Monday, July 14, 2008

An eye exam and a surprise...

Last week I was out shopping with my boys and making a trek into Wal-Mart (which I always dread) when I noticed that they had an Optometry office which was offering eye exams for only $45. Well…I don’t normally use the local Wally World for my family’s medical care but his Dad and I had just recently talked about getting DS2 an eye exam before 1st grade starts...and I noticed the Wally World optometrist wasn’t busyand he could take us as a walk inand it was only $45…and I was sure that all was well with my DS2’s eyes as he has amazing eye/hand coordination and never complained one iota about anything visual.

Yes, you know where this is going don’t you?

DS2 had the exam and the Dr. began to tell me that basically DS2 has little to no recognition of the images coming into his left eye and all kinds of other things about brain development, limited window of opportunity to fix this, etc. etc. I sat there just stunned! I mean, this child has never, and I mean NEVER, shown any indication of any problems either physically or academically. So, I got an RX for glasses and instructions to “patch” my sweet DS2’s right eye for a certain amount of time each day to encourage the brain to begin to recognize the now clear images coming through (clear with glasses). The diagnosis was Amblyopia – no, I had never heard the term before as most people use the term "lazy eye". DS2 doesn't have the physical turning of the eye or "floating" that many children do.

Anyway, I didn’t “fill” the prescription there as I just was really having a hard time with getting this medical diagnosis from Wal-Mart. I kept thinking “this is what I get for taking my child to Wal-Mart for an eye exam instead of my normal Optometrist” like it was some kind of bizarre punishment for trying to be a quick cheap MOM.

So, as soon as I was out of ear shot of the Optometrist (because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, of course) I call his Dad and tell him to immediately find an Optometrist that could see us ASAP. To say I was panicked was an understatement, and I knew I could not stand not knowing if this was for real. As God would have it there was one just about a ½ mile away and she had a cancellation in 20 minutes and could take us right away. We go over, and the Dr. re-does the exam and confirms Wal-Mart Dr’s original diagnosis. So, we did order those glasses and are trying to be faithful with our patching routine and I am wondering how on earth I just “missed it”.

So…I guess I win the Mom of the Year Award.

If you haven't had your little one's eyes checked I would recommend you do it (and I took DS1 for an exam - just to be safe!). If you are interested in knowing more about Amblyopia


  1. I've been intending to take mine all year as we now have coverage... yet I keep putting it off. Guess I'll look for that happy little Wally World spot next time we go. :)
    He's very adorable behind his new rims!

  2. A LITTLE PROFESSION SECRET....As an optometrist at a Wal-Mart, I HAVE to say that our fees are much lower because we do not have the tremendous overhead of the "other optometrists." I've worked at the 'normal optometrist's offices,' also, and there we charged out the nose :)

  3. Mac, thanks for weighing in! I think the Optometrist at Wally World is fine (I actually go there as does my DD) but my concern for DS was that he get consistant care from the same DR. every time since he has an additional vision issue which is more complex than just a near sighted/far sighted issue. He definately needs someone who can watch his case and measure the progress he is making from visit to visit. Unfortunately the Optometrists at Wal-mart seem to have a pretty high rate of turn over so that was my biggest issue for DS. As a 7 year old they get comfortable with a familiar face so I felt his care would be better handled in this manner...but for me I am a WM patient all the way! LOL


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