Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sense of Sight

Something ironic happened in the middle of our homeschool unit on the five senses: We lost our senses.

No, we didn't actually go crazy (though a certain five year old's whining was enough to drive anyone crazy!). Actually, we just got sick. Donny started with cold symptoms and complaining that his mouth hurt when he swallowed. Then his ear hurt. And his eye was full of crusty goop. I took him in to the doctor on Friday in time to find out that he had an ear infection (not a surprise given the symptoms), conjunctivitis (also not a surprise), and strep throat! And although he never displayed any symptoms, Hayden also had the telltale white bumps of strep, so now they are both enjoying a twice-daily sip of bubble gum Amoxicilin to clear up the many infections.

Since his ear has been infected, Donny has been having some trouble hearing (especially when I am giving him instructions...suspicious, isn't it?). Like anyone with a cold, his sense of smell is diminished as well. When we did a smelling activity ("Close your eyes and guess what Mumma is holding under your nose!"), his stuffiness impaired his olfactory abilities. As for the sense of sight, I am the one who suffered the greatest impairment. I woke up on Saturday morning with one eye crusted shut: apparently, despite my careful handwashing, I had contracted Donny's conjunctivitis.

The treatment was easy enough: the doctor called in some prescription antibiotic eye drops for me. I was instructed, by doctor, nurse, and the prescription label, not to wear contact lenses. For most contacts wearers, it might not be a big deal to put on glasses for a few days. But since I hate wearing glasses, I have not bothered to own a pair for the past ten years. I managed high school, college, driving, marriage, giving birth (including surgically), and being up in the middle of the night with fussy babies and sick toddlers, all without the use of glasses, but recently I have been thinking that it might be wise to invest in a pair, and now I am convinced that it would be beneficial. Without my contacts, I can't see!

It's nothing like being in total darkness, of course, but I tend to say that I am blind without my contacts in. I can clearly see less than a foot in front of my face; anything beyond that is blurry. Normally, inserting contacts is the first thing I do in the morning, and removing them is the last thing I do at night, so to spend two entire days without my visual aids was certainly a different point of view. I am so thankful that my dear husband was home to help me! Not only was I unable to drive to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription; I couldn't watch TV, use the computer, or even read without holding the book right in front of my face, or see whatever the boys were trying to show me, or exchange smiles with my baby girl from across the room. Even something as simple as glancing at the clock to check the time was impossible.

When I finally reinserted my contacts after two blurry days, it was amazing how sharp and clear everything was! In spite of the inconvenience, this case of pinkeye gave me a deeper appreciation for my sense of sight (and for the technology that allows me to have sight when my natural eyes fail!). And all of this got me thinking about sight, and vision, and how the words apply to so much more than just that which is right in front of our eyes. Next time I blog, I plan to share some thoughts on having a vision for our lives, which is fitting as we start a new year. Until then, rejoice with me that you are able to read this blog because God has blessed you with the gift of sight!

Ears that hear and eyes that see— the LORD has made them both.

Proverbs 20:12


  1. I can't even imagine!! I am also "blind" without my contacts. They are the 1st and last things on my daily list too. I would go crazy without my contacts... I do need to get an updated pair of glasses in case something should happen. hope things are doing better now!

  2. It's amazing how fast the family can be affected by disease. Keeping hands clean through soap and water or hand sanitizer helps -imagine how bad it would be without these tools.