Thursday, November 06, 2008


This morning I took Michael to his six month follow-up appointment with the pediatric eye doc. Preemies are susceptible to all sorts of eye problems and most are watched closely for a period of time after birth. I am happy to report that Michael got a clean bill of eye health today. As we were finishing up the doctor commented that he was the most cooperative baby they'd seen today. And he really was wonderful, didn't fuss at all, even when they put the dilating drops in his eyes. In my heart I know that Michael's level of cooperation was mostly due to fortunate timing and really didn't reflect at all on my abilities as a mother, but it still made me feel proud.

The first time we went to the eye doctor Michael was mere weeks old. Maybe five weeks? And I had no idea what to expect. We had not reached his actual due date yet, most of the time, if he wasn't eating, he was asleep. When they called us back to put the drops in his eyes, and then told me we could go back out and wait for another half hour, I almost lost it. I was not expecting the appointment to be so long, hadn't brought a bottle, nor had I brought anything to do. Half an hour seems a long time to sit in a waiting room without a book or a Sudoku puzzle, especially since Michael was asleep. You see I have never had an eye exam, at least not that I can remember, and I had no idea about the dilating and the waiting.

There is a fish tank in the waiting room and, as Michael slept, I pass half an hour assigning personality traits and back-stories to each of the fish (there are about 1/2 a dozen). It was oddly fun to visit them again today and remember the things I had decided about them. Could I be a bigger dork? This time the waiting wasn't so bad, I knew enough to bring some things (which I didn't end up needing, of course), and Michael could enjoy the fish with me. I would have told him all of their life stories, but we weren't the only people in the waiting room.

Now it will be another year before we go in to get his eyes rechecked. I don't think about it quite as often as I did when he was first home with us, but getting past this eye appointment was another in a long series of little items checked off the list of potential problems. We are so fortunate. I still feel like I'm holding my breath sometimes, waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some hidden complication or difficulty to arise. And then -check- another worry eliminated. And don't think for a moment that I'm not grateful for every single one.


bluedaisy said...

I am so glad that the eye appointment went well. Also, I have heard that watching fish lowers your blood pressure/stress levels so if that's true then you spent your time wisely!

Swistle said...

Ha ha! I'm picturing you explaining the life stories with other people in the waiting room. That would have been so entertaining for them! At first they would have just been reading their magazines, not really listening, and then gradually you would have found you had an audience!

Erin said...

Big, beautiful, healthy peepers! Go Michael.

And OF COURSE you made up stories about the fish. Remember Marathon Princess?

Astarte said...

Thank goodness his eyes are healthy!!!! I'm so relieved for you! That must have been a stressful lead-up to the appointment, imagining the various possibilities. Phew!

I love that you made up lives for the fish.

Lil Mouse said...

glad it went well--no one said anything to me about my baby being early--but she seems well enough, glad your checkup went well

Jen said...

After you mentioned the fish tank, I'm wondering if you go to the same eye doctor that we take Emmaline to. She absolutely loves the fish. The puffer fish is very friendly and always swims right up to her so she can get a good look.

I know what you mean about "waiting for something else to come up". I'm like that with Emmy, but mostly, I'm just thankful for her good health and pleasant personality. Things could be so much worse than they are.