We went to see the retinal specialist this morning. Our appointment was at 7:45, and when we got the paperwork in the mail a couple days ago, I was not encouraged. For one thing, it said I would need to allow three hours for an initial visit. For another, it said that Doodlebug would need to bring sunglasses because they dilate eyes on every visit. Makes sense for an office dedicated to peering deep into the pupils of every patient.
I discovered when we got there that they run an interesting ship. It's an efficient ship, I'll give them that. They open at 7:30, for one thing, which is the earliest I've ever seen any doctor's office open. We got called back around 8, and they took us to the first room, which was the basic vision check room. It was a tiny, narrow space, and Boo wound up wedged in the front corner on the floor. They don't often get kids in there, or parents with kids in tow. I was the youngest in the waiting room by some 30 years, and Doodlebug... well, the looks he got when the tech called his name and not mine were rather interesting. The tech took some vitals and checked Doodlebug's vision (an easy 20/20, just like it always is, with the exception of not being able to see some of the letters with his left eye due to the 'line' that we were there for in the first place). Then she put the drops in his eyes and we waited for them to dilate before we moved to room #2, where she took some photos of his retina and checked pressure. Then we moved to room #3, where we actually saw the doctor. He came in and did even more checking.
In the end, he sat back in his chair, looked at me, and said, "If you're looking for a diagnosis, I don't think I can give you one. His eyes look perfect." The retinal scan was perfectly normal, the pressure scans showed that the fluid seemed to be in the right place and have the right pressure, the fluid itself looked clear, etc. The best he can figure is it's just a weird manifestation of Doodlebug's amblyopia that he's had since his strabismus correction when he was 2. He dictated a letter to our referring physician [Side note: After he got off the phone, he told me what he'd done, which I had listened to and knew what he'd said and made my own assessments based on the technical version he gave the ophthalmologist. I told him I knew what he'd been doing because I had previously done medical transcription, and he laughed and apologized and said that he always felt sorry for those folks because of how fast and badly he figured he talked. Of course, I'd had no problems understanding him and thought he'd have been an easy doctor to work for! I told him that, and he said it made him feel better. It's always nice to give someone their daily odd compliment.], and we were out of there, potentially never to return.
All this is, I suppose, good. We don't have to go back, and there's nothing special we have to do (though I think it would be good for Doodlebug's long-term eye health if I made him use that eye once in a while... he's so right-eye dominant that I fear his left eye may just, like, quit if he doesn't ever use it). The down side is that there's no way to 'fix' it, either. Not a big deal but rather frustrating. I'm a 'fix-it' sort of person.
This boy... he blows my mind. I've never met his equal when it comes to having benign abnormalities. When he was born with his 12 fingers and 12 toes, it wasn't a health hazard, but it had to be corrected. When he was 2 and had his strabismus, same deal. Then he had his tonsils and adenoids out not because they were infected (though apparently the backs of his tonsils were grossly cryptic and did need to come out, anyway) but because they were so large they were causing him to have sleep issues and snore. He's seen an endodontist because of his missing/small teeth; I didn't even know what an endodontist was until we had to see that one. Now a retinal specialist. Oh, and we did genetic testing recently, too, to rule out a couple of issues (the panel came back clear... we're still supposed to go get an echocardiogram, just to be on the extra-safe side, but I'm of two minds about it... and that would be yet another specialist).
I'm extremely grateful that none of his issues will cause him any long-term problems, I really am. I know there are so many families out there who may only have to see one or two doctors but have to see them all the time and their children have to live with certain issues and even disabilities for a lifetime (I'm ignoring Doodlebug's ADHD and autism spectrum issues for the moment, because those don't really count in the grand scheme of things, if he can learn to function well enough). I just hate that every time I think we're done with specialists and doctor visits, something new crops up.
Ah, well. He's outside with his sister now, planting the herbs and other stuff they got yesterday. He wants to create his own garden space this fall so he can plant his own actual garden next spring. And I'm glad that he can plan for that and not have to worry about things like vision. I'm lucky I have such healthy kids.