Eye is for Intense

We spent the weekend in Bangkok so for once, I won't be posting about farmer's markets and paddling pools.
In 48 hours we saw a speech therapist, eye doctor, and an ENT doc for Nava's ears. Phew.

Nava's eyes (specifically her double cataracts, their removal, and the contacts) are to date, the only significant  medical problems she has a result of the DS. Compared to having heart defects and feeding tubes that many parents have to deal with, I feel like we really dodged a bullet with "just" cataracts. But that doesn't mean their not a big deal--it's her eyes!--so I was a little anxious for her check up, 3 months after saying bye to her fabulous Dr in Portland.

We went to Rutnin Eye Hospital, as it was highly recommended. As instructed I arrived 30 min early to register. Registration took 3 min. There are a lot of medical tourists from the middle east at Rutnin (like many Thai hospitals) and next to us in the waiting room was what looked like 3 generations of a family from the UAE, grandma in an abaya from head to toe with a metal burka, grandpa wearing a keffiyeh and in all white. They were all smiling over Nava and Dad asked to hold her and she seemed okay with it. She giggled when he bounced her and was all smiles until he said something in a very deep (lovely!) voice. The she realized she DID NOT know him and screamed bloody murder. Cue the embarressed smiles all around as I comfort a pissed off Nava.

It was 70 min before we actually saw the doc however. Mommy was not impressed. Also, didn't hit it off with him as he suggested general anesthesia to do a basic eye health and prescription check. But he agreed to try without. The nurses had never seen an infant in contracts. They were amazed by me taking them out. Cue more waiting.

Once back in with the doc, a few things happened. While three women held Nava and the doc climbed on the bed to shine light in her eyes from above, I realized eye exams aren't the most graceful of maneuvers. Also, pediatric ophamologists have the world's most annoying toys. The louder and brighter the thing can spin and talk and play music the better when you're trying to get a disgruntled baby to look where you want. I ended up having to take her contacts in and out 4 times. The nurses were amazed. The doctor looked on impressed and said, "There's no way Thai parents could do that" (which is BS, but I digress).

It was clear that her contacts were really out of his comfort zone and that was probably what was causing the friction between us. He couldn't get a read on her prescription and was getting flustered. Then the Ah-Ha moment happened and he started looking with much lower lenses. Sure enough, her eyes have changed *that* much. After her surgery, her doc thought she'd wear +23 to +29 and was surprised to find she needed +20. 2 weeks after that she needed +19. 3 months after that and...now its more like +12!

As he was looking into her eyes, he actually drew in his breath in surprise (cue mommy's heart stopping). He was speechless from how beautifully done her surgery was! Cue mommy beaming with pride about the decision to have the surgery with Dr Wheeler in Portland.

They don't do contacts in Thailand (a key reason we decided on the US for surgery) so I negotiated him to write up his findings and I'm going to send them to her US eye doc and see if he can figure out the right prescription for us based on that. I've still gotta do research in the implications for this rapid change but I'm just glad it's in the right direction.

As I was leaving (3.5 hours later!), he said to me, "you realize she's going to have to have eye muscle surgery in the future right?". I said I did. His parting words were, "She's very lucky to have you as a mother."

We went straight from his office to a bangkok mexican place and mommy ordered a pitcher of margaritas and one glass, thank you.


  1. What? You couldn't order a second pitcher without the Plastic Hat Tequilla? Grampa is very proud of Nava and her mommie.

  2. And she is. Lucky. <3

  3. I agree with the Dr! Well done Kelley! And well done Nava for putting up with all that! Hope the other Drs apps went well?

    (side note - gosh K, you write well - found my heart stopping too - and now I want a drink!)



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