Thursday, January 10

Opthamologist Appointment

Okay, it took me about 3 hours of calling and searching for a pediatric opthamologist which would accept Rebecca's medicaid, but I finally found one! We go next Wednesday & Rebecca is not excited. She wants new blue glasses (her current ones are pink), but she does not want to see the doctor. She says that it hurts.

What do I need to look for in an opthamologist? I made sure that they had experience with RP and asked if they would provide an interpreter. None of them would provide an interpreter. They asked me if I knew sign language. Yeah, I know sign language but I would like to just be a mom and there supporting my daughter telling her it's going to be okay and holding her hand. Not interpreting when an interpreter should be provided for her. Then one asked me if she could write - YEAH I said emphatically (maybe a little too emphatic, but it ticked me off)! Like that was a substitute for an interpreter.

Anyway, so we are going next Wednesday to our first opthamologist appointment. I have never been to an opthamologist so I have no idea what to expect. Can you please provide me some insight into what I am getting myself into?


Bryen said...

Those tests can be ... well not painful so much as extremely discomforting. However, many of those tests generally are not needed after diagnosis. Once you've "flunked" the test, then that's it, there's no need to take them again.

The only test that continues to be repeated is a vision field test, typically the Goldman Field Test. It's more tiring than anything else because you rest your head in a cone in fairly dark conditions for up to a half hour while you signal to the technician when you see that tiny light in your range of vision.

But you're talking about getting glasses and such. What is the purpose of the visit to the opthalmologist (as opposed to an optometrist)?

I go to my opthalmologist to get another annual test to see my rate of decrease in vision lost, but I go to my optometrist to get glasses, which for me also unfortunately is an annual event. Call it age-related because in addition to Ushers, I'm also near-sighted.

I think if you give us more insight into the intent of the visit, we can give you some better insight into how to handle it.

Christine said...

More than happy to!!!!!

First of all, the thing that really struck me about this blog post was your position as a MOM not an interpreter. I have had a very difficult time growing up with my Dad as an interpreter including right there in the OR when I had my first cataract surgery. Needless to say, I am now completely blind in the left eye... there's more to it, so little space. Blog later.
It is very very important for you to maintain your position as MOM and let the system take care of Rebecca with our friend, the ADA.
Kick major ass to get that terp.
And as Rebecca gets older, screen the best opthies. I stuck with only one for 10 years......
I really, really love this blog and I am going to reference you again.
Feel free to contact me.
tactile love, coco

Candice said...

Sorry I didn't explain really why we are going. Rebecca has RP which is degenerative - she has not been to an opthamologist in 2 years. So, it is time for her to go back and check it out. The school has also done a vision test and her vision has changed, so she is also in need of new glasses. I tried to outline the positive with her since she wanted new glasses by saying, when we go see the doctor you will also get the new blue glasses you have been wanting. I also told her that I will be with her the entire time & that we can spend the whole day together.

My other daughter also has an ear, nose and throat specialist that she is seeing that same day but it will be after school and I feel comfortable with that one.

I have been to ENTs before & to the audiologist with Rebecca, but this will be my first Ophamologist. I have only been to optomotrist for myself and do not know how big of a difference there will be between the two.

I did ask the opthamologist that she will be seeing if they do a field loss test and she said yes. I know that will be done. Thank you for your insight on what to expect on that. Rebecca has ADHD so sitting there for a long time in one place will be interesting. Any ideas on how we can make that more enjoyable for her?

Ashley's Mom said...

Candice, my daughter has been seeing a pediatric opthamologist for 12years now. She is totally blind in her left eye - and at some point in the near future will have that eye removed. She has a measurement of 20/2000 in her right eye. So, we visit the doctor at least annually.

What I looked for was a small practice - one where the wait was not too long for the kids, and one that catered to kids. If you find that, you will probably find a waiting room with lots of kid-friendly things - wonderful things to keep an ADHD child occupied.

The time in the exam room and in the actual chair shouldn't be too long. If they need to dilate her eyes, they will do that and let her go back to the waiting room to play. Once her eyes are dilated, they will take her again into the exam room, and the time in there will probably be less than 5-10 minutes.

The only uncomfortable thing would probably be the glaucoma test. Again, like Bryen said, it doesn't really hurt, but it is pretty discomfiting to have someone and something so close to your eyeball.

My daughter sounds very much like yours. What helped her was regular visits to the same doctor. She got used to it, and after the first couple of visits, it was no longe a big deal.

We were actually there yesterday with my daughter and two sons. They know us now and really go out of their way to get us in and out quickly.

And about the interpreter - yes, stick to your guns. They are required to provide one under ADA. If they refuse, contact the protection and advocacy agency in your state (if you email me your state, I can help you find it). They LOVE cases like that and would probably be more than willing to intervene on your behalf.

Natalie said...

It’s funny, I stumbled across your blog by looking for an opthamologist blog.

My husband and I leave on September 30th to backpack to various countries around the world for a year or so. We just decided to bring daily wear contact lenses with us, and I am trying to get a professional opinion, if we made the right choice.

Feel free to check out our blog and offer any advice you would like

Thanks for the entertainment!