Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sunflowers and Scarecrows and Surgery

We literally grow thousands of sunflowers in our field on Leyden Road in Greenfield. This year we planted about 15 varieties. Not exactly we, but The Farmer. If We counted on Me to make a successful crop, we wouldn’t have much. The Farmer has the talent and determination and dedication and vision to a project and a piece of earth to make it happen.

When the sunflowers start blooming, it is up to me to try to re-coup some of the money we put into this wacky but beautiful project. We drag the haywagon down to the spot. I paint signs to attract customers. I pick buckets of flowers and then we wait.


We build some pseudo- scarecrows to attract attention. They certainly are cute, aren’t they? I raid our closets and then go to the Salvation Army to find extra stuff. This year, we built a family of three, like we are. Friends have said they resemble us. Me, I just think they are fun. And we’re not exactly trying to scare off the birds. After all, the plants are for them too.

We're going to Boston to NEMC extremely early Friday morning. Julia is having surgery on her eyes to help correct her strabismus. This is a common problem with children with hydrocephalus. Correcting the problem with surgery should be helpful for her immediately. She has had the surgery once before about five years ago. Although it isn't long nor is it an overnight thing, it is still dangerous as any surgery is. And this time, she knows she is having surgery (unlike the last time), and she is terrified. We're just hoping it will help her vision and her coordination between the eye muscles and her brain. We tried some holistic approaches many years ago but they were quite useless for Julia. The first time she had this surgery, she started reading book covers the following day. It was quite amazing. We'll see what happens this time. Julia's doctor is at New England Medical Center's Eye Center and his name is Dr. Mitchell Strominger. If anyone else out there is having similar problems with their child's vision, I highly recommend him. He has a good way with children.


22 comments:

wyldthang said...

Hi Kristin! I'll be praying for Julia, I hope everything goes smoothly! Your sunflowers are gorgeous, I'm sure Van Gogh would be soooooo jealous! Celeste (Pinheiro) ;0)

kneek said...

We'll keep you, Mark and Julia in our thoughts; this must be almost as difficult for you after supported Julia through so many surgeries in the past. I hope the outcome is everything you hoped for and more. Take care,
Leah

Laritza said...

In my thoughts and prayers. Hope everything goes well. Cute scarecrows :D

Helen said...

I hope it goes well. Always good to have something done where there is an immediate and perceptible improvement, especially for a child.

Lisa W said...

Good luck with the surgery. Love the scarecrow family!

Penny said...

julia and the entire family are in my thoughts for a complete and speedy recovery. {hugs} all around.

Dawn said...

Hope it all goes well....

Lesley said...

I hope all goes well on Friday - will be thinking of you.
I love your scarecrows!

Mama Urchin said...

Good luck with the surgery. I hope Julia is back to herself (with improved vision) quickly.

knittingiris said...

It's Friday morning. I'm thinking of you and your family and hoping for the best outcome.

Marcy said...

Thinking sure and healing thought for Julia!

Kathy said...

Will be thinking of you today -- my kids went to daycare at NEMC and it's a great place all around.

Mia said...

I hope this surgery goes well for Julia. I had my first one for stabismus at age 4 and the second at 8. I had a third surgery using the newer techniques when I was 35. Other than when I am tired now, you can't tell. I have my fingers crossed for her.

Joanne said...

I'm thinking of you and Julia and hoping all is well!

maryse said...

all of my best to julia. tell her that my brother suffered from strabismus as a child and had surgery a few times and everything went great and his eyes work together great now.

Danielle said...

Delurking to let you know I'm thinking good thoughts for Julia. I have a fantastic neuro-opthalmologist at NEMC (Dr. Hedges) and am glad to hear that you have had good experiences there too!

anmiryam said...

My step-daughter has strabismus, though it's never required surgery. Hearing you talk about Julia's issues makes me wonder how much her vision issues are behind her frustration with athletics. On the flip side, she's a very talented artist and crafter, so go figure.

I hope all goes well today and that you are able to help Julia through her anxiety.

I wish I could get up there to see the sunflowers and bring some home.

Al said...

I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts! I have nothing but faith in NEMC - they fixed my heart 23 years ago this December (plus my uncle works there, I'm biased!) and grew up to run cross country and synchronized swimming, so I am hoping that Julia will the same fortune with her eyesight and that her fears are calmed before the surgery.
Take care!

Anonymous said...

I hope the surgery went well. My daughter also sees Dr. Strominger (and Dr. Hedges) and may have the same surgery eventually. She has other vision problems from her tumor, and we went to Mass Eye and Ear to see their top doc there for a second opinion...he concurred with Strominger and Hedges so we know we are in good hands. Please let us know how today went, my daughter is now interested in Julia's progress too.

-- Grace in MA

Kristin said...

I hope all goes well with the surgery. My son had strabismus surgery as an infant and it was amazing the change as soon as we brought him home. Within a half hour of being home he could see me across the room for the first time. Luckily he hasn't needed it again. He is turning 13 on Tuesday.

Lee said...

Hope all went well. You are in my thoughts.

woolywoman said...

You know, I had strabismus surgery on both eyes at the late age of 23, and it helped immediatly. The whole world changed, developed depth, and the dizzy/poor balance thing that I had had my whole life got much better, rapidly at first, and then slowly but steadily. I could finally walk without having to stare straight down at the ground. I remeber feeling much less overwhewlmed by the visual stimuli of the world. I still have some strabismus, I don't have binocular vision and never will, but it really helped a lot. I wish that I could have had it earlier, but I'm glad I had it. The scratchy eye thing is a bummer, for sure, but it will fade. Good for you for being a brave mommy and having it done for her.I have to say, too, that I appreciate the grace with which you tell us about Julia, and life with Julia. I also can't wait to get my copy of your new book!