When Your Son Might Be Blind

I have taken my oldest son, who is 15, to a doctor every day for the last four days. The saga began when he got up Sunday morning and while showering, thought he saw a “worm” or something squirmy on his shoulder. But when he looked away, the worm went with his line of sight.

The “floater” continued to increase in irritation by Sunday night. So Monday I took him to his pediatrician, who said that he saw nothing wrong with his eyes, but would send him to an opthmalogist to be sure.

[The amazing miracle is that although the opthmalogist is booked out until July, we got in within 24 hours. Never have I seen this before, even with my youngest son who apparently has SMA and has nearly died from it on a number of occasions. Even in urgent–but not emergency/911–situations, it’s taken a few days to a week before we could get into a specialist.]

So day 2 we show up at the opthmalogist. He declares that he sees nothing wrong, but just in case, refers us to a retina specialist…one of the leading ones in the area. I figured NOW we’d at best have to wait a few days…which was a bit concerning since a retina detachment is scary.

But not so! Now it’s day 3 and in less than 24 hours, we are sitting in the retina specialist’s office [Yes, another fast scheduling miracle!] This is when things got dicy. Normally this retina specialist is laid back and very calm (he’s my own doctor and I’ve seen him in action). Not so today. Once he finishes examining both of my son’s eyes, he turns and declares that they are hemorrhaging inside. “15 year olds do not have eyes that hemmhorage,” he states rather seriously. “Potentially this means he could have a rare blood/bleeding disorder, cancer, diabetes, or even mounting renal problems.”

Good thing we didn’t stop after the first two doctors. And a great case for specialists, with finer precision tools!

So on day 4, we’re now in another doctor’s office, having a full physical for my son, after which we go to a lab (nightmare of an experience, in their disorganization…but THAT’s a story for another day!) for blood work, glucose testing, etc.

Now on day 5 we wait. But the thing I have to share is several-fold:

1) There are many parents who go through worse things with their kids, whether cancer or some other difficult disease. There are parents who lose their children to death. I know the sting of that. My second child died of SIDS. Thus, my first thought in all of this is gratitude it’s not worse (at least, for the news we have right now).

2) On day two of this excursion, as I contemplated the simple possibility that my son’s retina perhaps was detaching–not yet knowing that both eyes were bleeding inside–the Spirit descended upon me. In a moment, I was taught that the Lord knows our lives. He knows our needs. And if my son needed to be blind in one eye (or now flashing forward and translate that to a rare blood/bleeding disorder, etc.), the Lord in his goodness will give that because he is wise.

3) I was taught by the Spirit that we can’t (obviously) see the future. Thus, we cannot see how today’s events can pivot us into more important or more needful or better directions. Therefore, in wisdom, it is best not to murmur or complain when a so-called tragedy appears before us. Because if we had God’s perspective, we wouldn’t see it as a tragedy at all, but a gift.

Words come hard right now in an effort to transcribe the peace that descended on my heart when the Spirit gave me that moment of insight. But somehow I knew, I felt, I soared in the knowledge that if my son became blind in one eye, that I suddenly felt no need to question it. The pain and concern and fear were gone, and instead, peace took their place. Indescribable peace.

I don’t know what faces my son, if anything. But I have learned that God loves us and that the gifts given us in sometimes sudden moments may appear puzzling at the time, but even so, their exquisite nature will someday be made manifest to us. And at that time we’ll desire to fall before the feet of the Lord and proclaim Him good.

The peace at that moment was indescribable, but amazing. It still lingers. And so now my family and I simply wait to find out the outcome of the blood work. I’m so grateful I can do so in peace.