Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's a Mum to do?

What does a mum do when her four and a half year old tells her she cant see?

A child that is fairly mature for her age, listens and takes instructions well, has a good command of the language, is able to explain things fairly clearly, and is being observed for a medical condition that could result in vision lost.

Well, the child complained about not being able to see well some 6 months back. The mum decided to observe her for a while. At the same time, the mum contacted the primary care physician for a referral to an opthamoligist that specializes in children with that medical condition. But, after a while, the child stopped complaining, and nothing was done.

About some 5 months later, the child mentioned she couldn't see again, and asked when she could visit the eye doctor. This time the mum called for an appointment, and the clinic, not deeming it an emergency, gave her an appointment 3 weeks down the road. In the meantime, the mum monitored the child. She noticed that at times the child stood as close as 5 inches from the TV. Mind you, the tv they have is not small, its a LCD that is almost 40 inches!! Is it true that she really couldn't see, which was why she was standing so close to the TV?

A week passed and the child enquired again about her appointment to see the eye doctor. When asked why she thought she needed to see the eye doctor, she explained again that she couldn't see clearly. This time she was more vivid in her description of her inability to see. She explained that when she was looking at the television, the fan, which was 2 feet to the left of the TV, is out of her vision!! A form of tunnel vision?

Immediately the mum called the eye clinic for an earlier appointment.

The day arrived for the doctor's visit. The child was all excited. At the clinic, they found that more than 10 others had the same appointment time as them, and most were new cases like them!! They were prepared for a long wait.

Soon the testing began. Many questions were asked. More tests were carried out in view of her medical condition. The brave child didn't even squirm when they gave her eye drops to dilate her eyes (where others many years older than her cried loudly!!), and went back again and again, uncomplaining, for more eye drops!!

After close to 3 hours at the clinic, and a few hundred dollars poorer, the final results were out. They were told that the child had no problems whatsoever with her eyesight. Her eyesight was perfect!!

What a relief!! But, the mum still wonders what triggered her child's complains of her inability to see?? Is it possible that the doctor missed something?? The mystery continues ......


iml said...

Read this out to eldest and we both had a good laugh. You see,she longed to have a pair of spec just like most people around her when she was in P3. My dad fearing that she would do something silly, bought her a pair of spec without power. I was aghast. Now, how she wished she does not have to wear glasses. She never leaves the house without her contact lenses.
Ah....children. Does this gives you an idea how you should tackle this problem?

Yan said...

Based on my experiences - seek a second opinion!

Rachel was limping when she was 3 or 4 (now getting old could not remember the age.) There were no visible signs of swollen knee, and she did not complain of pain. We took her to many doctors and was told she could be "pretending" to get attention.

But we went to one step further to bring her to a doctor in Sibu Hospital. There, a blood test was done. She was admitted saying she had some knee infection. Well, I could not remember the sickness again (wish I have the record in hand, but it's at home!). It was serious, and she was treated as in-patient in hospital!

She was 5 (this I remember because Chris was just born) and developed some sores on the hands. We also brought her to see doctors and I was being told "you are a mother who is being over concerned, go to produce more, then, you won't be so concerned! It's just overuse of soap or shampoo.). I called the same doctor who was then in Kuching and described to him the symptoms. He asked me to send her to hospital immediately. And she was again admitted for HFM disease.

Children will not lie.

JoMel said...

I guess I can only share my personal experience. Like iml's daughter, I longed to put on a pair of specs. When I was in P3, I deliberately sat as closely as I could to the tv, lied down to read books, and come the annual eye-test done at school, I lied I could not see when I could. So I was prescribed lenses with power. Initial days were so difficult adjusted to the lenses but I got used to it. And there's no turning back. The power just kept increasing. Sad isn't it? How I wished I had an adult then who knew better and had stopped me of my folly. hahah

TripleJin said...

Interesting..but do seek a 2nd opinion. Esp with eyes.

bp said...

Phew, but i also think no harm seeking a 2nd opinion, n sit down n talk again with D about her complaints, coz doesn't sounds like she's lying to me, unless there's some "reason" she may want to have glasses... older sibs, or a friend/(s) have them, and she thinks they're cool?

meanwhile, i know you'll keep monitoring and keep a diary/log of when and what she complains abt. take care!

Stardust said...

I hope the mystery doesn't continue! Seek 2nd opinion is probably best if the child complains again. Hope that it's a false alarm.

Or.. could it be 'eye shit'? Sometimes, when one gets too heaty, there's secretion of blurry 'gel-like' substance in the eye, before it gets to the side and solidify. I get that all the time, and that's how I know I've got too heaty.

doc said...

i agree with IML. it's strange the way the child seemed so excited about the eye appointment & eyedrops. maybe you should ask her if she wanted a pair of glasses. a non-prescription plain pair of glasses may just do the trick.

this is different from Yan's child because it's difficult to imitate a limp. if a child limps, there's got to be pain/discomfort somewhere.

after giving the child plain glasses, watch & see how she progresses. if she complains again, then you are obligated to get a 2nd opinion.

this is NOT professional advice - just my opinion as a concerned parent.