In the car on the way to the Ophthalmologist, Elly and I talk about what will happen in the Doctors Office and how I expect her to behave. Our Pediatric Ophthalmologist sees around 60 children each day she is in the office so sometime the waits are long. We are now on an every 2-4 week visit. Here is how our visits go.
1. We check in with the receptionist
2. Then we wait in the waiting room until our name is called. Today there was another girl her age with glasses and a patch to talk to. Usually we walk to get a drink and read books since the wait is always long.
3. Tami brings us to the exam room and does a whole bunch of activities with Elly. Lots of them involve stickers and covering each eye. This time they used picture cards rather than lenses to asses her vision as Elly is old enough to name the pictures. We are at an estimated 20/400 in her right eye today – our best so far!
4. Then I ask my millions of questions while I try to keep Elly entertained with snacks and toys. I have found that I need to have my questions written ahead of time and have the doctor write the answers and big words that I know I will not remember.
5. After the initial assessment, we wait again for the Doctor. When she comes it is more stickers and sometimes puppets depending on Elly’s focus. Some times we sit in the chair and the doctor looks at her eyes through the phoropter
6. Then the Dr explains her progress, concerns, and what our treatment plan will be for the next X days including worse case scenarios. Words like “severe” and “hardest to treat” are like knives in my chest.
7. Once again, I try to keep Elly entertained again while I ask my second million questions. Thankfully today, they had an information sheet printed out with information on our current treatment plan; Atropine Drops
8. By this time, almost 2 hours after arriving at the office, Elly and I are overwhelmed and exhausted. We get our very cool sticker and head back to the receptionist to pay and schedule our next appointment.
I am always super exhausted and overwhelmed at the end of the visit. During the visit I try to be as upbeat as possible, but have cried on the drive home multiple times. Elly is always well behaved for the most part, I am well prepared with entertainment and talking about the visit before, but I am always worn out and emotional afterwards. Any ideas?
Take a few deep breaths after and try not to focus too much on it. Hang in there, your doing everything you can!
I remember getting into a huge fight with my husband after Zoe’s eye appointment where we learned she would need glasses. I think you hit it on the head – the appointments can be so draining and emotional, especially in the beginning.
I wish I had some good ideas for making it less stressful. With time, I think the appointments have gotten much easier and less emotional for us (with the exception of the appointment when we decided to go ahead with the surgery). I have fewer and fewer questions, it becomes more routine, and Zoe is rarely upset with any of the exam.
By the way, it sounds like you’ve found a fantastic PO – it’s great that you can ask so many questions. Those cards are different than what Zoe has used (she was always shown ones with squares of alternating black and white lines), but I’m wondering if they’ll go to those cards now that she’s 2 and more verbal.
amomofelly, I can’t help but think that it was my daughter who was the other “girl her age with glasses and a patch to talk to!” Your little girl looks just like the one we saw Wednesday morning in the waiting room.
I have the same feeling after the visits there. I am exhausted and emotionally worn out. (I really question if my daughter really needs surgery to correct her wandering eye and feel like there isn’t enough time to ask questions.) I have no advice to offer, but I always tell people about it and try to find people who have been or are in our situation.
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I recommend to not stress yourself after the visit, it will just make you feel worse!
Tammy – I so agree. It is worth it to take a breath first, meditate, do yoga, have a relaxing warm bath and not stress after appointments. My adreneline is usually racing for at least an hour from worries and entertaining kids at the office. I am getting MUCH better the more we go (we are on a weekly basis this month)I have found that I write my questions down and call the next day as there always seems to be something else or clarifications that I am in need of.
I have just been informed that one of my 2 1/2 year old twins has astigmatism R-2.50 L-1.50. I work in the trade and I knowthat is bad (worse than myself). Feeling very sad that he will need glasses. The boys are non identical and we were expecting the one that takes after me to have the eye problems. Plus it would explain the temper and non talking pobs. But no it is the one that is just like hubby. Healthy family chip off the old block but with my dodgy eyes. I feel it is MY FAULT. MY GENES. 😦 😦 my poor baby.
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Its kind of comforting knowing I am not the only one who feels this way. We were just told that our daughter needed glasses today and I have been anxious all day. I mean we are all used to being tired but I have been extremely exhausted since the appointment. I had the surgery when I was young then wore glasses until I was about 10. I am so sad my daughter will go thru the same experience. I hope times have changed and kids are nicer then they were back then.