The Glaucoma Story, by Abby (Long Reach HS)


A normal birth I thought. My first daughter I thought. At that moment I was ready for my beautiful
flower to blossom. I thought there would be no complications. That she would just come and I would be the
happiest mother on Earth, I was wrong. During the painful and unbearable birth the
doctor noticed that she wasn’t coming out. Pain, shock and worry surrounded my mind like
a crowded train, and I was in the middle trying to find a seat with the answer I needed. The doctor acted with urgency to get her out. Eventually, she was able to get out. The answer I was looking for was finally found. The umbilical was wrapped around her neck
three times. But how? All that mattered to me in that moment was
that she was finally here. I gave birth to my first daughter. “Her eyes are big and blue,” the Doctor said. I was a little confused; blue eyes aren’t
usually common in African American children. The doctor said everything was fine after
she checked, so we went home to start our new lives with our newborn baby
girl. Three months later, on a normal sunny day,
when I was giving my daughter a bath, I noticed that her eyes had turned from crystal blue
to paper white and she wouldn’t stop screaming and crying uncontrollably. My husband and I were so confused and worried
since we didn’t think something like this was possible. We rushed her to the hospital, where they
told us they, too, had never seen something like this before. They sent us to the John Hopkins Hospital
in Baltimore to see the only doctor in the state at the time that specialized in this
kind of condition. He told us that her eye pressure was 96 in
one eye and 94 in the other, which is very high since the regular eye pressure is 20/20. The doctor said that he needed to perform
emergency surgery. I was so scared! She’s only three months old! What if something goes wrong? What if she doesn’t make it out alive? All the worry and panic I felt three months
ago started running back, and I was running away from it trying to keep a positive outlook. The surgery took a couple of hours. During those hours my husband and I spent
the whole time praying that our daughter would be okay. We fasted, we worried, we called family members,
asking them to pray for her recovery along with us. We felt vulnerable. We couldn’t do anything as parents to help
her in the situation she was in. We couldn’t go into the room to hold her hand
during the surgery. We couldn’t hold her to make her feel loved. We couldn’t do anything but keep our hopes
alive and pray. Afterwards, the doctor told us that she had
made it, her eye color had gone back to normal, she was calm and that she would be okay. Relief and happiness washed over us both. She continued to have surgery for four more
years, until the doctor decided not to, because the medical team was having a hard time waking
her up from the anesthetic that they put her under. So the doctor wanted to see her once every
year to check upon her eye pressure and make sure that it remains normal. Today, even though I have to wear glasses,
put in two eye drops twice a day and visit the hospital once each year, I’m happy. Everything could have been much worse. I could have had brain damage, or I could
have never made it all together — but I did make it. I’m happy and I’m alive, and that’s what I’m
most thankful for.

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