iiii nnneeveeer kknnneww

Can you read the sentence above? Could you read a paragraph like this? A book? Could you digest what the words mean? 

This is how my Sadie sees words. 

Well…that’s not true. She actually sees the books like this:

The little girl holding the umbrella? That’s Sadie’s close up world. So if she can make out the word she has to decipher what it looks like before her brain can tell her what it means. 

And  it’s doubled because at a certain distance Sadie’s eyes converge and she sees double. 

And that’s been her world. 

And I never knew. 

And she didn’t know it wasn’t right. It was her normal. 

Only her normal makes her have to work twice as hard to make sense out of the letters she is able to discern.  Once she gets tired she probably has to work even harder because one eye is seeing one thing and the other eye is off doing its own thing. 

And I never knew. 

Here she is with her big brown eyes and adorable smile. Notice her eyes? They aren’t quite aligned. But it’s minimal. Easily overlooked. The picture is at an odd angle. They are hayes eyes and change shapes. Those are all the lies I am telling myself. 

Here she is after “working” at the doctors office for a few hours. I said,”Sadie-quit doing that…I want to get a good picture of your new glasses.” She asked what she should stop doing. This is normal for her. Nothing she is seeing with her eyes and varying random angles registers as out-of-the-ordinary. Because it is her ordinary!

And I never knew. 

“Oh..am I freaking you out?” She innocently asked. 

I didn’t think I could feel like a worse mother. I was wrong. 

“I am sorry baby…momma shouldn’t have said that,” because when her eye did to this extreme I would tell her to stop because it freaked me out. It was always most prevalent when she was making a goony face and crossing her eyes. I thought it was a parlor trick like touching your tongue to your nose or making your ears wiggle. I had even used to old standard,”if you don’t stop your face is going to freeze that way!”

I didn’t know it took conscience work–literal effort for her to stop. 

All those red days at school where she would come home dejected and sad because she’d had a bad day…now I wonder how many of those days were reading days. How many times had she has to read the same sentence only to still not understand it’s meaning before she threw in the old To hell with it flag and misbehaved?  

How many times did she get an answer wrong because her brain saw the numbers differently…say left to right? And how many times did she genuinely not understand why it was wrong because 12+1 does equal 13. And sometimes that is exactly what 21+1 looked like to her. I can almost see her sassy brain saying,”fine-don’t believe me?!? I’ll just break a rule or two.” Out of frustration was it easier to move her clip then to go over the same problem that she saw the same way for the 5th time?

I don’t know that is what caused some of her behaviors but I damn sure wouldn’t blame her (now) of they did! 

I never knew. I punished her for bad behavior. Part of the punishment???? Reading alone or writing…2 things that I now know are difficult for her to do. 

I even have a blog somewhere semi-complaining about the amount of time it took us to read a single bedtime story! 

Yes, I know her brain works in ways that are mysterious to me. I understand she’s got more then fuzzy words and double vision yo contend with. But that’s all software. It was my job as her momma to give her the hardware she needed to make that software in her brain work. And I wasn’t doing my job. 

And I never knew. 

And she never knew to tell me. 

Now we know. 

She’ll have glasses-bifocals to wear to strengthen her eye. The bottom will correct her hypermetropia. Added magnification will take some strain off her eyes. Bi-focals on a ADHD child. I can’t stand reading glasses on top of my contacts and I have to ask her to maneuver bi-focal?????

Hopefully the glasses, if we can navigate them, will help the esophoria. I don’t know if the glasses will help the saccidoc eye movements she also contends with. I do know that after a month of wearing the glasses for any close activity work….

…this is the same child who has lost 4-four-Quatro pairs of goggles in the few weeks she’s been swimming. Now we are going to have to have her keep up with a pair of way more expensive than goggles glasses?…

I, as usual, digress. After 4 weeks of keeping up, getting used to and wearing said glasses we get to re-evaluate and see if her 4th nerve palsy would aid from vision therapy. 

For those of you counting there were 4 non-Libby-sounding-words in the sentences above. Those were the 4 diagnosis we left the doctor with today. 

And I never knew. 


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