Monday, April 7, 2008

I thought I’d fill you all in on our trip to the eye doctor this afternoon.

We thought it would be a good idea to get a second opinion, so we saw an eye doc that Early Intervention recommended. It was a long afternoon, but it went well.

We liked the new doctor and have decided we will go to him in the future for a couple of reasons. First the clinic is closer to our house so we wouldn’t have to drive as far. Second, he was an optimistic fellow. Third, he took way more time to explain things to us than most doctors have.

So what did we learn?

The doctor was very explanatory. In our experiences so far, most doctors don’t really explain things well or sometimes they don’t explain things at all. This doctor took the time to talk to us and was extremely optimistic.

He told us that he didn’t really like the diagnosis of CVI, because it’s just a “junk diagnosis.” In other words, it’s a diagnosis thrown around a lot when a child is showing some delay in their vision, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Sometimes he sees kids that have a CVI diagnosis and eventually their sight improves enough to no longer have the diagnosis. With that said, I think that Elijah now officially has a CVI diagnosis. The doc said in our competitive culture and to be able to get services, people want to throw these terms around. Now that he’ll have a diagnosis, Elijah will be eligible to receive services from the Vision Consultant on a regular basis, so that’s the good news.

The doc also was very pleased to see how well Elijah tracked for him. He said it wasn’t just the fact that he tracked the item, but that it kept his interest for quite awhile. He said a lot of kids with brain injury have issues with attention span. He actually said, “Honestly, I’m surprised how well he tracked that thing!”

The doc reminded us that life is a marathon, not a race and that we shouldn’t get too hung up on Elijah’s development. He told us to treat Elijah as if he can see perfectly fine. Elijah’s vision is more similar to that of a three month old, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t improve. It sounded like this doc has seen a lot of kids where just that has happened and there simply is no way to predict what will happen.

One thing the doctor said was that Elijah’s vision is probably fine; it’s just a matter of him being able to turn to look at things. He may see something and want to look at it, but it might be difficult because of coordination or his muscles to be able to look at it.

Overall, it was an informative visit (and I’m not so sure I’m explaining it that well). We liked the doc and will be seeing him again in six months. I appreciated his candor and optimism. Andy asked me when I got home if I felt better, the same, or worse after seeing this doctor. I said, “All three!”

We hope you are all doing well. :)


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