“What is around us doesn't determine what we see. What is within us does.”
- John C. Maxwell
We had waited a long time to see him. On Friday evening, for the first time in nine weeks, Whitney got to see and be seen by an ophthalmologist. We know that Whitney is a strong person within. However, her right eye did not escape the trauma to the right side of her face and head in the accident.
This polite doctor brought his mobile equipment to the ICU late in the evening after a long day in the office. In the two hours we spent together, he exhausted his resources to make some general observations about Whitney’s right eye. One of the fears that he laid to rest for us was that the time that had passed since the accident was not an issue regarding her recovery of the use of her eye. He dilated both pupils and examined as far as he could with his optical accessories. Her right pupil is sluggish and she could not see light that was aimed in it directly. Also, it is not communicating with the left eye in responding to stimuli that is necessary for proper vision.
He affirmed that the eyeball had good pressure and seemed unaffected on its forward parts. So the issues lie farther back than he could see with his tools in hand. His best speculation says the trauma is somewhere along the optic tract that extends from the optic nerve to the cortex of the occipital lobes. The optic nerve is the second of twelve paired cranial nerves with fibers that run along the optic nerve to nine primary visual nuclei in the brain, from whence a major relay inputs into the primary visual cortex. We know that Whitney is a strong person within.The culprit of this impairment remains to be seen.
He gave us some of the potential consequences based on his preliminary examination. The damage may a) be repairable with treatment b) irreparable or c) present a ‘wait and see’ if the body heals itself over time situation. These may eventually manifest themselves as no vision, limited vision, or healthy vision. He prescribed bringing Whitney into their offices in the future where more advanced equipment can see what is going on in the optic tract and inner brain. Then based on that analysis, then he could say more definitively what issues are before us.
With this initial, limited exam, he professionally offered neither false optimism nor false pessimism.
From my view, with the overwhelming detriments she has overcome so far, I see a 50/50 chance she regains 20/20 vision.
So we will wait…...and see.
Friendly reminders...."Go Fund Me" campaign for Whitney: https://www.gofundme.com/4whitney
Send your cards, letter and care packages to:
Scott, Julie, Whitney & Stephen Bennefield
5643 S. Sicily Circle, Aurora CO 80015