Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bummer

Am feeling a little bummed out today. I took Raina to the pediatric opthalmologist this morning, and it looks like despite all the carrots my 3-year-old's so fond of eating, she's going to need glasses soon. This sucks sooooo bad! Both P and I are nearsighted -- in fact, my glasses favor a soda bottle in appearance -- and I have astigmatism. And it looks like R's got the early beginnings of both nearsightedness and astigmatism.

The doctor recommended that she get glasses in around 18 months. She won't even be 5 years old!

I got glasses when I was 7-8, and I hated them, hated them, hated them... I thought I had to be the ugliest, nerdiest-looking kid on Planet Earth. Then, I have a small snub nose, and everytime I would run and play, my glasses would slide down and I'd have to keep pushing them up. It made me self-conscious, so instead of playing, I'd bury my nose in the nearest book, which didn't improve the eyesight any.

The day I switched to contact lenses is among the happiest in my life -- and that was after 7 very long years.

The doctor said I could start talking to Raina about wearing glasses now, so that 18 months later, she'll be used to the idea. I think her mom is more in need of those 18 months to adjust her attitude towards them. I have to put aside all this silly baggage I am carrying around, so I can make wearing glasses sound cool to her, so she knows that she's still pretty cute, so she knows she can still run as fast as any other kid, so she doesn't become a social moron for the rest of her childhood like her mom.

I know, I know, it's a storm in a teacup, but if I blog about it, I can start dealing with it...

24 comments:

the mad momma said...

oh my..soda bottle is not cool.. is corrective surgery late our of the question? what abt the eye excercies they teach you to do in pondichery?

and what about the fact that new glasses are really cool? :D chin up and face the sunshine.. i'd be sobbing by now and you are really brave.

A Muser said...

They won't do corrective surgery until her vision has stabilized at around 18 years of age. :( I asked the doctor if there was anything I could do to avoid glasses for her, and he was pretty pessimistic. Guess they don't believe in eye exercises here.
The doctor kept reassuring me that if only glasses are required, it's not the worst thing in the world. I guess he sees worse problems everyday. So am trying to keep chin up. Thanks for the encouraging words!
As for me, I wasn't a good candidate for LASIK five years ago (high number + astigmatism) but the technology could've improved since and I really should check up on it. With baby 2 on the way, I'd really like to wake up and not fumble around for glasses while he's howling his head off... :)

Terri said...

I thought bad eyesight was genetic, so we're prepared for one or both kids wearing glasses.

I hated wearing glasses because none of the boys hit on me, or so I thought. I got Lasik done but nobody hits on me even now.

A Muser said...

Awww, Terri, if I were a boy-dog, I'd hit on you! You are absolutely captivating! Seriously, I was actually hoping that R would avoid getting glasses -- her dad doesn't have a high number -- and I guess I was hoping for the best. But to not only get glasses, but to get them when she's so small, that's truly what bothers me. :( If only those darned carrots had done their job.

Anonymous said...

a muser:

i feel your pain, and i share a (un)healthy aversion to glasses, so much so that i - unintentionally (if i might add) - donated my latest pair to the atlantic ocean just the other day!

"With baby 2 on the way, I'd really like to wake up and not fumble around for glasses while he's howling his head off... :)"

don't tell me that you need glasses to locate the "wailing banshee" (phrase shamelessly copied from another blog)!

"Awww, Terri, if I were a boy-dog, I'd hit on you!"

if you were a boy-dog that would classify you as a pervert in the canine kingdom, or maybe not ...!

terri:

here's one more misdirected human you need to disabuse ... ;-) (alternatively, as someone has suggested, are terrysturf.blogspot.com or terrysampat... available?)

- s.b.

Terri said...

muser, if you were a boy-dog hitting on me, you'd be barking up the wrong tree!

A Muser said...

Uh-oh, Terri and s.b. Did I make a faux pas? I thought Terri was a girl-dog... My apologies...

Terri said...

No problem, muser. As long as you still think I'm wonderful. I hope this doesn't change our relationship.

Anonymous said...

a muser:

actually, what you made was a faux pass ;-), but fortunately for you, terri appears to be in a forgiving mood ... :-).

- s.b.

A Muser said...

Rest assured, Terri, we'll always be friends if not lovers.

upsilamba said...

dI was about to give a lenghty talk on spectacles and why you shouldn't worry about lil Raina....sorta bird's view on my life.

But the comments, I see, having taken a completely different Interstate.

Not sure what to say now. anyways, pass a hug to Raina for me, will ya? Also Muser, test of fire makes fine steel.

A Muser said...

Upsi, I am counting on you to bring the discussion back on track! Please share your story. I suspect Terri and s.b. are trying to cheer me up.

Amodini said...

Eye excercises do work according to my Dad. Look up a yoga resource - they're fairly simple. No harm in trying, yeah ?

A Muser said...

Definitely no harm, Amodini. Will look it up -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

a muser:

you might want to ask rads (via terri, maybe), strictly as a second opinion, about the eye exercises/alternatives? this sort of stuff is her specialty, isn't it?

upsi/a muser:

apologies for derailing the discussion - this seems to have become my usp, for better and for worse!

with so many kids nowadays wearing glasses - don't you guys agree? - it is much less likely that they (ok, i meant raina) will be traumatized/teased/bullied in school as 'chashmish' (or its equivalent). i wasn't (my glasses came later), but i have seen others being tormented. i remember one teacher trying to cheer up one such kid in my kid sister's class - "meraa bhee tatmaa, teraa bhee tatmaa, ham dono dott" (lisping intentionally).

- s.b.

Terri said...

I can't believe that I'm actually agreeing with s.b. for a change, but the other day my nine-year-old asked when he could start wearing glasses like his friends because he wants to look "brainy." It looks like glasses have now become a fashion statement, so Raina's friends might well think her rhinestone-studded glasses are de rigueur.

A Muser said...

Thanks s.b. and terri! I do feel better about it already. I am hoping if I am cheerful about it, Raina won't mind it too much. Plus, she sees her mommy wear glasses all the time -- and she looks damn pretty -- so how bad can it be, huh? I am going to give those eye exercises a good shot, though. Terri, would Rads know about this? Not knowing Rads, I wouldn't know. But I did find some good exercises on the Net.

Nitya said...

I had to wear glasses when I was 10..and i felt that the whole world was smirking at me and my too-big-for-my-dot-of-a-face glasses...and I can understand how u must feel abt Raina going thru something like that but these days there are tons of options and lots of cool new glasses..doesnt take away the pain but helps reduce the sting :)
chin up...)

Anonymous said...

a muser:

"Terri, would Rads know about this? Not knowing Rads, I wouldn't know."

i take back that part of my comment - not knowing rads very well, i really should not have put it.

- s.b.

Terri said...

From what I know about rads, she comes across as EXTREMELY nice. I'm not sure she studied ophthalmology, though.

Anonymous said...

terri/a muser:

just to set the record straight, the reason i wanted to take back my comment was not because i doubted rads' niceness coefficient :-). i just felt that i had gone past the point of just giving a harmless link to some other interesting blog. anyway, as i am still commenting on this post, this was what led me to believe that rads might know something about eye exercises ...

- s.b.

rads said...

sb, terri - honored you'd think about me.

Muser - I ran through the post and the comments and get a gist of the situation, if you may call it that. I will write in detail my 2 cents on it in just a couple of hrs. Monday morning madness is at its height at work.

Till then, chin up :)

rads said...

a muser - Feel your pain. My own started at 4 years old and the dad was positively crushed, thinking that if mom was an optometrist with perfect vision, she should essentially be preventing refractive errors in her own progeny!
You seem to know where you stand wrt glasses and considering you know what it is to wear one and not see the world through one, am going to skim all of that and come right to what you were asking about - exercises.
The only exercises we gave at Sankara Nethralaya[Madras] were for amblyopia and strabismus [plain speak, one eye has dominant power and suppresses the other, and 2nd is the squint] I understand there are yoga exercises, and simple accommodative ones - we had a doc/professor who'd swear by it, but would also be the 1st to admit that they don't actually consistently provide results. Statistics is a darn thing!
In any case, the exercises at Pondi or LVP [hyd] are all based on improving muscle tone, so the accommodative powers increase and thus help the eye to see better. Children have excellent adjustment capacities, and for the most part the problems go unrecognized up until a few years down the road and school. So, if you did want to try it, please by all means, you should. I will tap into some of my practicing friends back home and see if I can pull up some for you. In the meanwhile, could I know how much power was prescribed and what the vision is with and without correction?

To cap this, you seem to have a good handle on what needs to be done and whose attitude needs changes :--) As a mom it must hurt to discover you may not be able to prevent what you hated whole growing up, but maybe you’d take my word for it when I say I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I am loving a mom’s view. I’ve seen worse conditions and broken bad news to small helpless kids and parents, that when my daughter got her pair of glasses I heaved a sigh of relief. It was just refractive error! She has since adjusted well, plays basketball, swims, and has mean fist fights and the like with her non-spectacle wearing brother [while not breaking a pair by doing super-ducks] and never has once complained of her glasses. No one at school or any of her friends called her ‘4 eyes’ or ‘nerd’. If they did I’d have worn my fierce lioness-mommy cap, and given them a good earful. And that’s exactly what you would do too.
At the end of the day, they are our babies, and it is what we instill in them, that they project a confidence to develop just fine. I could go on, and you probably didn’t need the last part of mommytalk, but hey, who can stop a mom with some fundu knowledge from giving her 2 cents? :--)

Hope that helped. I’ve written to a couple of my ex-colleagues and will get back to you once I hear from them.

A Muser said...

Rads, thanks a lot, I really appreciate your comments and your efforts to look into this matter for me. It was really nice to hear about your experience with your daughter -- and it's a big relief to know the glasses didn't impede her activity level.
I actually don't know what R's prescription is -- the opthalmologist never said. He just said he could prescribe glasses for her now, but wanted to wait till she's closer to kindergarten age, because she'd be in a school situation and would need them more. It's interesting that she'd just had a vision exam at her pediatrician's, who thought her vision was fine for a 3-year-old. The reason the pediatrician still recommended that she see an opthalmologist is because R's nose is really tiny, and a geneticist (yes, she was checked out by a specialist at a Children's Hospital here) said the size of her nose may affect her vision.
The opthalmologist, however, disagreed, saying her vision wasn't affected by the size of her nose. Whew! Hope this isn't too much info.
I found some eye exercises on the Net, stuff that I tried when I was a kid too. It didn't work for me, but I doubt I was very consistent. Anyway, anything you could find out would be helpful. Thanks again!