by Jen C.

Five years ago, I woke up to Jamie’s eye looking like it was completely fogged out. With the help of my friend and her mom, I found out Jamie had Glaucoma. I was told Jamie had 2 days to get surgery or she would be permanently blind. It felt like I was hit by a bus. Of course, being an 18 year old mother, I was freaking out and I admit I didn’t know anything about the situation.

I called every person I knew to help me get her to the hospital for surgery, but either no one cared to help or they couldn’t. I felt worse for not being able to help my baby!

I finally got help from my friends mom and got Jamie to the hospital. We were 30 minutes late due to getting lost, but the doctor didn’t show up hours after anyway. I ended up being judged and in trouble for that. On top of that issue, when prepping Jamie for surgery, I was asked if she had anything to eat in the last 6 hrs. I was told by the manager at the doctor’s office it would be okay to give Jamie 2 oz. of formula. Soon afterwards, I found out that was a dead wrong thing for me to do. I was also judged for this too. We ended up having to wait longer to make sure Jamie had 6 hours without food.

Jamie’s father was with me in the hospital, but of course, being the mother I guess they put me in charge and at fault for everything.

Her father and I were both dead tired while all this was going on.We waited for Jamie to come out of surgery kind of sleeping sitting in the chairs. When Jamie finally came out of surgery it was a scary sight to see her with an oxygen mask, I.v., and eye patches on.

We were assigned a room to stay for Jamie. We only had one sleeper chair so we took turns sleeping so we could also take care of Jamie through the night. (Which was 1 hr turns.) It was definitely a very hard situation to go through. I did ask the nurse to check on Jamie’s pain because every time she woke up she cried like she was in pain. Unfortunately, I felt I was judged on that too.

After a while of being there a C.P.S worker came in to tell us we were under investigation for medical neglect to our daughter and trying to kill her from giving her milk while knowing we weren’t supposed too. (Except we were told we could.)

On top of being terrified for poor little Jamie, we had to deal with C.P.S.
Thankfully, we had a lot of family friends talk to CPS for us to tell them we weren’t bad parents and we were actually good parents. Eventually, C.P.S let the case go and cleared us.

Jamie’s eyes were cleared up and thankfully her surgery was successful so we got to go home. We had a list of things we had to do for Jamie like eye drops and compressions. I studied up on everything I could possibly find out about baby Glaucoma.

Jamie wore swimming goggles for a week to protect her eyes from infection. She never really had any problems after that other then the usual Glaucoma issues like depth perception. We learned she had problems with playing on play grounds and different colored tiled floors. She had regular check-up visits and always passed her tests. Her left eye pupil did peak getting caught on her tube shunt implant. I was told it had something to do with the pupil retraction from light. The doctor said it wasn’t a big deal. He said that, if anything, maybe when she’s 10 years old or so, we would have to do a correctional surgery to fix it if it got worse. It scared me, but I thought that at least Jamie would’t have to deal with surgery for a long time.

Jamie is now 5 years old and her last visit was the first time she didn’t pass her tests. I was told Jamie’s eye with the peaked pupil is at the point of needing correctional surgery. During the letter chart test I couldn’t understand if she just didn’t understand what to do or if she really couldn’t see. When the assistant switched to her other eye, I found out she REALLY just couldn’t see. Jamie got through 3 lines on her left eye and got through the whole chart with her right eye. Obviously, there WAS a big difference. She was about half blind in her left blind. I felt so guilty for never knowing. I really had no idea. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Now terrified again crying all the way home, I still have no idea what I’m supposed to tell Jamie to get her ready for another surgery. I can only imagine how much harder it’ll be to get Jamie to get another I.V. put in. I don’t want poor little Jamie to go through pain again. Now, she has to have dilating drops in her eye to keep her pupil from retracting too small because the smaller the pupil is, the harder and more dangerous the surgery can be.

I know Jamie will be perfectly fine after surgery with better vision. I promised Jamie I would do everything I can to show her all the cool stuff in the world like the zoo and parks or whatever fun stuff. I’ve been taking my kids to fun places ever since we found out because I want to make sure that just in case, Jamie will have seen a lot of fun things while she still can.

No matter what, if she ends up blind some day in the future, I promised Jamie I will do whatever it takes to make her happy, and we will figure things out. I know Jack and Juliana will always be there to help her out. I’ve got tons of people praying for Jamie.

I have even been given messages from the Lord telling me Jamie is in his protection. My secret sister (a ministry through my church) gave me a cross saying “We live by faith, not by sight!” My secret sister doesn’t know about Jamie’s condition so it has to be from the Lord.

I felt like sharing this story because I’ve been an emotional wreck about it, and I feel if I write about it it will help me calm down. Everyone goes through really tough situations, but there is always a great outcome as long as you trust that the Lord is with you to guide you through it. Also, some day in the future Jamie will be able to look back on this and see how far she has come. We are doing our best to make lemonade out of this situation even though we haven’t made it completely through yet. We will get through this though, and then we can look back at this time and know we made it.