Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eye Doctor

Yesterday Ian had a full work up by his opthalmologist, Dr. Kekish. He's been seeing her since he was 18 months old. After intense patching failed to clear up a lazy left eye, he had surgery to correct the problem at age three. He is now almost seven and the surgery has been an unequivocal success. We go to see the doctor twice a year, once for the full eye exam, and once to make sure things are progressing (or not regressing) as they should be.

Yesterday was the full exam with eye drops for dilation and a prescription check. At the beginning of the appointment, a new nurse or doctor's aide brought us into the office. It was a man named Bobby and I don't think he is used to dealing with verbose six year old boys. Ever since the office brought in a pediatric opthalmologist, Dr. Kekish's staff doesn't see many children. Ian is her only remaining pediatric patient and he has been cooed over by the lady nurses for years. Bobby didn't seem completely comfortable talking to a little boy who says whatever he thinks. Bobby proceeded to do a standard eye check with the alphabet letters and I was horrified to see that Ian could only read two rows of letters with his glasses on using only his left eye. After a recent growth spurt, Dr. Kekish thinks his eyes have changed and his prescription is actually getting weaker. This is the first time in the five years we have been seeing her that the prescription has gotten weaker. It has always been stronger, but she said it is very common for the vision of farsighted children to improve, with some actually outgrowing their need for glasses. She said he has probably stopped using his left eye for reading because the prescription was too strong for his eyes now. His prescription actually dropped by a number of 1.75 - that's huge! I was amazed, because in the van on the way to the doctor's office, we were saying our morning prayers when Ian prayed that his eyes would get better and he wouldn't need his glasses anymore. I thought it was cute and quaint, but naive. I'm glad my adult cynicism was proven wrong.

Some of the funny things that happened at the office were Ian burping and excusing himself, but then describing what the burp tasted and smelled like. After the doctor left I explained that he shoudln't talk about the taste or smell of a burp, at least not in front of people who are responsible for his medical care. Emma let out a sneeze and covered her mouth and nose completely. She was very proud of herself and loudly whispered to me, "I didn't sneeze on her [the doctor]. When I was little I sneezed all over people, but I'm a big girl now and I don't sneeze on people." Then on the way out to the van, Emma asked Ian to hold her hand because I was holding Zoe and a stuffed zebra that had accompanied us to the doctor's office. Ian agreed, but told her they had to act like "cool kids." Then they both proceeded to slink through the parking lot, bobbing their head to one side. I couldn't help but think to myself that a "cool" kid probably wouldn't hold his sister's hand to walk through the parking lot. I'm glad my cool kid did.

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