Recently I was looking at some pictures that my Facebook friends had posted and came across pictures of my cousin’s kids in their brand new glasses. I turned to The Professor to tell him to come take a look at his cousin’s new glasses. As I started to open my mouth, I realized that his glasses WERE NOT ON HIS FACE.
“Where are your glasses?” I asked.
“Oh, I must have left them lying in the yard!” He ran outside to get them.
Why am I not surprised at this? Four pairs of glasses in two years. Countless trips to get them fixed. The expensive pair, snapped in half. Unrepairable and out of warranty. The crappy pair, the earpieces superglued and held together with two plastic sleeves, are the ones he has been wearing for the last couple of months.
This past week we had to take him in for his biannual eye exam. The minute I announced that he had an appointment coming up he panicked. He was afraid they were going to dilate his eyes. Just like any time he has a well child checkup-he panics because he’s afraid he might get a shot. Oh poor kid, he gets it honest.
After this appointment was over I’m convinced that this must be what it’s like to take Sheldon Cooper to the eye doctor, except that my son doesn’t have his degree in Quantum Physics yet.
The second the nurse called him back, he started chattering,proceeding to ask 10,000 questions. He wanted to know the scientific basis behind every piece of equipment in there. “What’s that called? What does that do? How does that work?” The nurse was a pro, answering his questions all the while keeping her cool, because I’m sure it had to get annoying after a while.
After the nurse left, he asked for me to get him down the book about the human eye from up on the shelf above the counter. For some reason he loves reading this every time we come so he can learn about eye disorders. My kid wondering about disorders, imagine that (at least he’s not googling them! First he asked about cataracts. He thought he might have them. Then he saw the page about diabetic retinopathy. He thought perhaps he had a little of that too.
“No, no. You don’t have any of those.” I reassured him. He handed over the book, not convinced at all.
“So what’s wrong with my eyes? Why do I have to wear glasses?”
He has had them for this long and he’s just now asking?
“Well, you have two eyes and one of them is stronger than the other. You have to wear glasses to strengthen your weaker eye.”
“I’d like to read more about that.” He replied. He wasn’t buying this. I was pretty sure at this point that he thinks that we made up the whole glasses thing as another terrible thing that we make him do. Like shopping at Target. Terrible, just terrible.
Then I remembered that when they initially diagnosed him they gave us a pamphlet. Maybe they still had one. I went to the pamphlets and found it, the one about strabismus and amblyopia. “Here, this is information about what you have.”
He grabbed it and read it in complete silence. Finally after several minutes he says “So which one do I have, the strabismus or the amblyopia?”
“For sure you have the amblyopia. We’re a little concerned about your left eye not lining up with your right one.”
“What do you MEAN, LINING UP?” His eyes almost bugged out of his head.
“You know, we can ask the eye doctor when she comes in.”
He’s always had the weak eye, but a few weeks ago I was taking a picture of him and he turned his head, and his left eye moved and kept moving, out of line with the right one. It was freaky.
I thought I was imagining things, so then I spent the next few days staring at his eyes. I’m sure he wondered why I kept staring at him. Something was definitely up there, I even had Evil Genius stare at him. He confirmed that yes I was indeed seeing his eye move. That’s when I decided we’d better make an appointment regardless of whether insurance would cover it. Apparently our new insurance will only cover an appointment once a year unless “medically necessary”. He has to go twice a year due to his eye issues.
When the eye doctor came in, the questions resumed. He even thought that he should inform the doctor how she should do her job.
“How about this eye? Do this one first. You should really do this one first.”
The eye doctor replied “You know, I’m the one who went to medical school and am the one with the medical degree. Why don’t you let ME choose which one I do first.”
We got to the end of the exam and he announced to the eye doctor “My tendons are detaching from my eyeballs and you need to check them out.”
She looked at me, probably wondering what the hell we tell our kid. “Um, we don’t KNOW any of that, you just read it.” I was waiting for him to announce he also had cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. I was also about ready to climb in the drawer I was sitting next to.
I filled her in on what had been happening with his eye (mainly because I hadn’t been able to get a word in edgewise since she came in.) She looked him all over and of course couldn’t see what I was talking about. I’m sure she was thinking what a crazy mom this crazy kid had.
Then we were sent on our way, each child with a windup hopping eyeball. I’m sure that they were relieved to see us go. On the way out I made sure that he went and told the ladies in the glasses department how grateful he was that they have fixed his glasses all those times. I’m sure that they are getting REALLY sick of seeing me bringing them mangled glasses. The good news on this front is that in January the doctor says he probably won’t need glasses anymore!