By: Liz Lyons
And so the story continues….
After convincing Diegan that he could give up his glasses and still look cool, we decided that the week of Thanksgiving would be best for Diegan to start his Vision Reshaping System (VRS). He would be off school and we would be around to monitor his vision during the day. As a parent, I was honestly nervous because I still vividly recall the time I had to flush something out of Diegan’s eye – catching a cheetah would have been easier! This is why having an eye doctor as a Dad comes in handy…“Of course Dad can put in your contacts.” And on that Wednesday night, reluctantly, Diegan kept his eyes open and remained still enough to get the contacts in.
I had not anticipated my motherly concern as he sat there seemingly in discomfort, the sensation amplified by our 9 PM fatigue. I also had not anticipated the tear-filled 4 AM wake up call to “take them out, they hurt!” Equally and if not more, did I not anticipate the excitement (still at 4 AM) when Dad removed his lenses and Diegan could still see clearly! Thankfully, we all went back to sleep and the next day Diegan went to the Aquarium without his glasses. He made it until about noon that day before the initial VRS treatment wore off and he needed to put his glasses back on for clear vision.
Night 2 was a lot easier. Like anything, we had learned from our first try and on night 2, we let Diegan watch TV while Dad first put in numbing drops and then the contacts. Diegan slept all night with the lenses in and once again, upon removal of the VRS lenses, experienced crystal clear vision.
That morning he enjoyed our annual Thanksgiving Day walk without glasses. He also made it the majority of Thanksgiving Day without his glasses. We couldn’t help ourselves to obsessively and repeatedly ask him, “Can you see that? Now how can you see? Diegan, can you still see?” The wonderment of the treatment was really sinking in. We helped so many people over the years with VRS at the practice, but to live it as a parent was an entirely different emotional experience.
On day 3, our curiosity brought us to Focal Pointe Eye Care so we could check Diegan’s vision on an eye chart. Let me remind you that Diegan is only 8 and he did not find any of this as exciting as we did – he found the insertion process at night to be an annoyance, he missed “his look” with his glasses, and he certainly didn’t want to get his eyes checked on his day off school.
But then something happened.
With a smile ear-to-ear, a little boy ran from the exam room and over to me to give me a big hug and said “Mama, I AM 20 FOR 20!” There are no words to express the instantaneous gratitude that I felt as the magnitude of giving vision to our son pierced my heart. Now, it was my turn to cry a little. Diegan kept his vision all day that day…and the next…and the next. Finally, I understand why his Dad is so excited about VRS and why I am so lucky to be part of this opportunity to give vision, not only to the ones I love, but to the countless patients I do not yet know. What an amazing Thanksgiving we had.
But now, how do I get Diegan to go to school without his glasses on Monday?