November 5, 2008

Ophthalmology today

We had a 4+ hour visit with Hannah's new ophthalmologist today. I like Dr. Carothers, and so did Hannah. He was very thorough, as was his assistant. The good news is that her cataracts are stable and have not grown! There were some concerns as to whether Hannah was showing some latent amblyopia, but he was able to rule it out, so that was good as well. She just has plain old low muscle tone in her eyes.

(click on the picture get get a better view of the questionable eye)

Hannah has latent nystagmus (shifty eyes! I bet you can't trust a kid with shifty eyes-they probably sneak Halloween candy into their rooms!), which is not a big problem. She does have some significant hyperopia; she's quite farsighted. Her new prescription will have bifocals. I am quite pleased because I have been thinking about bifocals for her for quite a while, and Dr. Carothers brought it up without my input. (See, sometimes I do keep my mouth shut in a doctor's office. Who'd believe that??)

We'll probably make the journey down to Newport News where I know they carry the new Specs4Us frames. It is very important for Hannah's frames to fit correctly, without any sliding down the nose, so she can have optimal use of the bifocals. Wendy just had Carley fitted with Specs4Us and loved the fit. Kids with Down syndrome tend to have flatter profiles than typical children, and the bridge of the nose is usually close to non-existent. Add in low-set, small ears, and it's difficult to make mainstream frames fit. It takes someone who really understands the nuances of the Ds bone structure to adjust frames to fit well.

I am hoping that the bifocals will help her be more comfortable with smaller fonts in chapter books. Right now she limits her pleasure reading to picture books (Level 3 or 4) because the fonts are larger. She does read easy chapter books (Flat Stanley, Magic Tree House, etc), but it is considerably more work for both her eyes and her reading skills, so we do that during school time when I can encourage her.

We had to scurry after the appointment because the dentist was awaiting at 2:00 today as well! This was a new-to-Hannah dentist. Our first try with the "recommended" dentist for Hannah left a sour taste in my mouth. So now, for the first time, she is going to our regular family dentist. She LOVES going to the dentist. I think they are going to offer her a paid position when she's old enough--she was such an ambassador in the waiting room! You'd think that her complimentary toothbrush was gold-plated--she treasures it so! "Oh! Thank you so much! I like this new toothbrush. Mom? Can I use it tonight? It's so nice!" (Or, maybe she thought a "complimentary" toothbrush meant she was supposed to use compliments???)

Her teeth are terrific. She has just four deciduous teeth left to lose, then she can get braces. "Just like my friend Amelia."

Tomorrow we are off on a field trip to hear the Richmond Symphony with the Girls' Group+brothers. Maybe I can pay Amelia to convince Hannah braces are fun?

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