September 24, 2009

The eye doctor

I'm learning so much about premature babies.

When Connor was discharged the paediatrician told me to make an appt for him with the opthalmologist.

Which I eventually did.

Those appts are horrible. We went in an hour before our appointment time to have his pupils dilated. When the doctor eventually saw him, he used a speculum (otherwise called metal instrument of torture) to pry Connor's eyelids open. The poor baby was understandably distraught.

Kendra's initial eye check was done while she was still in the NICU so I didn't have to witness the torture.

Everything was okay at that point but he wanted to see both of them a few weeks later.

So this time I was clever and took Chelesile, our nanny, with me. The dilation took even longer than before (this time 2 hours and 15 minutes) so I took some pics while we were waiting.

Connor asleep on Chelesile's lap
"don't bother me"

Kendra, still for once

Kendra in my arms just after finishing her bottle
This time I was prepared so I asked him exactly what was he looking for. Apparently there are membranes and blood vessels in the eye that develop right up until birth. When babies are born early, those things don't always continue to develop properly and in some cases, can actually burst because the eye is working now that the baby's born.


So we're checking to see that everything is normal (as at their 40 weeks gestation everything was fine).

We now have one more appointment with him in about 3 weeks time. I can't wait for this to be over - he checks their eyes for less than 5 minutes and charges us R398 per baby!

This guy only works in the afternoons from 3pm (lovely job, isn't it?) and I swear he sees about 10 people in 15 - 20 minutes. Trust me, I was counting... R400, R800, R1200, etc. :)

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