On Tuesday I did some checking. Apparently, I make too much money to adequately care for my child, but yet I don't make enough to adequately care for her. Even if I weren't working right now, because of the money that we receive from Ron's Social Security income, we are over the income limit for Medicaid. For me, this isn't such a tragedy. I can take decent care of myself on my own. But for the munchkin, healthcare would be so welcome. And that's a hard pill to swallow. Once I get bills paid off I'll be able to put aside enough money that if either of us needs to go to the doctor, it won't break us. And I'm also in the process of looking for a job that offers medical benefits. So all is not lost. But, I guess, I was really hoping that we could get some help.
Wednesday we were having rotten weather around here. Bitterly cold, high winds, freezing rain, blowing snow, etc. Because my daycare is out of town I asked my parents to go pick up the munchkin. When I wasn't a single mother the weather didn't seem so much of an issue. But, things are what they are now, and so I deal with it the best way I know how. Maybe I'll move to some warmer climate.
Thursday was my wedding anniversary. The stress of the event was enough for me, but not sleeping well for several days ahead of time made me a basket case. In order to not be alone that evening, I invited all the girls over for Stitch and Bitch. I made some great dips and a chocolate cake. It wouldn't have been a day to remember Ron without chocolate cake.
But Friday was the real kicker. In the last few weeks both my parents and I had noticed that the munchkin was squinting and closing her left eye when looking at things close up. I was of a mind to believe it was just something she "did". However, Mom chose to freak me out by googling the information and finding that it could be lazy eye or any other myriad problems. Did I have the money to take her to the optometrist? HECK NO! Bless Mom and Dad, they made it happen. So, Friday Morning at 8:15 we showed up for an eye appointment for a (nearly) 4-year-old.
First they took us into a side room where they did some measurements and tests to see if she could tell which animal "popped off the page". She did OK, but was much more interested in telling us about the animals than which one looked different. Then, they pulled out the book with pictures designed to test whether or not she was color blind. The woman asked her to trace the numbers, and the munchkin is not overly familiar with the concept of tracing. She shocked us all a bit when I asked her if she could see a number in the picture and she piped right up to say, "Oh, the 7?"
In the end, the optometrist determined that she has a "significant" prescription necessary in both eyes. She wouldn't even cover her good eye with the paddle in order to test the strength of the weak eye. Don't ask me how, but they did get a good look at both eyes and determined that she not only needs glasses but should also do some work at home while wearing a patch in order to strengthen the weak eye.
The optometrist also commented that children will often greatly change their behavior greatly upon beginning to wear glasses. They feel more secure in their world once they can see better. I'm hoping that this will be true in our situation as she can be difficult to deal with at times.
However, the munchkin did love trying on glasses. After all, Mommy and Nana wear glasses all the time anyway. So now she'll be just like us. We chose an extremely cute pair of pink glasses with bright green butterflies on the ear pieces. She's been asking when she can wear her glasses. I'm hoping they'll be in today or tomorrow at the latest.
It was a week certain to make the strongest of people feel a bit overwhelmed. But, now it's over and I feel like I can again take some time to breathe.
The lesson in all of this is that I have to learn to slow down. I need to realize that everything will work out in the end. One way or another, she and I will make it through all of this and be stronger because of it. Currently, I can't say I'm feeling all that strong, but I'll get there.
Strength isn't something that you either have or don't. Certainly some people are emotionally stronger than others. Am I one? All I know is what I've told many of my friends. I'm only a woman playing the hand she's been dealt. I have no other choice. Sure, I want to throw my hands in the air and just go back to bed. But that doesn't accomplish anything. And it's not what Ron would have wanted for us either. He taught me a lot. And now, I have to teach the munchkin those same lessons.