Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that the doctor was able to examine Ella’s eyes and figure out her prescription. The bad news is that she did not cooperate and made the appointment as difficult as she could.
Over the weekend we made 2 “test runs” to the doctors office. We’d park and walk around outside the building and talk about seeing Dr. Jaafar. Unfortunately the building was closed for the weekend, so we weren’t able to go inside. When we got back in the car she would get a surprise. The first trip she got a big pink flower, and the second trip she got an Elmo and Santa book (thank heavens for the dollar section at Target). On Tuesday we made another test run and this time we did it as though it was her real appointment. We got to the building and went inside. We went up to the floor and sat in the waiting room for about 10 min. They even had an empty exam room that they let us visit. Ella sat in the big chair and we talked all about the equipment. Then when we got in the car Ella got some very special reindeer silverware. I think she was the most excited about this surprise and the rest of the day she talked about her surprise. We printed off a picture of the eye doctor from the internet and looked at it all week and gave it kisses and cuddles. And we played eye doctor with Elmo, doggie, mommy, daddy, and Ella. When Metti would leave each day we’d say that she was going to the eye doctor to get her eyes checked. While we knew that all of these we’re a guarantee that things would go well, we hoped that they would at least delay the crying when we had our real visit.
Wednesday morning we woke up and got ready for the doctor….and we prayed. The good news is that Ella didn’t freak out when we got to the building, and she even did pretty good in the waiting room. Of course once we got into the room and they needed to examine her is when it all went down hill. In Ella’s 2 years we have learned a lot, but the most important thing we have learned is that she’s a fighter. Her fighting spirit is what kept her alive when she was born, and it’s what keeps her going now. The problem is that this fighting spirit is also what made this doctor visit so difficult. Man…is this girl a fighter!
They got the doctor in to see us as quickly as possible, but nothing was going to help. Ella wasn’t happy. After a lot of fighting it came time to stop letting her control the situation and show her that this was not optional. I sat in the chair, wrapped my arms completely around her and braced her head against my shoulder. This child wasn’t going anywhere! As my mom said, I “Cowgirled up” to get the job done. I knew that this was going to result in some skin trauma, but we had to weigh the risks against the rewards, and in the end her skin would heal, but we had to leave the office with her eyes checked. So I braced her down and the doctor was able to do his job. She fought me hard! But soon, she learned 2 things…1) the doctor wasn’t going to physically touch her (as I’ve mentioned before, Ella is VERY protective of herself and doesn’t like anyone touching her) and 2) I wasn’t letting her go anywhere! While she fought the whole time, she did fight less as time went on. Thank heavens for an incredible doctor who was able to work quickly (I won’t say his name for privacy reasons, but he is ranked one of the best pediatric ophthalmologists in the country and we learned first-hand why). Our big 2 praises are that we were able to get a good reading of Ella’s eyes and that the only skin trauma was a small opening on her chin about the size of a pinky nail. Thank you all so much for your prayers! You will never know how comforting it is to know that people across the country are praying for our precious girl.
The end result is that Ella does need glasses…but we already knew this. She is far-sighted and the doctor thinks that we caught it soon enough that it will correct pretty easily with glasses. When we were leaving I was settling up with the receptionist and Joe and Ella were off playing. Joe came over to me and said that he had just asked Ella if she wants glasses and she gave a very excited “OK!!!” She knows that both of us wear glasses and she likes to play with our sunglasses, so they aren’t threatening to her. Then Joe asked her what color glasses she wanted and she told him PINK!!! I promise I didn’t prompt her to say this…although in my mind I already knew she was getting pink. The visit to the glasses place was smooth sailing. She tried on every pair of glasses they had and even got upset when I took them off of her. She is very excited about getting glasses. And this has given Ella’s mom and dad some incentive to go get their eyes checked and get new glasses. We’ve both had our glasses since college, so it’s probably about time.
Ella got all sorts of surprises for being a good girl at the doctor…she got a new puzzle and some Santa socks and some Christmas Tree and stars marshmallows and her favorite surprise was a big, huge blue balloon. She was a complete angel the rest of the day. Why do they do that to us parents? They throw a tantrum that takes us all day to recover from, yet they’re fine in 10 minutes. When we were driving home Ella was so excited to listen to “Christmas Tree Music.” She was singing along to songs she’s never heard before and was completely unphased by the whole eye doctor ordeal.
Joe and I are just glad it’s over. She gets her new glasses next week, so I’ll be sure to post some pictures. I know she’ll look adorable! And I can tell through the computer that you are wondering what these new glasses will do to her skin. The truth is that we don’t know, but I do know other EB kids that wear glasses and are fine. We’ll just have to make sure that she has some aquaphor behind her ears and maybe a little on her nose to keep the glasses from sticking. Other than that we’ll just hope for the best. If they give her problems…we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it. But we're praying that she'll be fine.
Thanks again for all your prayers. We appreciate them so much and appreciate your devotion to our little girl.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving that I'll post about later. Now you all get back to your Black Friday shopping!