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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Growing Weary of Doctors

For the past week Robby has been talking about his newly discovered "eye magic." He has been a braggart about his ability to make things blurry along with his new found skill of double vision. I haven't given this much thought. After all, I know that experimenting with vision is a normal part of development. While he is impressed with his abilities, he is simply playing with his ocular muscles, and I wasn't concerned. 

Robby proudly pranced into the kitchen on Friday and announced that he has new "eye magic." I nearly dropped my coffee mug when he explained that everything on the sides was black and that he was looking out of invisible tubes. Playing a game, I calmly checked his peripheral fields. He did not respond. He was also tracking by moving his head, not his eyes. Within a few minutes the fields, and his vision, returned to normal.

My training and experiences as a teacher for the vision impaired has taught me to take vision changes seriously. Fluctuations in the peripheral fields can indicate serious and sudden onset issues. I realize that my mind automatically went to the extreme, but many of my students were disabled because of those rare, once in a million occurrences. I didn't want to panic, but I want medical peace of mind that he was okay.

I called Robby's pediatrician and asked for a referral to an ophthalmologist. After hearing, almost verbatim, my conversation with Robby she agreed that he needed to be seen sooner rather than later. I was delighted (and relieved) when he was fit into the schedule for a renown pediatric ophthalmologist the same afternoon.

I spent the majority of Friday afternoon nervously waiting for Robby's ophthalmology appointment. I kept reassuring Scott (and myself) that Robby was fine, but that we needed verification. Of course Robby was proud to be going to the doctor who was interested in learning about his unusual eye magic.

After a thorough examination, which to the chagrin of Robby included eye drops, the doctor deemed his eyes perfect. While I was delighted with the diagnosis of health, I was frustrated at the end of the appointment. The medical examination was impressive, but I felt like the doctor viewed me as a hysterical or panicked parent who overreacted. I kept pressing him about an explanation for the sporadic tunnel vision, and received no answers other than a shrug and a condescending smile. I left with the succinct impression that he did not believe me, or Robby, about what was experienced.

I detest being classified as an over reactive mother! I am not quick to rush him to the pediatrician for each sniffle or abrasion. I was not concerned about his eye crossing or blurring vision because I knew that both were the result of his own ocular control. The tunnel vision, which was not imagined or fabricated, was the reason for my concern. Again, I feel like I need to stress that I was concerned, but not panicked or frantic.

While I was delighted that Robby's eye examination showed no abnormalities, I was frustrated for the remainder of the weekend. I fluctuated between wanting to sink into a hole with my head covered and beating somebody with a frying pan. Robby is not a manipulative child, and I witnessed what he experienced. I don't believe that I overreacted, and I resent any implications to the contrary!

This is not the first time I have been marginalized by those in the medical profession and I doubt it will be the last. I hate that I cannot talk with a doctor without worrying about how I am going to be perceived. I know that I did the right thing when I was concerned about Robby's vision, despite the treatment I was afforded by the doctor. I am growing weary of feeling degraded and judged by those within the medical profession.

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