So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Eye Appointment

Rugrat had another eye appointment on Friday. It went very well.

I started telling her about it mid-week. I made sure to remind her that Dr. Trigler is her friend and he just wants to help her. And I made a point to remind her that he wasn't like the doctors she had before.I've been assuming all along that this fear (almost rabid, terrorizing fear) comes from having been 'treated' by doctors at a young age who weren't terribly compassionate.

In her country, an orphan has no familial connections making them essentially worthless in most of society's eyes. Throw on a special need (as with her eyes) and they are less than worthless. It wouldn't surprise me at all (even just based on our own personal experiences with the doctors there) if they had let that attitude color their treatment of her. Only 1 of the 4 we personally saw for her paperwork acted pleasant or compassionate towards her. Or even was gentle.

Setting that possibility aside, even if they were gentle and compassionate when treating her, she was very young. And the kind of examinations they had to do would have been, at a minimum, uncomfortable and more than likely somewhat painful.

So it made an impression -- one that stuck. As far as she's concerned, all doctors hurt. No exceptions.

We've been trying a lot of strategies to help her get past this idea. I talked about them in this post about her last appointment. The only one we've since added is trying to talk about the "before doctors" and the "now doctors." Reminding her that her current one isn't like the ones before. He's trying to help and wants to be her friend.

(I truly hope that her 'before' doctors were compassionate and that her fear is more the result of her young age and the procedure coloring her memories. I simply don't know though. And it's easier to just point out a difference between that memory -- no matter what caused it -- and the truth of how things are now.)

I don't know if one thing in particular is working or if it is all of them combined with her getting older, but I'll take it. Progress is still progress.

And this progress was awesome. It's the pressure test that she hates so much. Checking for glaucoma at least twice a year is a necessary evil with her eyes so she really has to get over it and learn to deal with it. She began with the usual this time; hiding her face, crying, twisting and turning. Kicking and escalated fit throwing comes next but we didn't get that far.

In the time between the nurse and the doctor coming in, we talked to her some more. More reminding that this doctor is different. More assuring that if she cooperates, it will be done fast and over with. More being stern to let her know it was going to happen regardless.

And by the time we got to the test, she made the effort (squeezing my hand and with tears running down her cheeks) to hold still and let him do it. Throughout, she asked him "Just one more?" and he would assure her that he was almost done.

But for the first time since that single fluke at the beginning when she didn't know what he was doing, she sat and allowed it without being held down or having her eyes held open, without screaming, without trying to take out the doctor's ability to reproduce, without needing more than one adult.

She sat on my lap but I was there for comfort only. I didn't even have to hold her still. It was, by far, the best and most cooperative she's ever been. And Hubby was more than happy to stop off at Wal-Mart for a special 'good job' toy when we were done too.

I am so proud of the way she is learning to take on her fear. It still rears its ugly head occasionally, especially in new circumstances and not always to do with doctors either. And we still have to push at times but she is definitely conquering it, if only piece by piece. I have no doubt that eventually we will win this fight. And I find myself more curious than ever to see the strong, confident woman she will someday become.

No comments: