Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Drew's First Trip to the Eye Doctor

I'm sure after reading the title, most will want to know right away "does Drew need glasses". I'm going to start at the beginning though, so you will have to wait (unless, of course, you skip this and scroll to the bottom of the post - haha)! I'm sorry to report that I don't have pictures of this - I didn't think about my camera until we were there and Drew was sitting in the chair.

At our school, our nurse completes a hearing and vision screening on every kindergarten student at the beginning of the year. From this screening, she marks who may need to be re-checked. Then, from the re-checks she decides whether they need to see a doctor to have their hearing/vision checked.

I found out about a month ago that Drew needed to have his vision rechecked by our school nurse. About 2 weeks ago, our school nurse contacted me to let me know that in the first screening, one of Drew's eyes measured 20/40 and the other measured 20/50. While rechecking his eyes, she found that both measured 20/50. So, after speaking with her, I knew he needed to have an appointment with our family eye doctor (Dr. McPhail).

Since I needed new contacts, I made Drew and myself an appointment for this afternoon. I had tried to prepare Drew as best I could for this appointment, but I wasn't sure how extensive an eye exam would be for a five year old.

When we arrived, Drew was first to have his "pre-tests" completed. He looked into the machine so the tech could measure the curves of his eyes. Then, she performed the "puff test" which checks for glaucoma. When I found out that his exam consisted of this test, I was worried about how he would do. I thought once she got the "puff" in the first eye, he wouldn't want her to "puff" the second eye. He did fine through both "pre-test" handling the "puff" better than mommy does! Next it was mommy's turn for the "pre-test", and the tech let Drew come behind the machines with her to be her "helper". Drew loved this part, and I'm even beginning to think he might want to be an optometrist when he gets big.

Next it was time to go into the exam room with Dr. McPhail. Drew wanted me to go first, which was the best idea because he could watch to see what would be coming for him. He watched as Dr. McPhail determined my prescription by asking "which is better" after he flips the dials on his machine. Drew then watched as Dr. McPhail used the light and mirror and looked in my eyes. Then I agreed when Dr. McPhail asked if I was going to let him dilate my eyes. This is the part I dislike the most (a close second is the "puff test"), but I agreed anyway! After he put the drops in and my eyes got over the shock of the stinging sensation, I was able to put contacts back in while Dr. McPhail started with Drew's exam.

Drew did well during the exam up until the part where Dr. McPhail started asking "which is better". You would have thought Drew was answering a question as part of some major test the way he was struggling with the answer. Finally Dr. McPhail stopped and explained to Drew exactly what he needed to do, and the examination continued. Dr. McPhail was very good with Drew - patient and understanding. Drew asked if he was going to put drops in his eyes and I was surprised when he did. Drew was very surprised by the way the drops felt, and he started making the funniest face. That's when I really wished I had my camera!!

Dr. McPhail had been talking to me during the whole process of my exam and then Drew's about Drew's eyes. He said "he got your eyes" before he even began my exam - the only thing I could think was he gathered that information from the "pre-test". He later said he doesn't appear to have your near-sightedness, but he does have pretty strong astigmatism as you do. From this, I was pretty sure he would need glasses even before he finished with Drew's exam. So, while we waited for the drops to dilate our eyes, we walked over to look at frames.

When we got back into the exam room, Dr. McPhail examined Drew's dilated eyes first. Drew had a very hard time keeping his eyes open as the doctor used his bright light. I was getting on to Drew, but the Dr. said "mom he's okay, he can't really help it - it's his blue eyes". He also went on to say that Drew did excellent for a five year old boy. He said "I would rather see 10 girls this age over 1 boy this age - boys this age are more dramatic". He said "but we are glad to have Drew as part of our practice, he did a great job, most 5 year old boys I'm ready to give away, I will keep Mr. Drew". Then it was my turn to have him look at my eyes - this went relatively quick compared to Drew's struggle. Then we found that yes Drew would need glasses and they would need to be on a permanent basis - so he even needs to wear them while playing sports.

So, after paying for our exams, Drew and I went back to choose his frames. He settled on a pair of wire-rimmed frames that really looked nice with his face. I liked the brown wire-rimmed ones better, but he chose blue. it was since I want him to be happy with these glasses and want to wear them. I was a little shocked to see that his glasses were more expensive than my contacts. (Shows how long it has been since I've bought a pair of glasses - I would be lost without my contacts!!!)

Excited he is - he wanted to get his glasses today. It was hard for him to understand that his glasses have to be made. So, now we wait! We go back on the 28th (if they don't call us before then) to pick up his new glasses, and hopefully my contacts. Look for a different-looking Drew in pictures soon!

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