Eye doctor? Isn’t that how they spell ANXIETY?

So, today was my annual eye doctor visit.  For most of the world this is EASY PEASY!  If you are living “at risk” for Huntington’s Disease this may mean something entirely different.  Most people in this world go to the Optometrist for contacts or eyeglasses.  Eye doctor visits are normally not much of a dreaded event.  If you are “at risk” for HD you know that they say many doctors can look at your eyes and they know whether you have the disease or not.  This is enough to send me over my daily allotment of anxiety for the entire week.

From my personal research I know that eye movements are abnormal in most HD patients and can be one of the earliest symptoms for the “at risk” category.  I know that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) can be abnormal.  I know that vertical and horizontal saccades are slow.  A saccade is a fast movement of the eye.  Saccades are quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction.  Vertical is up and down and horizontal is side to side.  So, with this information I always ask the doctor if he sees anything abnormal from his standpoint.  So far, I have never been told that I do.

I go to the eye doctor because in the past few years my “up close” vision keeps getting blurrier and blurrier.  I have to wear eyeglasses when reading, working on the computer, or wanting to see anything up close.  I have also noticed lately that my “far away” vision has been getting a bit worse.  My “far away” vision has always been spot on.  This whole eye thing drives me crazy in general because I have never needed glasses and always had spot-on vision.  So, the fact I have to go the eye doctor at all just drives me batty!

I know, I know.  Let’s get me back to the fact that I said I went to the eye doctor today.  As I went back all I knew was that I needed glasses but more than that I wanted her to do the test to look at my eye movements.  How strange is this?  I should’ve been more focused on picking out my new glasses but I was more focused on getting called back and talking to her about my other “concern.”  She was very nice.  As soon as I mentioned the Huntington’s Disease she wanted to tell me that she rarely gets people in with it or at risk for it.  She said she has a cousin, who is not blood-related, that is currently battling HD.  Needless to say, we hit it off quickly.  I told her what I knew about the saccades being slow and she tested me three different times.  She wanted to assure me that there are machines that can pick up the very beginnings of this but she could definitely tell me if she saw a “gross” eye movement problem.  I followed her pen left, up, right, down, left, right, up, down.  We repeated it.  Then we repeated it again.  She looked at me and said she saw nothing at this time.  Whew, bullet dodged this year!  A small HD victory in my mind.  Yes!  She then said let’s talk about your prescription.  Oh, I almost forgot I came here for glasses!

So, all in all it was a pretty good day.  Only one more year until eye doctor anxiety repeats itself!!

Kim

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Mom vs. Guilt

Today started off like any other day and then WHAM!  I found myself in a boxing match and my opponent was “guilt.”  I don’t like guilt because he always defeats me.  Mom 0  Guilt 15,042

Today started out like most normal mornings.  I got out of bed at 5:00 AM to get DD2 and DS2 up for school.  I was making waffles for breakfast because DS2 had a long day of school-wide testing today.  I know he loves waffles and I wanted him to get off on the right foot.  Well….

DS2 has never dealt with change very well.  He is ADD/w anxiety and struggles with change of any kind.  I have been telling him that today would be the day he would have to start taking the bus to Grandma’s in the afternoon.  I have been picking him up this entire school year since we don’t live in the area for that particular school.  He has never been a fan of the bus but he hasn’t seemed to squawk about it too much.  After breakfast I reminded him to get on the bus and gave him a note for his teacher so she would help remind him in case he forgot.  That is when the morning turned interesting.  He got upset and kept telling me how much he hated the bus and kept asking, “Why are you doing this to me?”  This continued all the way to school.  When he got out of the car he put on his backpack and just walked into the building with his head down.  (He always waves and says goodbye normally.)  The guilt just smashed me right in the face.  I know this is a very reasonable request.  I know I am not abusing this child by making him ride the bus.  Why does it bother me so much?  Why do I feel so bad?

After coming home and thinking about it I realized that guilt is such a normal parenting emotion.  Guilt can be the result of many things.  When we don’t feel like we had enough time with a child, raise our voice or tell our children “No.”  That is just the tip of the iceberg.  Kid’s know how to push our guilt triggers.  You have to be strong when you are a parent and not let them see you crumble.  My brain knows that I am doing the right thing for the kids but sometimes my heart doesn’t.  When they are sad or upset you just want to take it away and make everything good.  Unfortunately I know the world doesn’t work this way and kids have to learn to do things they don’t want to do.  I know what I am doing is in their best interest even if they don’t.  Right?  😉

Today really got me thinking.  A normal parent is able to stop there and not think much more about guilt, but for me it is a whole different ballgame.  If something like what happened this morning with DS2 can cause me this much guilt, how will I feel if I have HD and pass this gene on to my kids?  Now guilt seems to take on a whole new meaning.  What went from a simple everyday parenting guilt trip has given me a mountain instead of a hill to conquer.  I have thought this way for years whenever I feel the slightest guilty over something so small.  Guilt could be a terrible issue in my future.

Kim