To my son I’m a giant blob

By 10th June 2019 No Comments

I found out something huge today. We met with our ophthalmologist. A lovely man. Who whistles and sings to Mikaere and works hard to illicit a smile. He’s lovely, and makes the effort to be sure I know what’s happening and am at ease. I wish all doctors were like him.

We know Mikaere’s vision is not 100%. We know he can’t see everything and relies heavily on his other senses to understand what’s going on around him. He explained Mikaere can’t see. He can’t SEE. He doesn’t occupy the same visual space as I do, because he can’t SEE like I do.

This, more than anything, has knocked me for six. My baby can’t see like I can. To clarify: he’s not blind. He can see some things. The example was it was like looking through a piece of Swiss cheese that keeps moving. Or listening to a foreign language where you know four or five words, you can grasp some meaning when you hear a word you know, but it’s gone so quickly and you’re back to incomprehension.

Another, more visual example was this. We see this:

A person with CVI might see this:

Our ophthalmologist officially registered Mikaere as sight impaired. Essentially, there is nothing wrong with his eyes, his brain isn’t processing the vision signals like we would. And that’s everything.

Just… of all the things we’ve been focusing on, vision was not high up the list and it should have been. I’m only just now realising what this means for him.

It means everything is moving too fast, everything is happening too fast for his brain to catch up. It’s why he looks away before he reaches for a toy. It’s why he startles so easy, because he uses his hearing to compensate and he can’t anticipate actions that make noise (in addition to his moro reflex being crazy).

I’m not sure how to help this, how to compensate, how to give him a way to navigate his world.

I just… my son can’t see like we can. He doesn’t exist in the same visual world that I do. I’m heartbroken for him. He lives in a completely isolated world, where not much makes sense. Honestly, NKH is rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

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