Ben has been complaining of not being able to see clearly and I thought that he was exaggerating, since the main time he has complained has been in his Sunday School class when pictures are shown that correlate with scripture stories. He will jump out of his chair and insist on getting right up to the picture and I figured that it was just one of his ADHD type tactics when he is bored. After all, he didn’t complain at other times of not being able to see well.
His last eye exam was about 18 months ago; gasp if you must. At the time, his vision was only about 20/60 in one eye and 20/80 in the other. Not too bad at all, and the eye doctor told him to only wear his glasses for distance vision since she didn’t want his eyes weakening even faster by wearing them for close-up work as well. Unfortunately, not wearing them all the time has led to him losing them half of the time. With his huge sensory issues, he also decided to chew off the plastic nose pieces of his metal frames. He can’t give you a valid reason, so don’t waste your time asking him why. With the nose pieces gone, he didn’t want to wear his glasses because they hurt his nose.
Off we went to the eye doctor today to see how bad his vision actually was. Jeff had mentioned to me that Ben had a difficult time earning his archery merit badge at Scout camp 2 weeks ago, but I thought it was just because he needed to learn how to aim accurately. Today he informed me that it was because he had a hard time seeing the target. Yikes!
The eye doctor checked his vision and I was shocked to see how little he could actually read on the eye chart without his glasses on. After the eye exam she informed me that one eye is 20/200 and the other is 20/400! Even though that seems half blind to me, she assured me that those numbers are still only in the moderate range for near sightedness. It’s also quite common for kids’ vision to change quite a bit when they hit adolescence and growth spurts. I still felt like such a heel that I had not had his vision checked 6 months ago when he really should have been due. Not only have I never won the Mother of the Year award, it’s clear that I won’t be winning it for 2008 either!
He actually did earn his archery merit badge, however, which judging from his vision abilities is an example of his dogged persistence. When he wants something, he will do what it takes to get it.