Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crazy Tuesday

Ok, I'm backtracking again, but some interesting stuff (for some!) happened yesterday, so here goes.

After PT at home, I dropped Lukas at Bible Study to play with the other kids while I took Natalie to the ophthalmologist. I knew she'd have to have her eyes dilated, which takes a long time, and I knew I wasn't up to keeping two kids occupied for 2 hours in a waiting room, while pregnant. Thanks to Chris and Christine for keeping track of Lukas during the appointment!

When we arrived at 10:10 for our 10:15 appointment, the waiting room was full. I asked the receptionist if the doctor was running on time or behind, and the first thing she said was, "He came in late today." Hmmm. I asked, "so is he 30 minutes or an hour behind?" She said about an hour (!) but then another lady in the office (recognizing how incendiary that would be to me and other parents) said, "Not that much behind...all the kids in the waiting room have had the drops in their eyes, so they're waiting for their eyes to dilate."

Ok. Natalie and I read books and sang and played games, but I finally resorted to the pacy to keep her calm. We saw the doctor at 11 am, after which he ordered the dilation (he has to see the child before their eyes can be dilated), so then our 30 minute wait starts. In addition, the doctor said his only way to check the pressure in her eyes is to put her under sedation and check it in the hospital, since he doesn't have the equipment in his office. Natalie has had her pressure checked at a glaucoma specialist, and he used something the size of a pen-light to do it. I'm sure it's a couple-thousand-dollar instrument, and Natalie's doctor has just not decided to invest in it.

Natalie and I had had enough of the crowded waiting room so I put her in the stroller and we walked around the hallway corridor to wait for her eyes to dilate. Natalie and Lukas' pediatrician is on the same floor, so I took the time to ask one of the office staff there if there is another pediatric ophthalmologist in our group: there is one other, so I got the name and address. The past three times we've seen Natalie's current ophthalmologist (including one time under sedation), he came to work late, so I see a addition to him not getting an instrument that would allow Natalie to get tested without going under!

As we were rounding the corner on our walking of the hallways, who did I run into but Tom's mom! What a surprise! She was waiting outside the restroom for Tom's dad, sitting prettily in her wheel chair. She had just come from seeing Dad's knee doctor about her knee (she's fallen several times lately--no fracture, but still pain) and that doctor is on the same floor as Natalie's doctor. Dad came out and I talked to Mom and Dad for a few minutes before it was time for Natalie to be checked (eyes now fully dilated). It was a fun surprise to see them!

The doctor said Natalie's prescription has worsened slightly (she was a -8, now is -9). I think it's attributed to the cupping on her optic nerve, which is often a sign of glaucoma, but she doesn't have the high pressure of glaucoma (fairly common in RTS for kids to have optic nerve cupping but no glaucoma...but also common for RTS kids to develop glaucoma). So we definitely need to have her pressure checked regularly.

When I came home, I called the other ophthalmologist's office and asked the receptionist if he has the instrument to check pressure. She put me on hold several times to check on my questions, and then the doctor himself came on the line and talked to me. That was great! So if Natalie's current doctor's referral to a glaucoma specialist sends us to UCLA (1.5 hour drive each way) again like it did the last time, I'm going to ask our pediatrician to refer us to this new ophthalmologist (local).

I am so thankful to have this other option for Natalie's eye care.

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