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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"I Can See!"
Yesterday afternoon, after God knows how many days of sitting in the dark with wrap-around sunglasses and a sleep mask over his eyes, I finally got Bob to call his new eye doctor's office and speak to someone about the trouble he's been having. The answer he got was kind of what I expected.
"What you're experiencing is relatively rare, but not altogether uncommon. Increase your dosage of the milky-white drops in the bottle with the pink cap to every two hours and come in tomorrow morning and let us take a look at you."
In other words, the pain and sensitivity to light he was experiencing was both "of or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon" and "of frequent occurrence; usual; familiar." Doctor talk, don't you know?
I will say this wasn't coming from the actual new eye doctor, who's all crusty, sloppy, and endearing and trustworthy; but from one of the ophthalmology residents working in the clinic with him. The kid still has a ways to go before becoming all crusty, sloppy, and endearing and trustworthy.
The thing about Bobby and the medical profession, though, is this: with every personal contact he makes, his ailments shrink.
Thus it was that this morning, while I thought he was sleeping, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash up for the trip to the clinic. Suddenly, there he was at the door. I immediately shut off all the lights and the ceiling heater in the bathroom (it leaves a glow) and screamed, "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were up."
To which he only replied, "Oh, no, it's all right. Everything is clear. No pain, no problem seeing. I even had the light on in the bedroom."
"Then we don't have to go back to the doctor?"
"I think we should. Just to be on the safe side."
"And so you can get some more attention?"
So we went. He got examined. The nurse interviewed him about his common practices. She was able to determine that he smoked and suggested that he only smoke in ventilated rooms since the smoke could irritate the eye. She asked about how much light he could tolerate and was able to ascertain that he could tolerate none whatsoever - which was why he wore both his wrap-around sunglasses and his sleep mask ...
"Your what?" asked the nurse.
"My sleep mask. This," he replied, pointing to the mask still dangling around his neck (that's right, he'd worn it in the car).
"Oh, no", the nurse said. "Promise me you'll stop wearing that. In fact, get rid of it. Throw it away. Do it now. Do it in front of me. Here. Here's a trash can. Take it off and toss it in here. When have you been wearing that?"
"Only when I've been awake."
"Please, don't. It holds the heat. The eye has to be exposed to air. That's probably the cause of all your worries."
"Well, you know, come to think of it, I didn't wear it to bed last night."
Heh, I thought, I could have told him that. But he wouldn't have believed me. I'm just me. What do I know?
We still had to wait for the new eye doctor to make it to the examining room and reinforce what the nurse had said. And he did. But he also wrote a new prescription for another bottle of eye drops with a red cap that Bobby can put in both eyes three times a day.
That made Bobby very happy, and by the time we got home, he was all a-tingle.
And when Bob is all a-tingle, life for me is, well, okay.