Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On the Occasion of His 9th Birthday

Here's a reprint from my first attempt at blogging. I wanted to put something on here to commemorate my first son's 9th birthday. He's on a break from vision therapy (I'd call it maternity leave, but that would seem weird), but the story bears telling. Mercy me, how I love this boy!

Seth is such a fascinating creature. Being his mother has taught me so much about God, faith, growth and slickin' down hair (his always looks like he just combed it with an egg beater).

He was born with a cataract in his left eye. When he was 5, he had surgery to remove the clouded lens of his eye and have an artificial lens put in. Since then, he's been in vision therapy to correct his strabismus, esotropia and amplyopia (which is what I'd have named triplets if I'd ever had them).

Because the vision in his two eyes is so disparate, his brain had shut off his cataract eye and just interpreted images from his intact eye. One-eyed vision provides no depth perception. Even with the cloudy cataract removed and a crystal clear new lens implant in place, Seth's brain still didn't recognize the signal coming from his "bad" eye. So we began vision therapy to reintroduce his brain to his left eye and get them on speaking terms again.

Blah, blah, blah, and so on and so on. <--That's me skipping the technical stuff. In August '06, Seth had no depth perception. Not a glimmer. Not a whit. Depth perception is measured in arcs per second. 40 is about perfect. 80 is okay. 800 is the worst that can be measured. Seth's was incalculable. More than 800. Probably more like a patrillion, but that's just a guess, and (I'll tell you since it's probably not obvious) I'm not really that technical. Eight months later, he scored 100.


On the chart. Measurable, repeatable, reliable. It was a banner day at the Wilson Domicile, as this one little victory represents daily, difficult, exhausting visual work. There's still so much work to do, but this little measurement is like a Gatorade and Powerbar combo meal that will keep us going a while longer. We will run with perseverance the race marked out for us. He marked it, we'll run it. To God be the glory, we'll glory in our portion.

Establishing the precedent that I can spiritualize anything: I will now give my theological insights on the above experience:

Seth was born with a condition that got worse as he grew (like sin). In fact, the mere act of growing increased the severity of his problem (like sin). His brain's way of coping with the visual deficit was to shut off the signal from that eye. Just ignore it. Make do with what the right eye could see. It was the only solution his brain could provide, and it gave him better vision than a mixed-up, partly cloudy image. We were created to see clearly and that was his brain's way of dealing with the problem.

Enter a great physician. He examined the problem, identified it and made a plan to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a specially made, specifically calculated, individually designed replacement. A cut was made, the offending object was smashed to bits and sucked out, and a pristine new one was perfectly placed. Hooray! Success! Salvation!

End of story. Not.

The bad lens is out and the good lens is in, but the brain doesn't know the difference.

We spent at least an hour and a half every cotton pickin' day giving Seth's eyes specific jobs to do that would wake up and train his brain's visual system. Stimulate with light, train with exercise, deprive the "good" eye with patches. Stimulate. Train. Deprive. And wait. Just like the good work begun in us.

There are encouraging signs, little ones, that those of us who know Seth can see. And occasionally, there are big signs, like the test results above, that can be measured. Make no mistake, friends, the work is being done with the end nowhere in sight. The road is long and rocky and pretty lonesome sometimes, but God is here. Pulling us up, pushing us on, lighting the next step.

Depth perception. Seeing not just height and width, but perceiving that the object being viewed has depth. Lord, give me depth perception.


  1. That is an amazing story and so very well written - glad you decided to share it in honor of your son's birthday. :)

    Welcome back to blogging. I am so completely excited to be reading your wonderful posts without any spam ads. :)

  2. A) I'm so glad you are back.
    B) Oh my gosh the blogskin is cute.
    C) I'm so glad you are back!