Congenital Cataracts

That Time We Became a Mac Family

When Lolo (our youngest) was 2 months old he and I set off to our two month well baby check. I was confident in him being well, he was gaining weight without question, he was alert and happy. Life was good! As with all well baby checks, the doctor came in and began his quick once over but then continued to check his eyes. Over and over again. Right eye then back to the left, lather, rinse, repeat. What was only minutes if not seconds felt like it went on for hours. After what felt like an eternity the doctor told me that little Lolo had a cataract. The doctor explained that Lolo would be referred to the local children’s hospital to see a specialist. I left feeling terrified of what was to come for Lolo and angry at myself for not knowing that my baby was completely blind in one eye. It felt like it was something a Mother should know and yet there were no telling signs. 

After a couple moths of waiting we met Dr S, the man who was going to save Lolo’s sight and his side kick Christine. They did a quick examination and confirmed that Lolo did indeed have a cataract but he wanted to take a better look to see what extent it was blocking his vision. Dr S put dilating drops in and told us to go get a coffee and come back in 20 minutes. Feeling heartbroken and overwhelmed we headed to the lobby for a coffee and to wander the gift shop. While in the gift shop we saw a little boy (around 4-5) in a wheel chair who had obviously had recent surgery to remove multiple limbs. In that moment it took all I could to not fall to the ground crying. How could I have been so selfish to have been heartbroken when here so was literally surrounded by kids who were fighting for their lives. It was in that moment I decided I would do what ever I could to support this hospital.  Eventually, we returned to Dr. S and after checking Lolo’s eye again he confirmed that Lolo did indeed have a cataract completely blocking him from seeing from his left eye and that he would need surgery to remove it if we wanted him to ever have sight in his left eye. Dr S was honest in saying that the surgery was not without risks. Having eye surgery as an infant meant a 100% chance of having glaucoma at some point in his life time. Not doing the surgery meant no sight in his left eye ever. Delaying the surgery meant less chance that he will develop sight in his left eye because his brain was not wiring itself to see with two eyes. No options that were great or easy. How do you choose to essentialy give your kid glaucoma?? How do you choose to knowingly allow your child to grow up blind in one eye? Dr S told us to go home and think about it and come back in a couple of weeks but that he would put Lolo’s name on the wait list for surgery but that we were free to take his name off at any point.

We went home and researched and researched and researched. Two weeks later we were in his office with pages of questions. Dr S being the great man that he is sat with us and answered every single one and when we ran out of questions he patiently asked if there were any more questions or concerns. After having our questions answered we decided to go ahead with the surgery. We were told that we would be contacted with a surgery date as well as a pre-op date that would include a check in with Dr S so he could develop his plan for the surgery.  We left that day a ball of nerves, certain yet uncertain we were making the right decision, wading into the waters of the unknown. 

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For when you’re bigger

Dear Moonpies, 

You are still young but I have been thinking a lot lately about the men I hope you grow to be one day. 

Today you are kind and affectionate kids with great senses of humour. I hope you keep these traits in the years to come. 

I hope you always take the opportunity to brighten someone’s day. 

I hope you never look down on someone unless you are helping them up. Never forget the privilege you were born into. Not everyone has the things you take for granted.  Use your talents and abilities to make a difference for others. 

Differences make the world a beautiful and unique place. Never make someone feel badly about their differences especially ones that can’t be controlled. Everyone has gifts and talents, be the type of person who sees them, it will change your life.

Hold the door. 

Smile and wish people a good day.

Meet her parents. 

Be respectful of your friends parents.

Don’t pressure your friends into doing things they aren’t comfortable with. 

Be a good friend. Do what you need to in order to keep your good friends. Remember good friends don’t always agree with everything you say or do. Real friends want what is best for you. When your friends speak up, listen to them. 

Gut feelings, trust them. If it seems to good to be true it probably is. If something feels off you’re probably right. Job offers, girls, friends always trust your gut. 

Drink responsibly. Don’t be that guy passed out in a puddle of his own bodily fluids. People may laugh but trust me when I say no one thinks it’s cool. No getting in cars with someone who isn’t sober behind the wheel. Ever. If you need to drink you don’t need to drive. If you need to drive you don’t need to drink. Designated driver no longer sober? Call us, anytime. 

Take your turn as the DD. 

Sexual relationships (go ahead and cringe, I will wait). Never pressure someone into doing things they aren’t comfortable with. In any sexual relationship consent is everything. Her body will always be her body, you have no ownership over it. Sex is not owed to you EVER. No and maybe do not translate to “keep going” or “keep trying”. Above all else, please do not be this guy. Do not be the guy who feels a woman owes him her body just for the privilege of being in your company. 

Call your Grandparents. I wish I could tell you how precious your time with them is. Grandparents are such a treasure to have in your life. Yours love you immensely and you will miss them beyond words when you no longer have the opportunity to spend time with them.  Pick up the phone. Better yet, visit in person. 

When you have nieces and nephews make time for them. The parents will appreciate the break and there is nothing quite like spoiling a kid without having to be responsible for all the parenting. Kids love spending time with adults who make time for them. 

Shovel the elderly neighbours driveway. 

Bring meals to your friends who have had babies. 

Take care of your health and body. 

Drink water.

Indulge once and a while. 

Travel as often as possible. 

Laugh. Life is too short to be serious all the time.

Even adults can be bullies. Learn to stand up to them. It will serve you well. 

Use your words wisely. Don’t say things you will regret later. 

Never  throw the first punch. 

Know your worth. Never settle for someone who doesn’t see it. Learn to carry on when people don’t agree. You are not chocolate, not everyone is going to like you. It’s their loss not yours. 

Stand strong in your values and beliefs, even if you are standing alone. 

“Never doubt that a small group of determined people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has”. When you see something not right in your community, fight for what is right. 

You guys are still so small and yet so incredible already. Your hearts are so big and you have so much love for others. I can’t wait to see who you guys grow up to be. 

With much love,

Mom

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To give the gift of time…

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make a difference in this world. I am a part of a few online Mommy groups and nothing breaks my heart more than hearing of a Mom losing her sweet bundle of joy. So I have been racking my brain for what can be done for these families in their darkest days. Somewhere along the line I heard of the Cuddle Cot. A cot designed to keep babies who have gained their angel wings with their families a little bit longer. Extra time to say good bye, give one more kiss, one more cuddle, one more I love you. 

I have reached out to the makers of the Cuddle Cot to get information on pricing and more information on the cot in general. I have decided to get in contact with our local hospital to see if they already have access to one. If not, my goal is to look into fundraising ideas to purchase the Cuddle Cot for our community.  

Have an idea? Leave a comment below! 

Thanks for checking in! 

With love,

M

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What the world needs now…

A few times over the years I have started a blog and after a few posts given up. After some mulling over I have decided to start fresh with some new perspectives on what I want this blog to be for.  In the past months I have come to realize just how messy life can be. Time and time again over the last few months I have been reminded “what the world needs now is love sweet love”, I hope for this blog to track my journey to become a more loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and person.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about this new endeavor!

Hope that you’ll join me!

With love,

M.