Tuesday, January 11, 2011

my visit to the pediatric specialist, this time

I spent the better part of an hour this morning waiting with Grace to see her Ophthalmologist. I really don't mind waiting 20 minutes, 30 is fine too. But over an hour. Wow. And of course it is like this every time. It was the same way with Jimmy's Orthopedic surgeon. Whew.

My nerves bundle up into little clumps every time I enter the parking garage of a children's hospital. I'm so glad our little situations are just that - little and situations - not huge and life threatening. However, I'm always worried about what the doctor may say. We spent years (about 7) patching Grace's eye. This was the "conservative" approach. They would say, 'let's patch for just a little bit longer,' and then at the next visit, 'she's so close, we'll patch some more,' or my favorite 'she's actually slipped a little, we need to patch a bit more this time.'

At the time we had no idea there was another route to go. And not to try and unsuccessfully toot our own horns over here, but we were in position to know there was another route to go. It wasn't until we moved to San Diego (and had a change of doctors) before we found out how slow we had been moving along. Surgery was recommended, and we decided to go for it (with a second opinion) once we moved here. It was successful. We all lived. And Grace's eyes seemed to do exactly what they were supposed to do.

Until Christmas morning. That's when we discovered they were not doing what they were supposed to be doing. And for the record, that isn't the best time to find out you have a non-urgent problem. If you've got a medical emergency on Christmas morning there are people there to take care of you; if you've got a non-urgent problem, well not so much! It took many, many days to get in to see our guy. Many, many days is too many for me.

As we pulled off the freeway, the nerve bundles begin to clump. I can tell this is happening because I put a force-smile on and answer every question Grace has (she has many, by the way) in a positive, yet tense, fashion. I cling to the steering wheel as we turn to drive through every level of the garage (we had to go all the way up this time) and I remind myself that breathing is better than the alternative. I also remind myself that whatever happens we'll deal with it. Whatever it is, it will be fine.

We sit in the waiting room. The Lion King is on (never one of my favorites). Grace loves it and the time passes quickly for her. I flip through magazines, send random texts to Nate (those always amuse me, but that discussion is for another time). I get in some serious people watching. And finally, it is our turn.

We are hurried back into the exam room. Grace chitters and chatters non-stop. She tells me fascinating facts from a 2006 almanac she checked out at the library. We discuss
Roman mythology. I am grateful we are finally back, grateful I cannot hear "The Circle of Life" song playing during the credits, and grateful I can't overhear various mothers in the waiting room discussing their personal problems.

The doctor rushes in. He looks at her, at the three pairs of glasses I brought (if we need to wait for new ones to come in, I want to know if any of these are better than none during our wait time), and then he rushes out. In the two minutes he is out of the room, Nate magically appears. Once the doctor returns, within 5 minutes he determines that everything with her eyes is JUST FINE and that further corrective surgery is NOT required. All we need is to get new glasses, ones that aren't as strong. Turns out we need some that aren't as strong as any pair we've ever had.

I am stunned. I am breathing. Everything is okay. Everything is more than okay.

I'm still stunned.


Katers said...

Hey, that is fantastic news!

Anonymous said...

Amazing news! What a relief! I hope Gracie can still use her stylin' frames.

Wendy said...

Yay for not strong glasses!! Yay for no surgery! Yay for eyesight!

kim said...

I am glad everything turned out okay. i was getting pretty tense there reading your story. Whew. I was very glad it had a happy ending.

Emily S. said...

Your emotions here made my own heart ache with stress, then relief. I am so glad, so so glad, that things look even better than expected. Relief!!

Becky said...

Oh, that's wonderful! I'm sure sorry that you had to go through all those days and hours of waiting to know, though!

Laura F said...

That's great news!!! You might be the person who will appreciate that we switched to the West County extension of Children's Hospital for opthamology. Yes, they have one now. And it's a dream! We get in, are the only ones there, all the toys work and have all the pieces, and for most appointments we're out again 20 minutes after we arrive. AND there's a playground outside. Yes, Izzie's eye doctor appointments are now my favorites. I'm happy for Grace's news, and sorry you spent so much time in waiting rooms for no reason. Maddening!