Yesterday was baby Katea's follow-up eye exam. I was really nervous at what the results would be because the one she got 2 weeks ago was nothing but bad news. Since we've been able to bring her home though, I've been able to monitor her oxygen levels more closely and haven't been as freaked out as when we were in the hospital. This would be the first eye-exam where I actually take her into the office....all the other times, she's been in the hospital and the optimologist comes to her to do the exam! I had no idea what to expect at the appointment, but it was not at all how I was thinking it would be.
Our appointment was at 120pm....we got there at about 1pm because I wasn't really sure where the office was at. When we walked into the office it was FULL of kids....running around everywhere, climbing on the chairs, jumping around, playing, fighting, crying....it was so loud in there. To be honest, I was nervous that I had to wait in the waiting room with all those kids...especially since I've been advised not to take my baby around large groups of people, especially groups with a lot of kids. We were in a hospital and I wasn't sure if those kids were sick or not.
I filled out all the paperwork needed and they told me to have a seat in the waiting room. I was a little ok about it because baby was sleeping in her carseat which was covered by the carseat cover blanket I made. I thought that at least that way, she's being blocked from all the germs that are in the air......but I didn't realize how long I would have to be waiting for. Like I said we got there at about 1pm.....at 3pm they still hadn't called us back. I went up and asked how much longer it would take....they said it should be any minute. About 10 minutes later they called us back. The opthamoligist came in and saw baby in her stroller and said "Oh, it's an ROP follow-up" (with a kind of irritated voice) He left the room and then a tech came in with some eye drops to numb and dialate her eyes. After the drops were given, he sent us back out to the waiting room and told us it would take like 30 minutes for eyes to get completely dialated. I really didn't want to go back out there with all those kids, especially since baby was now awake and irritated.....but he said they didn't have room for us to wait in the back, we had to go back to the waiting room.
In the NICU, they were always very focused on keeping things nice and dark, especially when the baby's eyes are dialated. Obviously bright lights hurt and are uncomfortable for dialated eyes, and so they were very cautious in making sure to keep things dim. At her appointment yesterday they didn't seem to care. Her eyes were dialated and we were just sent back out to wait with everyone else. Poor baby girl. We waited for another 45 minutes before being called back. I was so annoyed because of all the kids that were running around. Baby was in her carseat, which was strapped in her stroller, covered....her pulse ox monitor was sitting on the top of the handle bars and the oxygen tank was underneath in the stroller basket. The waiting room had these little cars that the kids could drive around, and these little kids kept crashing into the stroller. At first I asked them nicely to stop, but they didn't....and what annoyed me even more was the stupid parents that were sitting there watching their kids crash into my stroller and not doing anything about it.....uugghh! I kept my cool until baby's monitor started beeping, she was low-satting, I checked to make sure that her nasal canula was in her nose....it was....I didn't want to turn her oxygen up anymore because she was already on 1/4 liter. Just then I see this little kid holding the end of the freaking tube in his hand. He had pulled it off of the oxygen tank and was holding the end of it. I was pissed. I immediately grabbed it from him and then I yelled at his mom. I don't remember exactly what I said, because I was so mad, but it was something to the affect that her son has been crashing into my daughter's stroller and he just pulled the tube from my daughter's oxygen, and that's how she stays alive....and that she needed to watch him. I'm horrible at confrontation and was all shaky and stuff. I went back to my seat and then she started talking crap about me in Spanish. Funny thing is that I understand Spanish and understood every word she said. Stupid lady. I was mad!
Luckily, we got called back right after that so I didn't have to wait in the waiting room any longer. The actual exam was super quick, we were just in and out. Funny that baby Katea was dressed up in pink but the Dr. kept calling her a boy. So annoying to add to the annoyingness I was already feeling...lol. Dr asked me how she was doing and I told him that I have been really nervous about her eyes because of the high levels of oxygen she was on in the hospital. He just said "I'm not worried about her eyes"....that statement made me feel a little better. After the eye exam he said "She's doing so well....her eyes are almost mature....she's at a zone 3, almost mature.....diminishing plus disease.....and her ROP has started healing itself and is back to stage 1!!" That is a HUGE improvement in the 2 weeks since her last eye exam! Now I don't have to freak out and stress out that the high levels of oxygen are going to make her blind. Once baby's eyes reach zone 3, there's not really a threat anymore. Relief!
The sad thing is that we have to go back again for a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks, just to make sure her eyes are completely mature, and to make sure her ROP continues to go away. I hate that I have to go back to that office/waiting room.....but hopefully that will be the last of the constant eye-exams....and hopefully her eyes will be good so I don't have to take her there anymore!
Swollen eyes after her eye exam
Baby Katea never ceases to amaze me.....even though her eyes were the worst they had been just two weeks ago, she fought through it and overcame....and has improved a ton....just like she always has and always does with anything she's faced with. She's so strong, such a fighter, such a miracle....simply amazing! Good job baby girl, I love you!