t something that would have us run to the hospital, particularly when the heart of someone so young was at stake. Instead, it was the potential of future complications. Without a proper view of the world, he was sure to develop some problems with his vision. He might have a lazy eye. He might lose his vision on the one side completely. That’s when talks of specialists and the possibility of surgery was brought up and, eventually, decided upon.

Even the idea of surgery is a pretty horrid thought to a parent. Trust me, I know. Chase’s surgery was originally scheduled for very beginning of November. We spent a good month dreading the thought. We spent an early morning getting things packed and sifting through hours of traffic. We spent our afternoon cursing the incompetence of an anesthesiologist who was blissfully unaware of Chase’s bout of sickness late in the week before, a sickness that called the whole thing off.

So we got another month to ponder it. We had a birthday to celebrate and a holiday to work around. We got another month of dread and another early appointment. And, this time, he had the surgery.

That morning is still filled with little pictures, some good, some bad: the doctor’s explanation — the wife’s short tale of his sudden nap before it begun — the slow walk to the vending machine, unsure if it was safe to leave the waiting room for even a minute — the sound of his cries as we headed into the recovery room to see him — the time spent comforting him — my first peek at the results. It was a trying day, for all of us. We were grateful to get him home and, perhaps, just thankful that he woke in the first place.

The next couple of days we spent recovering. Our little one wasn’t particularly happy about his eye. In truth, he looked like someone beat him up. His eye swelled open, leaving me to wonder if we did the right thing after all. He was pretty miserable and none of us slept much the first day or two.


On day three, the little guy was sick of being sick. Along with his first birthday, he had discovered the joys of walking. He was ready to continue his journey, which often took him from the couch to the TV to the couch. He was tired of the careful hands that accompanied his attempts at flight but they followed him anyway. They still do.

Thankfully, the swelling has very much subsided. It’s still there but
it looks like the other guy got the worse end of the fight. Three incisions and, their accompanying stitches can still can be found above his left eye. These will be around for a while and the resulting scars will be around a bit longer. But, and this is a very big but, I’ve seen two beautiful eyes staring back at me a lot.

Sometimes they aren’t looking my way. They might be inspecting the end of a spoon or scoping out his next destination. But I can see them and it makes my own eyes well up a bit. I never knew what I was missing.

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Sally
    December 11th, 2005 at 4:06 am #

    Just read your "baby blues" and some tears came down my face. Chase is so beautiful and it is so nice to see both eyes. Kind of touches the soul thinking about the love we have for our "boys" and of course thinking of Matt this time of year with his "baby blues" too. Good writing!!

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