Sam’s story

Hello all! I’m Amanda, Sam’s mom (as you can see from my uninspired username. lol) I’ll just jump right in and tell how Sam came to wear glasses. He’s 2.5 yrs old and looks like a little professor with his glasses on.

We started noticing a few months ago that he was squinting at the TV and computer. Yes, I let him watch TV and play on the computer. Bad mama. Anyway, we decided to just watch him for a few weeks and see if he was squinting at other things, or maybe it was just the glare from the screens that was making him squint. But, it wasn’t just the TV and computer. He was squinting at books and anything he was trying to see details on. When he pointed at some strange man in the pool and called him Daddy I knew he really had a problem. His preschool teachers were seeing a problem, too.

So, I called Sam’s pediatrician, knowing they would have him come in and just give us a referral. I was surprised when the nurse insisted first that we trying using allergy eye drops in Sam’s eyes. I’m pretty sure my response was “What?” And I was thinking “You’ve got to be @#^^ kidding me? Have you ever tried to hold down a toddler and put eye drops in?”

Needless to say, the drops did nothing, so we made an appointment. The doctor was asking our family history of eye problems and her eyebrows kept going up and the list kept getting longer. Glaucoma, detached retinas, cataracts, and vision problems! Oh my. Doctor said that history alone would get him a referral to the pediatric ophthalmologist.

T he appointment with the eye doctor took a month to get (not bad when you’re talking about a specialist associated with a major medical facility). Sam’s preschool teachers asked during that month if I was going to take him to the doctor and gave me the most disbelieving look when I told them he had the appointment and it would be a few weeks before we could get in.

So, finally we were off to see the eye doctor. We must have been the first appointment of the day, or else they are very good at running on time, because I didn’t even have time to fill out all the paperwork before they called us back. The nurse did her evaluation and it was obvious that he couldn’t see her chart full of pictures unless it was practically hanging off his nose. “We have to dilate his eyes,” she said. “Ok, have fun,” said I. I held on tight to little hands while Sam screamed and the nurse got the drops in. We got to play in the playroom until they had time to take effect, and then it was time for the doctor.

He was really fabulous and obviously in the right field working with kids. But, I’m not sure how he figured out what Sam’s prescription was. He held a toy in his mouth and jiggled it while he held different lenses up to Sam’s eyes and looked through them with his little light. Voila! Prescription done! But I don’t know how that told him what Sam needed.

The bad news, to me anyway, is that Sam’s prescription is as bad as mine, and mine didn’t get this bad until I was an adult. I started wearing glasses at about 7 or so, but my vision wasn’t this bad then. Sam’s is. He’s a -7 in one eye, and a -8 in the other. In other words, the kid is very, very nearsighted, and little kids are supposed to be slightly farsighted.

I was a little bit in shock, but gather up the kid and the prescription and headed off to Target to check out their optical store. I went there because they are the only optical store in my little suburb town and I’m betting we’ll need lots of adjustments. Somewhere handy seemed the best idea. Besides, if there is a place specializing in children around here, I’ve never heard of it. The eye doctor mentioned places like Eyemasters, so I’m guessing there isn’t.

Sam was asleep when we got there, but woke up cranky. In retrospect, we should have waited a few hours, but I was in “Oh my God, Sam’s got to have glasses” mode. He cried and pretty much refused to try on glasses after the fist pair, so the saleslady and I pretty much picked on the ones I liked and that she thought would fit and forced a few pairs on him. We found some that fit and called it quits. Amazingly, after she let him play with the doohickey that measures the distance between your pupils, he was fine with her doing that. She got it all written done, I paid and off we went. The glasses would be back in a few days (like mine always are).

Two days later, the glasses were in, and off we went to get them. The was much wailing and gnashing of teeth on his part but we got Sam to wear them. We bribed him with a new Thomas toy if he would put them on and leave them alone, so he did, and Daddy let him pick out the most expensive Thomas set that Target had. Thanks Daddy.

Since then, he’s been doing ok with the glasses. He protests putting them on in the mornings, but once they are on, he’s usually ok. Occasionally he complains that they are hurting his nose, or that he can’t see, but I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s just trying to get me to take them off, so I ignore these complaints.

He seems to be accepting them because he was telling big sister Ellie yesterday that he wears glasses just like mama does and she didn’t, only mama and Sam!

2 responses to “Sam’s story

  1. Welcome Amanda! Sounds like you found a fantastic pediatric ophthalmologist. Zoe screamed during her first appointment. Does Sam’s doctor think his eyes will continue to get more nearsighted?

    Sounds like Sam is much like Zoe was when she first got her glasses, protests when they first go on, and then is mostly ok. She’s fine having them put on now, but it took a while to get to that point. I think it’s great that he sees his glasses as a way of being like you!


  2. Thanks for sharing your story! I agree with Ann Z, your eye doctor sounds awesome. I wish I had one like that! If you’re still having problems with Sam keeping his glasses on, I suggest either getting him into Harry Potter (hee hee), or trying some of the books on the book lists with kids in glasses in them. Franklin seems to naturally gravitate to other kids with glasses, so maybe seeing other guys his age in specs will help! Good luck!


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