You know how when a baby is little, you have to take her to the pediatrician all the time? First every couple of days or weeks, then every few months, then at half year intervals, then annually to age 5, then it spreads out to every two or three years.
It hasn't exactly worked that way with Joy. We started out with that basic pattern, but things kept intervening. Like seizures, like autism. When we eventually switched pediatricians a little while back, ending up with Joy's current family doctor who is expert in special needs, he put her on a schedule of follow-up visits every four months. Lots of appointments.
I'm happy to report, though, that we've recently "graduated" to longer intervals with a couple of Joy's specialists.
First came the pediatric neurologist. We've been seeing him at least twice a year for quite a while now. The last three visits, though, we've been able to report that we've not seen any seizures since the prior visit. And when we saw him in May, he told us to schedule the next appointment a full year out. Woohoo!
Then yesterday we had to go back to the eye doctor. I blogged about this one last year; how I'd been sent back to the opthalmologist where we'd had the worst appointment experience EVAH, then managed with a lot of pre-planning to have a much smoother experience a year ago. Our follow-up appointment yesterday wasn't starting out so well -- even though we had the first appointment of the day, the waiting room was crowded, the lady at the desk didn't want to hear about Joy's needs ("you can tell the person who comes to get you"), and Joy was starting to get fussy in the 20 minutes it took for the person to come get us. As crowded as it was, I was fearing that we wouldn't get the private exam room to wait in low light for the dilation; plus the more people, the higher the chance of waiting delays. Arghh.
However, once we got into the exam room, people started to jump for us (jump for Joy?!) Joy was unhappy but at least willing to let her attention be directed enough to look where they wanted her to look. The doctor came in quickly -- and said that she really wasn't seeing the kind of strabismus/tracking-problems that had sent us there the year before. (We still see tracking issues, but I haven't been noticing them nearly as much). She didn't think it would be worth it to dilate Joy's eyes as we'd planned (YESSS!), and told us we wouldn't need to come back for two or three years unless the tracking got really bad, to the point that she was having trouble maybe half the time to pull her eyes back together.
Fewer appointments is always a fine thing. It's so good to have both the improvement and the maturity.