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

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Big Eye Appointment

Last week, Rugrat had an appointment at a special eye clinic called New View. They are specialists in low vision and particularly in helping with day to day functioning. For children, they help parents get help with schooling and other government programs too when it is needed.

I was a little concerned about how well it would go because of her fear with eye doctors. The fact that it was supposed to last 3 hours didn't make me happy either.

I started talking to her about it two days before the appointment just to get her used to the idea that she would go. We even tried assuring her it wouldn't be as bad because they probably wouldn't need to do a pressure (glaucoma test) on her eyes.

She was quietly nervous all the way there. And as we sat to wait for the doctor, a few tears slipped out despite the fact that I had asked the receptionist about doing the pressure and was told it wasn't necessary.

Once the doctor called us in, Rugrat immediately asked, "No pressure?" And she asked several more times. When she finally decided the lady wasn't lying, she relaxed and even had fun.

For the first time, she even did the 'is this one better -- or that one?' thing so that her current eyeglass prescription was confirmed as correct. And we now know exactly what power her eyes are. Surprisingly, they are better than Hubby's. Hopefully, they will correct as well as his do, too, as she gets older.

She also saw an Orientation and Mobility Trainer. That was interesting. He basically checked to make sure she wasn't in any danger of falling or banging into things because she couldn't see them. I could have probably told them to skip that part. I'm fairly certain the only reason the doctor wanted her to see him was to check that she had depth perception.

For the main test, we went for a long walk around the building and parking lot so he could see that she handled curbs, inclines, pot holes, etc. just fine.

He did comment that he noticed she looked at him (in front of her) from the side a lot. While I hadn't noticed her doing that specifically, I wasn't surprised by it and told him so. With nystagmus, there is a thing called 'null point' where the person tends to look to one side or other so that they can focus. I don't specifically see her do that but it may just be something I don't notice because I am used to her behaviors now too. He had wanted to point it out so that he was sure I knew about it.

After the O and M Trainer, we saw the final person -- a Low Vision Occupational Therapist. She was actually the one I was most curious to hear from. Her job is to make recommendations about helping with Rugrat's everyday life. The doctor had explained that it could be something as simple as putting milk in a dark colored cup so that the contrast made it easy to see.

She played some games with Rugrat and tested some things. She even played a little catch with a bouncy ball. The occupational therapist said (and I am quoting) "she's doing fine." As far as she could see, Rugrat was perfectly okay and didn't really need anything. No recommendations at this time!

She did show us, at the request of the doctor, a dome magnifier. It's a little 3-inch circular thing that you place over something you want to read and it magnifies it four times so that it is easier to see. The OT said that it might be good to get one for her to handle and play with in case she needed one later (school book print tends to get smaller with later grades) so that Rugrat would be used to it.

I think we might get one. Sometimes it is hard for me to distinguish 'a' from 'o' in some of her stuff so I know it probably is for her as well. There's no reason to unnecessarily strain her eyes when something so simple could help. I've let her use her little magnifying glass (from Science) a few times in Phonics since and she really gets a kick out of it. I don't know that it helps much at all. Often she'll look around it to read. But she likes to hold it nonetheless.

All the people there were very nice. As we did our walking test, we unwittingly walked into a few offices. The last one was a lady whom we hadn't met nor had any reason to but she immediately turned and called Rugrat by name. It's that kind of place.

They all knew who was coming in and why even if they weren't seeing that person specifically. They were all patient with Rugrat and none of them pushed or probed without letting her know what was going on. They all even answered her never ending questions without irritation.

Probably one of the best compliments this place could have gotten though came as we pulled out of the parking lot when Rugrat told me: "I had fun, mama."

Pretty high praise indeed!

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