Charlie had an appointment early this morning with the ophthalmologist. I really like her ophthalmologist. He is quirky, works well with Charlie, answers my questions fully, and seems to really care. He once told me that he performed the ROP exam on himself to make sure that he was not hurting the babies.
The doctor patient relationship between Charlie and the ophthalmologist started in the NICU. He monitored her retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Mostly, the relationship consisted of the doctor observing Charlie’s progress. Luckily, the ROP corrected on its own and did not require any intervention.
At Charlie’s last ophthalmology exam, the doctor mentioned that she was significantly more far sighted in one eye than the other. (For those of you wondering how they test babies vision, it has to do with measuring the lens.) We hoped that it, like the ROP, would correct over time. However, it was decided today that Charlie needed glasses to prevent possible surgical intervention and to assist with her vision development.
The ophthalmologist had finished examining Charlie and was making notes on her chart. Charlie was perched on my lap clapping and babbling as I packed up our things. I expected the doctor to suggest exercises to help Charlie’s lazy eye and was waiting for the instructions.
When he finished scribbling on the chart, he looked up and announced, “Charlie needs glasses.” Surprised, I repeated, “Charlie needs glasses?” He explained the reasoning and the process to obtain glasses for her. I thanked him as he handed me Charlie’s prescription.
After the appointment, Charlie and I set off for a local optician. We were greeted by several friendly employees. They measured Charlie for her glasses (more difficult than it sounds). We sorted through and decoded the insurance coverage. Finally, we decided on the practically indestructible style of glasses pictured above.
Charlie will let us know how much she likes her new glasses when they arrive. I am curious how her sensory issues are going to affect her adjustment to wearing glasses. I am interested to see if she becomes more engrossed in visual activities, if her play skills improve, and if her head tilt will disappear.
Appointments like the one today remind me that, even now, anything can happen when visiting the doctor. Who knows? Maybe the new glasses will help Charlie understand her world better.