Monday, December 16, 2013

Glaucoma, cure, what?! A glimmer of hope

My eldest daughter, who is currently 7 years old, was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma in February of last year. It was devastating and utterly shocking news, on the back of merely four months after starting to file for divorce (after a long and difficult road of attempting to stay in a marriage that was attached to an inevitable, sinking ship) and just four months after delivering twins into the world, to be told not only that my daughter had congenital glaucoma but that the pressure level in each eye was dangerously high. The pressure was so high, the pediatric ophthalmologist was recommending surgery three to four days after diagnosis, after a consultation and second opinion from another surgeon. He said that my daughter needed surgery ASAP.


The father of the four children is still trying to cause mischief and wreak havoc in my life and to my life, nearly five months after our divorce has been finalized and over two years after I started filing for divorce. That he is still actively causing trouble (when I would have rather gone our separate ways peaceably) has caused me no small amount of distress and pain.


This morning, the visit to the pediatric ophthalmologist offered a glimmer of bright hope. I have been taking my daughter to see him every three months since the diagnosis and surgeries to check her vision and to check the pressure in her eyes.

This morning was the first time EVER, I heard the doctor mention glaucoma and cure in the same sentence, albeit, a very cautious, hesitant utterance.

Only congenital glaucoma, in contrast to the kind that develops over time (and gets diagnosed in older people), has a hope in having a cure through one surgery. What does that mean for my precious daughter? For now, it means we can put off seeing the doctor until June, which is five months from now. Though to the ordinary person, that seems to be only two months difference, that is nearly double the time of waiting between visits for us. And, the possibility that she might be cured?! Wow! The damage that glaucoma has done is permanent, but the surgeries have prevented further damage and glasses can help correct some of that severe nearsightedness.

I probably would not have gotten my daughter in to see this pediatric ophthalmologist had my ex-husband not lost his job and we were still on private insurance. I was angry and frustrated that he did not try harder to keep his job, especially after he was given a second chance to clean up his act. And, after he lost his job, he did not own up to the consequences of his actions. The children and I suffered the consequences of his actions, including but not limited to turning to government assistance for various things. It was through government insurance that I found the pediatric ophthalmologist. I was determined to get help for my daughter, who was really struggling to see. I found someone who could help her, someone who prevented her from losing her sight permanently. She probably wasn't that far away from losing her eyesight, given just how high the pressure was in each eye.

Remembering that separation (and ultimately divorce) from the nightmare in my life was not a complete loss, but that good came from it - such as saving my daughter's vision or benefiting from surgeries that would have otherwise cost some $25,000 per surgery out of pocket - is something I need to take to heart. There is light, there is hope, in my life. For that, I am truly thankful.

1 comment:

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