It seems insane, but somehow it has already been 3 months since I graduated from OSU as a Doctor of Optometry. What’s even crazier though, is that this past week marked a full month in my new position as the Brain Injury Vision Rehabilitation resident at UHCO. It’s been a wild ride, but I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had in just this short time.
Since becoming a resident, a lot of people have asked what role, exactly, an eye doctor can play in treating brain injuries. After all, don’t OD’s spend their days asking, “which is better, one or two”? For me, the easiest description is this:
I see the patients that most other docs don’t want to see. Many of them are non-verbal, some are non-mobile, and others are both. Or, they are on the other end of the spectrum, and simply cannot sit still for more than a minute or two at a time. They may be fully sighted, but a majority have visual deficits – from uncorrectable vision loss due to ocular abnormalities, to cortical vision loss, to visual field cuts. On a daily basis, there is very little asking “which is better, one or two”, or sitting calmly behind a slit lamp examining ocular structures. Rather, there is a lot of yelling, jumping, and working from the floor – all to try to obtain the most information that we can in any that the patient will allow.
Because we all deserve to be seen.
In my short time on this earth, the one lesson I have learned is that we all long to be seen and loved – not for the masks we wear or the successes we share, but for who we are inside. Some admit this more freely than others, but at the end of the day, it holds true – we all long to be known.
And so we seek this satiety of this knowledge in friends, in family, in partners, in jobs. We hide the longing in the hustle and bustle of our day to day lives, thinking that if we never sit still, it will eventually disappear. But when our head hits the pillow at nightfall, we feel it again – the endless longing for something more – something that this world cannot satisfy. Something that we may find in the solace of an all-knowing, ever-loving Savior alone.
And while I struggle to fit the pieces together, as I hear Him say, “I see you, little one, and I love you: all of you – forever,” I am drawn to Him and to His people who I get to work with every single day. They may be outcasts, marginalized by society, but they are just as seen and just as loved by the Almighty Father.
And so, while my job is not, and hopefully never will be easy, it is fulfilling. For, in the moments that we share, I have the opportunity to be the hands and feet – or, maybe the eyes – of my Savior, and that’s good enough for me.
‘Til the next time,