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?