Thursday, October 4, 2012
Albino or Not?
(I posted this picture, even though it is not particularly flattering because it does show my daughter's unique coloring.)
Toothsome #4 came into this world on a very rainy night/morning in October. As she was being delivered, I heard the doctor say, "Oh, she is a bald." Then, shortly afterwards, I heard, "No, she has a head full of white hair."
Toothsome #4 was born with 2 inches of thick white hair all over her head. She was the "star" of the hospital that night with nurses coming in saying, "I heard there was a baby born with thick white hair. We see that with black/brown hair but never white."
At almost 40, I am still a natural blond, having never colored my hair and my dad, at almost 80 is too. I have a sister who is 50 with blond, never-dyed hair and on my husband's side of the family (even though he is quite dark), he has cousins with very fair hair, skin and blue eyes. We have always called Toothsome #4 "recessive." I never even considered that my child could be an albino until one day, at Legoland, a family with an albino child wanted to talk to us about our (Toothsome #4) albino child. I laughed it off and then looked at their child. She looked exactly like mine, blue eyes and all.
So, I did a little research (approximately 10% of albinos have blue eyes) and the pictures showed children that looked a lot like Toothsome #4. I asked my pediatrician at her next well-baby visit about it. He laughed it off. Then said, "And if she is, how would this change things? I know you and I know you will make sure she is completely sun screened."
So, I quit thinking about it. However, sometimes as often as once a month, I get people asking me if she is an albino. It is usually worded awkwardly like, "It is interesting she is so fair when your other kids aren't. She almost looks like an albino, which I'm sure she isn't, isn't she?"
So, yesterday, I took Toothsome #4 in for an eye exam. Her Kindergarten eye exam was somewhat inconclusive and Toothsome #1 had major eye issues (2 lazy eyes, a brief period with patching, etc.) and I finally faced the music that I should at least make sure she could see properly.
During the exam, the eye tech, casually commented on how fair she was. I cut to the quick and said, "She's not an albino." He said, "Well, we'll check just to make sure." He seemed to spend a lot of time looking in her eyes. He then said, "Is there a history of albinism in your family?" Gulp. I answered, "No." He said, "Well, she doesn't have it."
He then went into a very good explanation on what they look for and she didn't have any of the signs.
Then, the eye doctor (a family friend) came in and said, "So, I see on the notes that you are worried she has albinism. I'll double check." In my mind, I thought, "Really? I just wanted to make sure she could see. But sure, let's rule this out completely." Because our eye doctor is such a dang nice guy, he went into an even longer explanation of what he is looking for and then did the exam.
No question, she is NOT an albino.
And, I am strangely happy to finally have a conclusive answer.
But, she is very far-sighted and will need glasses.