Last week was a tough one for my favorite little boy in the world (Cade, of course!). First of all, he had a double ear infection. Cade has allergies which often cause his ears to fill up with fluid and occasionally get infected. Last week’s infection was particularly bad. He had a fever the whole time, wasn’t sleeping well at night, and generally felt lousy every day. I took him to the doctor midweek and while there, also asked them to check his eyes because Cade recently said the letters were getting a little fuzzy during our nightly reading sessions together.
In fact, Cade struggled throughout first grade with reading and Yan and I think his ears filling up with fluid so often probably contributed to it. I wanted to see if his eyes might be playing a role in his difficulties as well. The pediatrician’s eye chart test was inconclusive (as it had been in the past) so we decided to take him to a specialist over the weekend. And lo and behold, the eye doctor’s tests were inconclusive, too! The doctor said Cade’s eyes were straining and trying to compensate for something but he wouldn’t be able to determine exactly what without dilating his pupils.
Cade was horrified (and inconsolable) at the thought of having drops put in his eyes. After 20 full minutes of begging, pleading, promising, bribing, cajoling, and even putting drops in my own eyes to show him there was nothing to be scared of, I finally had no option but to hold him down while the doctor administered the drops. The sheer terror in his screams interwoven with his soulful sobs were difficult for me to bear and I nearly called the whole thing off.
But we got the drops in, got Cade calmed back down (relatively speaking, at least), and eventually got on with the eye test. The doctor was able to determine that Cade is actually quite a bit far sighted – a condition which had gone undetected in previous school and pediatric eye chart tests. So now one hurdle overcome, the next one squarely in front: “But I don’t want to wear glasses!!” The torture Cade experienced with the eye drops was quickly replaced by his new panic at the thought of showing up for second grade – which starts next week – with spectacles on his face.
Of course Yan and I told him it didn’t matter if anyone made fun of him, that it’s what he has on the inside that counts, that we too both wore glasses when we were kids, etc … what he heard was “blah, blah, blah, blah, GLASSES, blah, blah, blah.” But after letting him pick out his own frames he seemed to be doing okay with everything. Of course when we receive the finished glasses next weekend, the battle is likely to pick right back up where it left off. We’re steeling ourselves for that fight but are hopeful this will all be a character building experience for him, enable him to focus less on what others think of him (and more on being comfortable with himself), and most of all-help him in school and with reading!