Yesterday, May 24, 2017 we had a day of appointments and check-ups for Hannah Joy. We met 1st with Dr. Ensenhauer for the vision test. Usually we head straight up to OR because Dr. E. has to put Hannah under general anesthesia for the eye exam. The reason for this is that Hannah had not been able to tolerate a “regular” eye exam and all the lights shining in her eyes. But yesterday we didn’t! Admittedly, at first we were very concerned and apprehensive. Surely there was some mistake! Our Eye Tech said that this was how the appointment was booked. So we went along with it not sure how Hannah would respond. Hannah did GREAT! There were the initial lights shined in her eyes and the cute toy with the whirling lights to catch her attention. Hannah did not totally lose it. Then there was the light on the end of the Technicians finger that Hannah was supposed to follow. It went side to side first – and Hannah’s eyes followed it!!!
Could this really be happening? Was Hannah really tracking wit her eyes that light on the end of the Technician’s finger??
Next, the light went up and then down. Hannah followed the light up and had a little more difficulty following it down. So the Tech tried again, and Hannah followed it down!!! After that, Hannah had to have “The Drops” put in her eyes to dialate them. Not liking things in her eyes anyway, she was a little cranky with the drops. And then her eye started felling funny. Was she really noticing that her eyes were felling funny and that something was happening to her vision??
We had about 20-30 minutes to wait until the drops fully took effect and for Dr. Ensenhauer to exam her. We left the exam room and decided to get something to drink in the Cafeteria and maybe get a small snack as it was only 11:00am – not time for lunch yet. On the way tot he Cafeteria, something strange happened to Eric and I. We were back in Children’s Hospital and everything we had experienced that summer in 2011 came rushing back! Not much had changed in the Lobby? Foyer area and the entrance to the Cafeteria looked the same. As we continued to walk and made our way into the place where we had eaten so many meals it was like we had never left! A few things had changed, but so much was still the same. We purchased iced teas and some nuts to snack on and found a place to sit down for a few minutes.
As we looked around and saw all the people – we also saw that familiar look on the faces of families and their friends. That look of almost disbelief and shock. We saw that look of intense pain that you try to shield from the rest of the world. All those emotions and feelings we had during that summer of 2011 were right there again. And there was something else!! There was that desire and drive to do something!! That “something” is already conceived!! That “something” is developing and growing!! That “something” is in it’s formulating stages!
We have some big news to share – stay tuned, it will becoming soon!!
And reality came crashing down – it was time for Dr. Ensenhauer!! We rushed back to the optical clinic and back into an exam room. Dr. E came in and was filled with life and joy and was very talkative!! Hannah warmed up to him immediately! She had never had the pleasure of interacting with Dr. E previously! And Hannah took complete advantage of this opportunity! She laughed at Dr. E’s jokes and other funny comments; she responded to his statements and questions! And she forgot all about her apprehension of having this eye exam. So did we , for that matter! There she was – going thru a regular eye exam!! The BEST news of all – – Hannah’s vision has IMPROVED!!!!!!!
Dr. Ensenhauer told us the Hannah’s Optic nerve looks “good!” Her vision has gone from 20/200 to 20/25!!!! we are beyond thrilled!!! Floating out of the Optical Clinic we had to rush to our next appointment!
Next was Dr. Joyce Oleszek – Hannah’s Dr. from our time in Rehab in 2011. We do regular check-ups with Dr. O!! Hannah remembers Dr. Joyce fondly and was very excited to see her again. It had actually been about 2 1/2 years since our last appointment! We heard the customary knock on the door but there was no time to say, “Come in!” The door flew open and Dr. Joyce flew into the room with her incredible smile and big hugs!! Her first words to us were, “I am SO happy to see you all!” It was like being reunited with a special friend we had not seen for ages! And Hannah was smiling and laughing and almost jumping out of her chair! She and Dr. Joyce hugged and it was so sweet! This appointment began with a celebration that would continue throughout our time together.
Dr. Joyce had the report from our last visit and was asking for updates. We had SO much to share with her and she was writing down everything. Pretty soon she was filling the paper over to write on the back!! Finally she said that she didn’t need to just update the report from Hannah’s last visit – she has to totally write a new report because of all the progress Hannah Joy has made!! She was so encouraging!
One area of concern is Hannah’s spine. Because of her growth spurt over the past 2 1/2 years, there is a curve, a pretty significant curve. We have started working with a D.O. (a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) and we have a torso brace that Hannah wears pretty much 24/7. Dr. Joyce wanted some x-rays to see exactly what was going on with Hannah’s spine. And even in this, there was celebration because the last time anyone even tried to do an x-ray on Hannah there was a meltdown. Not this time! There was some nervousness on Hannah’s part and Dad & Mom and the x-ray tech talked her through it all. Another 1st for Hannah was that she sat on a bench for the first set of pictures!!! Eric and I were shocked and thrilled at the same time! Then came the set of pictures with Hannah laying down on the table. The technician gave her a pillow for her head and put a sheet under her to block the coldness of the table!! Oh my goodness!! No meltdown! Hannah did so well that there was no need to repeat the x-rays because she moved! First time did the trick!! And off we went to complete our visit with Dr. Joyce!
We wrapped up with some follow-up items and with orders to get Hannah Joy a new set of wheels!! She had outgrown the current “vehicle.” And to show Dr. Joyce just how much she has grown, Hannah wanted to show Dr. Joyce how tall she is!! So Hannah stood up with help from Dad for Dr. Joyce and took a few steps for her!!! The joy on Hannah’s face exploded and we were all recipients!!
Today was even better than we could have imagined!!!