I mentioned not long ago that Finn’s left eye has been turning inward sometimes. This has been a fairly new development; I’ve only started noticing it in the last month or two. At his regular 4-year well check with our pediatrician, I was told that it’s an optical illusion – that his eye is not actually turning in. I called bullshit – this isn’t my imagination, nor is it an illusion. Not only that, but shortly after that appointment, his right eye also started turning in occasionally.
This morning we went to see a pediatric ophthalmologist – the same one he’s seen before, although it’s been quite a while since his last visit.
It was a nightmare. Screaming 4-year old, screaming infant. At one point, I was holding both Finn and Scarlett on my lap in the exam chair. Finn has apparently developed quite an aversion to big, scary chairs, weird medical equipment, and lights being shined in his eyes. He screamed and cried and thrashed through the entire examination, even kicking the doctor. I finally put Scarlett back in her stroller where she screamed her head off, and sat with Finn in the exam chair, holding him in a headlock/bear hug with my legs pinning his legs, while he continued to howl and yell and cry. And the truth? What kept running through my head was, “This is the picture of Down syndrome, of developmental disability, that everyone is afraid of: the screaming, thrashing child who can’t verbalize his feelings, whose face is a mottled, snotty, drooly mess.” I just wanted to cry. But that would have made three of us crying, and although the doctor was extremely sweet and patient, I fear that would have put even her over the edge.
As it turns out, Finn does have strabismus, which is not uncommon in the general population of children, but is especially common in children with Down syndrome. I have to admit that I take a perverse satisfaction in this confirmation that Finn’s intermittently misaligned peepers is neither illusion nor my imagination. It’s likely that he will need glasses, but seriously, I am about 110% sure that there is no way in hell he’d keep glasses on at this point, so the doctor wants to see him again in six months, and in the meantime, we’re supposed to try to get him used to glasses by getting him some little-kid sunglasses and encouraging him to wear those.