A short note: Thank you to all the people who have stopped by and left comments of support. I have continued to read all of your blogs and check up on your comments in my absence. I cannot say that this is a full return, but I had a desire to write tonight, and couldn’t see why I shouldn’t.
Hope is a dangerous thing. And when I’m not paying close attention, my own stores get refilled to unrealistic levels.
When the Peanut was first given her list of many ailments, at each stage I held out hope. When I read up on grief it turns out this kind of hope is akin to bargaining. I told myself that I could handle what we had been told but not the next step on. I held out hope that we had heard all we had to hear about what was wrong with her.
At a certain point it did feel like we had heard the worst. But by then there were no more worst case scenarios, we were living it. I couldn’t see how we could get any more bad news. When we found out she was deaf on top of being blind and with brain abnormalities it really felt like there could be no worse news to pile on us.
And I was almost right.
While they had no more new bad news to tell me, the doctors found ways of telling me what I already knew as if it were more bad news.
After we had been told the Peanut could not see we saw the ophthalmologist again. He inspected her eye and drew back in surprise.
“I feel a bit ashamed of my earlier reading of her,” he said. “It’s looking quite different to what it did a few weeks ago.” I shook my head a little and assumed he meant for the worse. I was so accustomed to hearing bad news, my brain wasn’t wired to hear anything good.
He explained that her eye looked in a much better state than before, but that there was a cloudy haze in the centre of her eye. He pulled the surgeon in to have a look and the surgeon exclaimed that if the haze went away she should have reasonably normal vision. She could even be able to read a sight chart.
I could not believe it. My little Peanut, who had been declared blind, might be able to read a sight chart. She could be able to see.
On the way back to the ward, the nurse said she had held her breath as he delivered this news and hoped he knew what he was saying.
I told her that after so much bad news I was highly cynical of any good news, so not to worry about me getting my hopes up.
But hope is insidious.
Two weeks later we saw the ophthalmologist again and what I hadn’t realized was that part of my brain was hooked on hope and was pinning a lot on this appointment. He told us the haze was still there, but her eye looked quite good otherwise. He scheduled one more appointment for when the Peanut would be 8 weeks old and said if the haze was still there they would schedule surgery. He told me you have to get in before they are 10 weeks old if you want to ensure vision.
At the 8 week appointment, just last week, the ophthalmologist said she needed the surgery. They would remove the hazy part in the centre of her eye and hopefully give her some vision. They talked me through the surgery with a diagram, and both the surgeon and the doctor seemed optimistic.
The woman who a few weeks ago told that nurse she was cynical about any doctor’s promises was jumping into hope like it was a hot bath. She wanted this, more than anything.
So today, I find myself in the children’s ward, hope gone, with the Peanut recovering from general anesthetic in the cot next to me.
The Peanut’s eyes are not swollen from surgery. There are no bandages. Her eyes aren’t bloodshot. Because the Peanut didn’t have her surgery. The surgeon performed a thorough eye exam first, while she was asleep, and found that the surgery would be useless. They could remove the hazy area, but the rest of her eye was not going to be able to work anyway.
The Peanut is still blind, and will always be blind.
At best she will see light. So she will know night and day, but not her parent’s faces.
This news is the same we heard all those weeks ago. But now it feels like a double blow. When they couldn’t find anything new to tell me, they told me an old piece of news and made it hurt like a brand new wound.