Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sam's vision

Oops. I forgot to mention that we have received a new medical diagnosis regarding Sam. My bad. In a previous post I mentioned that Sam (age 7 soon!) needs to have a Electronretinography test on his eyes (under sedation) in October. What I failed to realize, because the Dr. only told me the acuity number and not what it actually MEANS, is that Sam is legally blind, in both eyes. I guess that makes me "blond" for not understanding the truth of the number 20/400. Supposedly, Sam has no central vision, only peripheral vision. I say supposedly because Sam rides his bike, he scooters, he runs, jumps and plays on the playground, just like all the other kids. Truly. The only time Sam has problems is with unfamiliar steps. If we walk across a parking lot, for instance, he sometimes tries to step up when it's only a color change in the sidewalk. He "feels" for steps too, when he's walking down an unfamiliar stairway. Other people would Never notice his vision impairment. I'm still not convinced that Sam only sees 20/400 with glasses. In fact, when the Dr. told me the acuity was 20/400, I thought he meant that was Sam's vision without his glasses. If he's really blind, I would've thought the Dr. would have made a bigger deal out of the exam and made a point to let me know that I needed to contact the Association for the Visually Impaired. Instead, we were referred to another Dr., who decided to schedule the ERG. I didn't clue in on the fact that he was blind until I asked the original Dr. to please write a note to the school saying that Sam should be given up-front seating due to his undiagnosed vision issue. Instead, the letter I received states that Sam is legally blind and should have the rights of individuals with disabilities
. Anyway, we won't know a real diagnosis or prognosis until October. In the meantime, we're just enjoying our summer. For the last six weeks, we've been in the midst of installing a new swimming pool, and it's finally ready for swimmers! 

Large families

I find it interesting that most people think we have an ENORMOUS family. In fact, when people ask me how many REAL children we have, I often answer, "Do you mean how many children do we claim on our taxes? Or how many  kids have our last name? Or How many call me Mom? Or how about the number of kids who ask me for money?" It's my way of reminding people that Moms are not always defined by the act of giving birth. I am the mom of 8 children, 6 who live at home still. And because you are so very curious, I'll tell you that four of our children were biological. We've also been foster parents to 5 children, and Mom and Dad to 4 foreign exchange students. So, how many children is that in total? Obviously, I've been feeling a bit defensive about our choice to have a larger than average family. I'm not sure why, exactly, but we do think it gets much easier to parent a bunch than to parent only two children. And we really do enjoy the chaos, wrestling and noise. Most of the time. I'm NOT looking forward to the quiet that settles on the house when the children begin school in September. Maybe it's time to return to work? Or time to think about adopting again? Just kidding.