Few days back, while casually chatting about my daughter’s growing age and its related issues, her physiotherapist told me about a patient she recently visited. They were old patient of hers, and they had called her to have a look at their child’s dislocated hip and to advice on further course of treatment.
“Life is a series of punches. It presents a lot of challenges. It presents a lot of hardship, but the people that are able to take those punches and able to move forward are the ones that really do have a lot of success and have a lot of joy in their life and have a lot of stories to tell, too.”
That casual chat really set me thinking about the various challenges we parents face while bringing up a differently abled child. Primarily we start with treatments for the condition which is diagnosed like ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy etc. But as the child grows, his/her body changes giving rise to secondary issues which sometimes goes unnoticed till damage is done & surgery (in some cases) is the only remedy to correct it or to prevent further damage.
For example sitting in wrong posture can lead to Scoliosis, hip dislocation might be due to wrong posture or muscle tone tightness, calcium or Vitamin D3 deficiency leads to osteoporosis and lower back pain.
As most of the kids are non-verbal, we tend to miss the signals of issues they might be facing like vision or dental issues.
For example it is necessary to get regular eyes checked of our children. So we were recommended to a well-known and famous paediatric ophthalmologist in a well-known hospital. But it used to take up 1 whole day as it was located in town and travelling used to be tiring for all 3 of us, as daughter was growing up and it used to get tedious.
So finally and luckily we found a paediatric ophthalmologist near our place of residence and we thought of giving it a try. 1st day when we visited him he was little bit shocked after checking her eyesight. So he called us next day after putting the eye drops so that the pupil of eye is clearly dilated. Next day when we went after the readings were taken we were again told to come next day. We were bit worried (as we dreaded something might be wrong).
What he told next was a total shocker for me and my husband. We couldn’t believe what he told. He told my daughter doesn’t have any eyesight problem… She doesn’t need specs…
We had been to the other doctor just 6 months back and she had told her number is increased and every time we went she used to say the same thing and change Prerna’s glasses and advice constant use. This was going on since past 6-7 years. Prerna never liked to wear glasses so she used to constantly remove it and we used to scold her to keep the glasses on.
To be sure we went to another paediatric ophthalmologist, who was also of same opinion that my daughter doesn’t need specs. We were surprised, shocked how come a girl having a specs number 2.75 be reduced to 0.5 in 6 months. 2 doctors can't be wrong…. Unless it's an miracle...
Since Prerna can't speak we trusted the renowned doctor on her readings and advices. I had felt so bad, as I used to constantly make her wear specs, and scold her if she removed it. And initially when we came to know that she has to wear specs all blamed me because of me she got it too.
Everyone who came to know about this incident was left in shock. But we learnt a lesson. It’s always better to take a second opinion when it comes to any medical issue, no matter how experienced or well-known that 1st doctor is.
Bringing up a differently abled child is a challenge itself. But it hurts when people try to make use of such situations & misled parents and guardians. In schools and centers wherein we trust them with our child, pay hefty amounts so as they take proper care of our children, are also the places wherein mainly they are not taken proper care or neglected. More about those experiences in coming blogs.