Twinsane’s Weblog

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Specsavers glasses

Posted by --- on Tuesday 10 June, 2008

After our trip to specsavers last week this has been playing on my mind.

To be honest, regular eye checks never entered my head. I thought most were done at school and left it at that. I remember we had them as kids. K. however, started complaining that he sometimes struggled to see the interactive white board so I booked up all in.

It was a mix up to be honest. J said before we went in that she was scared; I assured her there was nothing to be afraid of and said she would only be reading things or looking at pictures. We went in and waited for over 15 minutes after our appointment time before we were called to start pre tests (where you look in a machine at an air balloon and I had puffs of air blown in my eyes). After I’d had mine they asked me about our details and I was called away to fill in and sign forms. Note that I never leave my kids – ever! I hate not being able to see them at all times. That may seem paranoid or over defensive to you but that’s me. I don’t like it. I remember letting L go to the toilet at a supermarket when he was about 12 and some weird guy started getting too friendly with him – luckily L felt the questions he was asking him were too much and ran out.

Anyway, back to the opticians. While I was filling in all the paperwork the kids came back to me. At the same time as being asked all these questions for the records, the two optometrists came out and also started asking stuff so I was trying to answer questions from three directions! One of the optometrists suggested that as time was short, they split us up and I go in with one child and the other go with him. I wasn’t really happy but J said she was OK with it (after telling me she was scared!) I said that she was nervous before and I was surprised at her reaction which got a laugh and felt too silly to raise an objection then so I agreed.

So I went in with K and started having the test first so he could watch. Again, more questions, family history etc. Midway through my tests the other optometrist came in with J and started asking family history questions and he only just managed to stop himself telling me I should have had eye tests before now with a history of lazy eyes (amblyopia) on both sides of my children. He said something about suspecting she had it and that her vision wasn’t that good because she’d come back with negative readings on the air balloon machine. He asked if he could put some drops (atropine?) in her eyes to relax the muscles as they were compensating for her reduced eyesight? He said it would take around 50 minutes for the drops to take full effect and in that time, he sat her outside in the waiting room/shop (that has completely open front on to a busy town centre) on her own while I was in the room with K for the next 45 minutes! He did say something about her sitting in with us I’m sure but there was that much going on that it was overlooked – or maybe he didn’t and I imagined it. Either way I wasn’t really concentrating on the next lot of tests for K or I but I was trying to and trying to answer questions about K that were important.

The optometrist I was with was very good and I was very happy with him. K couldn’t read the bottom line of the test but he assured me that many people couldn’t and that it would not affect him in his life. He suggested a pair of glasses with anti-glare for K to help with his reading and computer work but very cleverly (without K getting the gist) told me that they were more like a confidence booster and hoped they’d work a little like Dumbo’s feather.

i was glad to be outside with J again. She was saying everything was very blurred with the drops in and her pupils were fully dilated. She laughed when we held up our hands as she said the fingers were all short and fat. Their friends from school were there so they wanted to chat with them. Then the optometrist called J back in. This time K was left outside so again I couldn’t really concentrate on what the optometrist was saying as I was half listening for K outside. The tests this optometrist did were different to the other optometrist. I’m not saying they were wrong but different. So I couldn’t compare the two. J couldn’t read the last line but neither could K. The optometrist said that her eyes were pretty bad and she needed 8x (??) glasses full time. J didn’t quite follow and I didn’t understand why. He said he wanted her to go back in two weeks for further tests (which I booked). I really don’t get it at all. She’s in the top group for literacy, she can read and write ok, she never complains that she can’t see things, nor do I see her squint. The school have never raised an issue either. I find it hard to see how her vision is so bad. When J realised that she would always be wearing glasses she was very upset. I tried to tell her it was very important and that they would help her but I’m not convinced. I don’t know whether to go somewhere else for a second opinion or what. At the moment I’m thinking of waiting until her next appointment (next Tuesday) and asking the optometrist to explain it completely.

Back at school and things aren’t going too well for her either. The optometrists said that she would need to rest her eyes after having the atropine in and not read or write or watch telly etc until the next day. They said it was probably best that she sleep which we laughed about because food and sleep are her favourite things! They also said her vision would probably be affected the next day and she may have difficulty reading the board at school. I wrote a note to the teacher to that effect and he was great about it. But this wasn’t her normal teacher. The next day her teacher came back and J lost her golden time to do home work she should have done. J explained about the eye test but he teacher said it wasn’t good enough. I know that she could have done it the night before but geez! Give her a break. Not only that but it didn’t take other kids long to jump on the name calling band wagon. As soon as they got wind of her wearing glasses – before she even collected them – she became “the four eyed freak”. Yesterday one boy defended her and I could hug him for it, making the other boy feel bad and apologise.

Funnily enough no one has said anything to K. As many of you are aware, they are twins. Since last year they have been in seperate classes but there aren’t that many in their year ( I’m sure less than 60) and the majority have been at the school since nursery age (3). They pretty much all know each other. J has never been quite as popular as K though and seems to get the rough end of the stick all the time. She does have a bit of an attitude problem but sometimes you wonder if that is the reaction not the cause…

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