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  • About Heather

    Hi and thanks for stopping by!

    My name is Heather. I'm a child of God, wife of 12 years, and mom to two young boys nearing 3 & 6 years old.

    I have been blogging on and off since 2003 and have covered a variety of topics: recipes, cooking, photography, being a stay-at-home-mom, surviving melanoma, retiring from photography, my faith, hobbies, mommyhood, the array of therapies required for the special needs in our household.

    I'm far from perfect. His grace is enough! Join me as I share my journey...

Regression and Doubts… and Advocate

It’s Thursday night and it’s been a HEAVY week!

About a week ago I noticed Little Brother’s left eye (previously his stronger eye that we patched) was turning in more and less dominate.

It’s soooooo disheartening and frustrating to see regression after all the countless hours of vision impairment school, PT, intentional “tracking” play… but it happens. 🙁  I feel guilty but I don’t know what I could have done to prevent it.

The slippery slope goes like this:

  • I ask God (ok, sometimes COMPLAIN) for healing or some “ease” instead of such a struggle
  • His answer doesn’t completely align with “my ideal”
  • I ask again
  • His answer is the same
  • I ask less
  • I pout
  • He stays the same
  • I pout some more about “the problem”
  • then I pout some more about God not answering me how I want to be answered
  • then realize I have stopped hoping & asking… and I wonder why I feel so bombarded and discouraged
  • I realize there’s worse things in the world but this is not ideal and wonder when my circumstances will be “better” so I can be closer to God
  • my pouting isn’t paying off and my (bad) theology is based on feelings and not on the Truth
  • I over-analyze…. (see, slippery slope)

Anyways, we went LB’s “school” on Monday and I asked about the recent eye change/concern. They recommended getting a MRI to pinpoint a neurological diagnosis and getting (yet) another opinion from (yet) another eye doctor.

So what did I do? I panicked. Maybe I’m too gullible. Maybe a part of me felt like they were right… But I was mostly fueled by fear and that’s a dangerous combo when you are UNDER-educated on what’s going on.

I questioned all our decisions up until this point. I was a MESS!

My husband, the voice of reason, said “they have a lot of experience, but what did Dr. B say? He’s a dr and he actually DID LB’s eye exam.”

Ahhhhhh…. right.

So I called Dr. B’s office and gave him a recap of their recommendation.  He said his concern level is very minimal… BECAUSE Little Brother can still pull the left eye out and track straight.  When I cover/patch his right eye, his left eye immediately engages.

He said we’d do an MRI if he thought there was a lesion. If his eye seems stuck, then there’s room for concern and an MRI would be a good idea.

*sigh of relief*

We live in a society that seeks information, a diagnosis, more medical tests, the extremes… sometimes these are totally warranted. And perhaps we will do some of these down the road. But it’s not necessary at this point. I am certainly curious about what an MRI would show.  Deep down I know his eye issues are a neurological issue… do we or do we not need an MRI to “prove” that?

Anyways, Dr. B encouraged us to patch the right eye, then the left eye for 15-20 minutes a day while doing intentional mid-line crossing and tracking play. We’ll do that each day between now and our first vision therapy session.

I’ve determined it’s a “good time” to patch his right eye (now dominant) at breakfast time. That focal length causes him to turn his left eye in more if we don’t patch. Then we do some intentional tracking play.

With what I’ve read online, I’ve constructed a “game” with a string and blocks… to teach him that these items are linear and spread out. Little Dude LOVED helping. 🙂

We played it with and without the patch… just for a couple minutes each time. He started out parallel to the string, then went to the side to investigate. 🙂

game

Along with Little Brother’s regression, we’ve had some challenges come up with Little Brother’s school plans for next year. It’s a LONG story, but the bottom line is that he’s VERY young for his grade and we want him to do another year of preschool. The school and state may or may not allow it. I’m praying for favor and a miracle so that he can stay at his “home school” with the teachers he loves and does well with.

Have you heard of Malcolm Gladwell? He’s a great author with fascinating books like Outliers, Tipping Point, and David and Goliath. I’ve been listening to the David and Goliath audiobook and it’s been divine timing. He illustrates the “big-fish–little-pond” effect with some school examples. Extremely bright students who attend Ivy-league schools are less likely to get good grades OR even a degree vs. extremely bright students who attend a “good” university (second choice school). Employers would rather hire the “second choice school” graduate. He also explains how being in the bottom of the class can be extremely detrimental to emotional well being and cause behavioral issues.

In other words, we want to allow our son to be a big fish in a small pond so that he loves to learn and is eager to attend school. Our situation is much more detailed than this, but it’s in a nutshell what we’ve been dealing with this week.  It has certainly compounded my emotions.

I will fight to the end for my boys. At MOPS today we had a great speaker and a few questions to answer in response to her talk. We went around the table and we each shared an asset we offer our kids.  My table leader said “you’re an advocate for your boys!” That’s a great word… advocate.

When I read that word, I think of a framed print we have in our guest bathroom. It’s a list of the names of the Lord listed in the Bible. One is advocate.

Merriam-Webster defines advocate as:

: a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy

: a person who works for a cause or group

: a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law

Jesus is our advocate… “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” 1 John 2:1

As I said, this was a tough week. I cried. I yelled. I burned in anger. I wondered why. I questioned if I had what it will take. My boys deserve better than this.

Not coincidentally, as I type this, I’m listening to another audio book “Killing Jesus” and it’s the part of the book that details the BRUTAL execution Jesus faced.  No matter how hard I fight, I won’t fight to the level Jesus fought on that cross. That’s the point. I can’t. I won’t. He already did… so I don’t have to. On days I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for good news… I need to fight the urge to push away everything, including THE Good News.

It’s HARD when you feel so exhausted and can’t “connect the dots” or see how Jesus being our Advocate makes a difference in the here & now of the sometimes ugly daily grind.

Then it happened. My negativity “vibe” rubbed off on our 4 year old son. Our sweet, smart boy who loves to learn about Jesus, pray for his brother, dad, friends and teachers… he didn’t want to pray before going into school.

Later he admitted he didn’t “hear Jesus.”

I reminded myself as I told him: “you have to read your Bible everyday, so you can learn to hear what Jesus sounds like… some people really hear his voice, but most people learn his Truth and know him that way… until Heaven.”

Then he INSISTED on reading the “big” Bible before bed. In other words, not the illustrated Children’s Bible… a NLT, ESV, NIV variety.

The urgency in his eyes humbled me. That’s the kind of urgency I don’t always have… simply because I don’t get exactly what I want. I so easily lose sight of eternal purpose when it’s uncomfortable…

Please leave a comment below & share with your friends. All comments await my moderation.

Kasia - December 25, 2014 - 11:00 am

finding myself with rare downtime to read through blog posts and saw this. my 2 cents is keep LD behind until he is 5 going on 6. A fall birthday is always tough and I know many little boys, including my brother, that would have benefited from an extra year before K. I think the district/states must allow it- esp since he IS enrolled in a preK/preschool type program with them- right? anyways I didn’t want to text you on Christmas day about this and I know you filter so you don’t need to post to the blog but I just wanted to encourage you to go with your gut and God on this. much love to you all I know this is a rough season for you to fully enjoy the merry and bright but I am thinking of you today and praying for God’s joy to shine through the darkness.

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