As is the case with doctor's appointments SS's family medical history became an issue. At least we know something about her birth and that is very important. The doctor was very surprised by SS's good health, given her birth circumstances and sixteen months of barely getting sustenance. It reminded us how lucky we are, first that SS somehow ended in the non special needs list. Also that we have been blessed with such a healthy child, after all she endured. I also learned that SS dodged a bullet in terms of her vision. The doctor asked me a question about her first few months of life, and I told her what I knew. She then asked a specific question that sadly I could not answer. But the doctor is certain it happened, and I can't understand why I never thought of it. Bottom line is SS is doing remarkably well in terms of development. We might have to have her vision checked more than once a year, due to that issue.
SS was anxious and very scared of the exam. She clung to her cars the entire time. She was asked by the assistant, then the doctor if she had problems seeing the board at school, if things looked blurry, if she had headaches after school, and if letters jumped around when she read. She answered no to all the questions. The doctor examined SS's left eye first and was surprised that SS had no complaints, because she has 20/70 vision. The doctor said that it was much weaker than SS should have at age six. Then the right eye examination explained why SS said no to vision problems. Her right eye vision is 20/40, "No wonder she didn't complain, she has a very good eye." I knew we were going to have to go the eyeglass route and was not happy.
P and I wear glasses, I have no problem with them. But SS is so young, accident prone and forgetful. She has lost so many jackets in the last year alone at school. The girl falls all the freaking time as well. About two months ago I arrived to watch SS in archery, and was stunned. She had left the house with bandaids on her elbows from scrapes in the playground at school the previous day. By the afternoon she had bandaids on both knees from another fall. Glasses and our SS are just not a good mix. I crossed my fingers for a verdict of reading only glasses.
SS is nearsighted and I embarrassed myself by asking exactly what that meant. I always get near and far sighted wrong. Now I'm more embarrassed because it's an easy concept. As near sighted SS can see near, but has difficulty seeing far. Wait, reading requires seeing near... Oh crud, I knew what was coming. SS needs to wear her glasses full time, and the doctor wants to see her three months after she starts wearing them. SS had grown increasingly comfortable with the doctor, who was gushing over her cuteness. The doctor is female, Asian and has two kids, but was all over SS. Her admiration increased when they got to the part I dreaded. The 1 or 2, which one looks better? Except that I worried for nothing because SS is a 1 or 2 savant. The doctor said she has never had a child do so well. Most kids hem and haw, guess, or say what they think the doctor wants to hear. The Dr. was on a high about how easy it was with SS. She told me what an amazing child I have every single time SS answered. The Dr. also said that SS was surprisingly consistent, whatever than means in the exam context.
It was going so darn well, until the doctor screwed up our bliss. She told me that we couldn't skip the pupil dilation due to the birth issue we discussed earlier. She knew that SS was very hesitant coming in, and she said she wished we could skip the eye drops, but she really needed to take a better look. I'm not a fan of an upset SS, but when it comes to her health we will do whatever it takes for our girl to get the care she needs. SS has never had eye drops since we met, no idea about before. And that is the b*tch about not knowing. SS has what appear like extreme reactions to certain things that should not be a big deal. When that thought creeps in (usually because some ignorant jackass makes a dumb ass assumption) we always give the girl the benefit of the doubt. SS's first sixteen months on earth were not an idyllic existence. Our baby has scars that will last a lifetime, and since they are not physical, ignorant people make judgments based on what they do not know.
The drops, yeah it did not go well, SS did not only cry, she trashed around like a fish out of water, and broke my heart when she asked me why I was doing that to her. I was holding her prone on my lap. The doctor was shocked by her reaction, made eye contact with me, I think hoping I could explain. No idea doc , no idea, I could only shrug my shoulders is response while kissing my baby's tear soaked face. Then came the best part, there was a second set of drops and I had to pry SS's eyelids open. I have posted a lot about how medical procedures do not phase me, even when my kids are involved. It has led P to sometimes question my sanity because he feels parents should get darn emotional about that. I do, I really do, but crying in those circumstances does not help the child. I prefer to fall apart once my child is OK.
But SS's reaction got me to a place I had not been before. The drops sting a little, but nothing to bring such a visceral reaction. I was well aware of that and was angry as hell that I could not help SS. I held her, I kissed her, I reassured her, but my baby lost it. I felt so inadequate, so powerless and thought if P was there, he could make it better. Of course I'm being silly, and my love for my daughter got the best of me. It was raw, real and disturbing. There is a side of SS that will always blindside us, just like yesterday. We do not mind the reaction, but we do mind not knowing its etiology. Because that vital piece of SS's puzzle would allow us to at least address what is in her mind. I don't think P will be thrilled but play therapy is in SS's imminent future. No six year old should have to deal with "the past," kids should just be kids.
The doctor had even better news for me, she was so apologetic when she said she wanted to wait as long as possible to get SS's pupils dilated. The issue she brought up due to SS's birth is vital to our daughter's health and early intervention is key to SS's well being. As messed up as SS was, we had to wait an hour before her eyes were dilated to the max, and facilitate a more thorough exam. SS was not up to it, and for the first time ever she was a hellion in the waiting room. I had to pry her away from the frame display she tried to destroy. P and I are not lax when it comes to SS's behavior, and there is no way we'd ever allow her to just seek and destroy. But this is the first time I could not remove SS from the situation and it was intense. Mind you, others there had a different point of view and were praising SS's behavior. That is, compared to what they see everyday. That's just not good enough for us. We have had scathing remarks about our parenting, specifically what we expect from SS's behavior. Oh well, guess we are the victims of parents who expected the same from us.
The doctor did not find anything concerning after the dilation but was bummed that SS's astigmatism and nearsightedness did not improve. That was a new one for me, the doctor explained that those issues are less severe after dilation. That is why SS needs to return in three months, and have another round of eye drops. Next time we are both going to be there, those drops triggered something in SS, and she needs both parents to help her get through whatever traumatized her.
Like last year, SS had difficulty seeing 3D, she could only identify three out of six.
SS held her cars throughout our unexpected marathon appointment.