Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I want to look normal.

I watched my 13 year old son sleeping on the morning of his surgery.  It would be just a few hours until he would be getting the eye procedure he had been waiting for.

  Ethan was born with a condition called "ptosis."  Basically the muscles in his eyelids never developed resulting in "droopy" eyelids.  After his birth, it didn't take long for the doctors to suggest surgery.  The fear was that because his lids drooped so far down, the brain would eventually shut down his vision and he would lose his sight.

His first surgery was done at 13 months old.  Both eyes were lids using a "sling."  he did wonderfully through the whole thing.  For was startling.  My baby boy had 8 incisions on his little face.  Although he didn't cry often, when he did his tears were bloody.  My heart broke.  He did indeed look different. Time went on, the swelling went down, and the boo-boos healed.  We could now see Ethan's chocolate brown eyes.  So could get lost in them.

Unfortunately his eyes began to settle and once again drooped over his pupil.  This time it was only one eye.  At 3 years old we were back at the ophthalmologist's office.  The healing and recovery time was easier and the change was not as drastic, although his eyes were not symmetrical.  The gentleman explained that this surgery was to restore function to his vision that when his melon stopped growing, around 10 years old, he should have another procedure to make them the same size.

Now there we were in Atlanta preparing to see one of the top eye surgeons in the country.  Ethan was so happy to be there and not nervous at he says.  He had told me countless times about the number of "jokes" that have been made about his eyes.  Everything from, "are you adopted" to comments made about him being Chinese/Korean.  He's a good sport I suppose...meaning he doesn't let on that it gets to him.  But to me, during our quite times together he will confess his hurt.  The Mother in me wants to make a visit to the homes of these jerks boys and tell their parents exactly what's going on.  I won't...I didn't.  I realize as we all grow up we have to learn to deal with these unfortunate situations; oftentimes the ones we have no control over.

Here we are in January with the newest procedure behind us and we are  6 weeks into our recovery period; back to school, basketball, and friends.  Although all his stitches are out, his eyes are still a bit swollen. The incision sights have now faded into faint pink lines.  Our surgeon did a remarkable job.  Unfortunately because of the swelling it has made it difficult to measure the difference.  Ethan had high hopes of an immediate difference.  Anyone who has had any type of surgery knows that isn't realistic.  I tried to prepare him for that, but it didn't change a thing.  He still held on to that hope. Now, disappointment has settled in.  He honestly feels as though he will never look "normal." (I simply despise that word.)  It breaks. my. heart.

My son is an outstanding, smart, witty, caring,strong, God-fearing young man who has never been afraid to put himself out there and try new things.  However, the need to fit in and feel normal is still there.  As much as I want my children to be, confident in themselves, the reality is that we all struggle with the hidden desire to fit-in.

Once again I am seeking wisdom from the only One who can provide it.  Only time will reveal the results from his surgery and only patience will get us there.  But the words I need and want to say in the meantime are simply not there.  I only wish he could see himself through my eyes, even more importantly, his Creator's eyes.

"The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared."
Proverbs 3:26

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