My Personal Journey as Preston’s MomRaising a child with low vision.Hello my name is Carmen Swick, Preston’s mother and book author of Patch Land Adventures hopefully to be published here in the near future. I wanted to share with you my personal journey that has brought me to this point and inspired me to write children’s books.Well, let me start by saying I never thought of my son Preston has having a handicap, but a challenge. Preston goes out there and always puts in 100%, and has never complained that he could not do something because of his eye sight. As a matter of fact he does great at whatever he tries to do. Here are a few examples of what Preston does - he play’s football, soccer, skate boards, skies, and loves to go dirt biking.This is why I say we look at low vision, amblyopia and strabismus as a challenge.
Let me take you back a few years.When Preston was just a little guy I used to wonder about his left eye. It would turn in a bit. I asked his pediatrician on a different couple of appointments what his thoughts were he said not to worry about it he was young.Well, my father-in-law asked me about his eye, he is a veterinarian by trade, and I told him what the doctor had told me.So said to me that he would not bring it up again, but just to keep an eye on it.On another occasion, my sister-in-law said that she was concerned about his eye. I told her the same thing that the doctor said he was not concerned about it. Michele at that time was going to school to learn how to assist an eye surgeon. Michele asked me if I would mind if she could just do her own testing on him, I said, “Of course, please do.” Preston was three years old at that time, she came back to me and said I really would like you to take him into a pedetrian eye doctor, she said that he did not respond like he should have, I said ok that I would.I went home that day and looked at the list of doctors on our insurance plan.
My husband Yorkk and I took him in to a doctor up the street. She said he had allot of eye issues and of course we were very upset. And that he needs to be wearing glasses now so we need to buy a pair of glasses for him. we were a little over whelmed so we tried asking her questions and she responded as if we were questioning her about the diagnoses she had made on Preston, but the fact is we were just trying to educate our self’s to help Preston better to coupe with his low vision and other eye issues she had mentioned. We went ahead and did what the doctor told us to do and ordered Preston his first pair of eye glasses.We went home and after a couple of weeks I went to pick up his glasses and when he put them on he complained that they were foggy, the doctor said not to worry he needs to get use to them they were a very strong prescription.I took Preston to Pre-school a couple times a week, one of his little friends there, his mother is an eye doctor and I explained to her about my visit and concerns with Preston’s visit to the Eye Doctor and she asked me to bring Preston’s eye prescription to her so she could take a look at it. When she did look it she said to me that it did not make sense.I also spoke with my sister in-law she asked me the same thing over the phone, I read the prescription to her and she said the same thing, that it does not make any sense.This was just the beginning of our journey…I let a few month’s go by with hearing the same thing from Preston that he could not see and on top of all of it, she wanted him to patch his eye, what a disaster! One day I decided to call my husband and said that I had a bad feeling about Preston’s diagnoses and my husband said that he also agreed with me, he also said that if I felt so strongly about this than let’s take him in to someone else.I asked for a referral to another eye doctor from one of Preston’s Pediatricians and they gave me the same doctor that my sister in-law had recommended. That is when I made an appointment and Yorkk and I took Preston in to see Dr. Desantis.What my husband and I were getting ready to hear just broke our hearts. She had informed my husband and me that Preston had been on the wrong prescription for six months. I looked at my husband and just wanted to cry but Preston was in the room at the time. My Husband Yorkk had asked her if it could have done harm to his vision, she responded yes. It is very crucial that he had the right prescription for his eyes at this age. Here we are as parents wanting to protect our children and make things better, Will I felt like I just had failed my little guy. Remembering the day’s of telling Preston you have to wear your glasses he would cry and say no mom I can’t see it is foggy, Will me not knowing at that time that it was doing him more harm than good to wear his glasses was just a horrible feeling.Speaking with Dr. Desantis was such a different experience from our first doctor. She was wonderfulwas abouslutey how it should have been, she answered our questions and concerns and was very patient to educate us with Preston’s low vision issues and what we needed to do to turn this around. The doctor had explained to us that Preston has Amblyopia, accommodating estropia and Animestropia, just writing this down it is so hard and heart breaking.I am tearing up because Iknew that we had a long and tuff journey ahead of us, but I was determined has a mother that this is not about me or my husband and we needed to do what ever it took to help our son get better. So I had to turn those horrible feelings into a positive feeling and let Preston know he would get better!