Friday, January 23, 2009

Mina Goes to the Pediatric Ophthalmologist

This morning was hard. There was a lot of crying for no sane reason. I yelled, and you'll be shocked to know that it did no good.

We finally went to this appointment. I knew there would be trouble when I had to explain things that I really hate to explain in front of Mina, who I know hates listening to people talk about her. Things like PDD-NOS and sensory issues... I knew the eye drops would be trouble but I thought, I don't know, they work with kids and SURELY there are other autistic kids who need glasses, right? They probably have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves.

The first part of the eye exam was done by the Fellow and she was okay, and then we spoke briefly with the big cheese who was like a professor out of a book or something... With a crazy beard and quirky mannerisms and way of speaking... Mina liked him. But then this nurse came in to do the drops.

I explained for the third time that she hadn't done the dilation before because the first time she wouldn't cooperate and there wasn't enough help. The second time she was being referred and the optometrist knew she would have it done again and there was no sense in doing it twice. I talked and talked to Mina about it, and still, when the time came, she covered her eyes and let out a little cry. Right away the nurse was taking deep breaths and saying, "OH Jesus" in this mean spirited dramatic way. She kept trying to convince Mina to let her put the drops in. After about ten minutes of this I'd had enough and said, "She's never going to 'let' you. I was told you would be able to help restrain her. Let's just get this over with."

Mina sat in my lap curled up with her eyes covered and I tried to pull her back and hold her arms but she was thrashing around and the nurse slammed threw up her arms (again with the drama) and said, "That's it, we're DONE." I stared at her in disbelief and she went out. She came back in with the Fellow, who was able to calmly help me hold Mina and told me how to wrap my legs around Mina's, and she was able to put the eyedrops in Mina's eyes while Mina screamed at the top of her lungs, "PLEASE DON'T PUT THAT IN MY EYES I WANT TO GO HOME MAMA PLEASE PLEASE DON'T DO THIS TO ME!!!" etc and she was SO upset. I'm sure it was really terrifying. Being restrained and having stuff put in your eye... Ugh. Meanwhile nurse is still yelling "Jesus... Oh my god. Jesus!" and is having a freaking meltdown of her own. They smiled and said sorry to me and how it must be so hard, and, pardon me, readers, but I just wanted to tell this nurse to FUCK OFF. Whew, but I didn't. I was told to go out to the waiting room for forty minutes.

They were walking away when I felt it...

The hot knot in my throat, the tears welling up. Mina was still sobbing, crumpled in my lap, yelling about her burning eyes. I squeezed her hard and carried her and our jackets and my purse into the waiting area where we both just cuddled quietly for a while. I asked her if she wanted to watch the movie that was playing, and she said no. I asked if she wanted me to read Junie B Jones, and she said no. She said she just wanted to be held. Eventually we looked at some magazines together and she giggled a little about seeing fuzzy and kept asking how big her pupils were.

Finally it was time to go back and the doctor examined her eyes and came up with the prescription. He explained the "lazy eye" and that her particular kind would likely respond to glasses but they want to track the progress closely because they might want to patch the good eye if her vision isn't improving. I asked why he didn't want to patch right away and he just said it might not be necessary, and asked if I had any other questions.

I can't even remember what I was going to say but I started to say something about her glasses and he said, "WHAT?! She has glasses? Wha--why didn't you TELL ME that to start with?!" (I DID tell the Fellow and wrote about it in the paperwork they make you fill out) and all I could think to say was, "I was told they were really just guessing with the prescription..." and he continued to be flabbergasted that I didn't save them all a huge hassle by bringing in the glasses. "Why didn't you BRING them? Did you FORGET? Did you not think we would NEED them?" and I just sat there dumbly with my mouth open as tears welled up. I could. not. believe. I was being scolded. After all the crappiness I already had to deal with that day... What did he want me to say? "I didn't bring them because I'M AN IDIOT."

I've never done this whole glasses thing.

Jason and I have perfect vision.

I don't know.

I fail at ophthalmology visits.

Anyway. I managed to not cry until I got out to the car and then I couldn't hold it in anymore. I sat there and just SOBBED! Mina was on her way back to her seat and she turned around and said, quietly, "Mom? ... Why are you crying?" I felt so terrible about all of it. God it just sucked.

Then we went home and Jason asked how it went, and I cried again! Man. I didn't even cry the two times we had Mina in the ER with her head split open. :P

Also, I have had a kink in my neck for three days and it just keeps getting worse.

6 comments:

Her Hot Mess said...

Oh, these people. They should all be held down and have their worst fears forced upon them (spiders? public speaking?) by total strangers twice their size.

Those mean people suck, and I'm sorry you and Mina had to go through it. You didn't do ANYTHING wrong.

And you know I've been there, too.

Madam said...

I'm so glad you write about these things in this blog, even when you have awful, horrid days. I don't know why, but I just like reading them and wanting to reach out through the page and hold your hand. It's just real and honest and heartbreaking but still a testament to how much you love your daughter, and I love knowing that there are good people like you fighting and loving each other. I don't care if you think people thought you were stupid or whatever. I'm just really glad that you're out there. It makes me feel good.

(Now *I* sound stupid.)

Anonymous said...

oh my Hilary, I am so sorry that you all had to , or ever have to go through all that garbage. I wish I could just "wish" & make it all better for you. It hurts to watch my kids, your kids get hurt. Make up a spur of the moment angry song, and sing & shout & laugh. Dig into your fuckit bucket & find something delightful to eat. Get a big piece of paper & a black crayon & make a "mad" work of art.
If you were here I'd let you bang on the drums, both of you. I love you. ff

Caitlin Dale said...

I cannot believe you two were treated that way. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hilary. I came to your site through the link from Laura's. I wish you'd print copies of your articulate description of your experience and send them to the Pediatric Ophthalmologist and to the doctor who referred you to that office (and maybe your pediatrician if different from the referring doctor.) A much-needed wake-up call about their people skills.
EAC

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