The clan had their first eye exams in the new home state today.
I begin to think that being a little quirky is a requirement for being an eye doctor. My eye doctor as a child was Dr. Straight, which always struck me as very appropriate. My main memory of him was that he was short and ancient and when he would lean in close to look deep into my eyes he was a really loud breather. But he was very nice and he saved me from not being able to see the blackboard, so I remember him very fondly.
The children’s eye doctors up in Reston were relatively normal, although one of them had strabismus, which always made me want to laugh in a hysterical way.
So, today we met our new eye doctor. Barb, the front desk/tech. told me straight out, “He’s quirky, but he gives a really thorough eye exam.”
Jeesh, she was not kidding.
So, he rolled up on his motorcycle at 9:17 for our 9 a.m. appointment. The kids weren’t nervous, and all of them were busy putting together the lego ornaments that Jenny sent them for Christmas, so that wasn’t a big deal, but we were there for 2 hours just doing the exams, and we still weren’t done.
Monkey had a slight change in her eyesight. New glasses needed.
Yessa had bigger changes and she still has 10 “clicks” difference between her eyes, though he did reiterate that it was good that her eye discrepancies were caught early enough that no eye patch was necessary. He also disabused us of the hope that she could outgrow wearing glasses. Anything is possible, but he didn’t make it seem very likely.
The Buster was the big winner in the eye lottery today. He seems to have the same eye discrepancies that Yessa has, though not to the same degree. The Doc. didn’t think the initial exam was giving the full picture of the difference in his eyes so he recommended we dilate the Buster’s eyes, wait 45 minutes, then re-examine them to get the true differences fully flushed out.
Bad news: Buster had to have eye drops.
Good news: We all ate at Sonic for the first time and our food was delivered by a girl on roller blades.
Good news for everyone besides Buster: His pupils were so huge he looked like a cuddly kitten. He couldn’t fully appreciate this since he couldn’t see himself thanks to blurry vision, but it made me want to snuggle him and rub his belly.
Buster: New glasses needed.
The eye doctor was very patient and really took time to talk with the kids and learn about them. I’m still shedding my NoVA mindset of “hurry the hell up, please” so I had to mentally cool my jets and just enjoy this person getting to know my kids.
He was truly heartily laughing at their jokes and puns, which always bodes well. And I certainly know a heck of a lot more about their eyes than I ever have before. I may sit for my ophthalmology degree next week, just ’cause.
Then, another Southern moment.
I was very up-front with the staff that I’d like to know the cost of the new glasses so I could decide our next step. It’s a lot of money.
I walked the kids out to the car so they could relax while I finished up the paperwork. As I was walking back to the office, Barb came out into the parking lot to let me know that they would file the exam with our insurance, so there was nothing for me to pay at this point.
Then she said,
“If you’d like to find somewhere less expensive than us…but I didn’t say this…go to the next exit off the interstate and go to the Sam’s Club right there.”
“I thought I’d try at Costco,” I said.
“Oh, yes, they’d be much cheaper.”
“Do I just call you all to get the ‘scrip numbers?” I asked.
“Just come right back in and I’ll give them to you right now.”
Wow, I was so thankful, and frankly this makes it much more likely that we’ll return to this office again. That sort of willingness to recognize where we could meet in the middle for a great exam and value, I really appreciated that.
New glasses for everyone, a morning spent learning about eyeballs, and another great job by our crew to welcome new people into their lives.
Just as we were getting ready to run out of the there, the doc gives me the eyeball and says, “When was your last exam for your eye health?”
“Ummm, I have glass eyes…gotta go.”