Need help with eye drops PLEASE!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by keista, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. keista

    keista New Member

    Not just any old eye drops, but the ones that dilate your eyes.

    DD2 needs to get her eyes dilated for her annual eye exam. She's survived this procedure twice before, but she hates it so much she's gotten frantic now.

    Background: DD2 is the one who is medicine-phobic. Because of her I have 20 tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom of all different flavors, trying to find just the right flavor. I have to buy it online for $10 a tube (including shipping) - only place I can get vanilla and chocolate. I had her in therapy for six weeks to get her into a dentist's chair for the first time ever and I had to dangle a super huge bribe reward that included CANDY. Yes, candy as a reward for going to the dentist. She stopped eating strawberry flavored stuff because the only melatonin we could find locally was strawberry. She then decided she didn't like strawberry. I found cherry online and finally got her taking it when she saw what a small dose it was and when mixed with milk she could not taste it.

    Yesterday was her eye exam and she refused to get dilated. Dr sent me home with an rx. If I can get the drops in her, I should bring her in. Yeah, OK. Problem is, I have to call and schedule an appointment, and THEN get the drops in her. Yeah, OK.

    Well, she's got consequences for not complying - grounded from computer and no party this weekend (grounding lasts until she does this). AND she has a reward waiting for her once she does this - McDonald's meal including a shake or a sundae and a plush lioness (her 'Simba' needs a mate). So, late last night she decided that she didn't want to be grounded and would do this today. I checked with her in the morning and we were all GO. Got the script filled and the appointment scheduled. Picked her up from school, and she's all ready to do this. She even talked with her classmates about it and they are all supporting her and know that she can do this because she's so brave. I even picked up a special snack for her to have in the car once she's dilated (hour drive to the ophthalmologist) She's ready, she's gun-ho, we're gonna do this and I kneel down next to her and she starts bawling an covering her eyes saying she can't do this. :sigh::groan:

    So I cancelled the appointment. I cried, she cried. Now what? Any and all ideas of how to get this child's eyes dilated are welcome! Oh, and yes, I considered anti anxiety medications, but she probably wouldn't take those either! :tantrumsmiley:
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    A tranquilizer dart?

    I really don't know... How did you do it before?
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She's probably too extreme for even this old trick... but I'll toss it out there.
    - she needs to be laying down, so you don't need to touch here eyelid or anything...
    - she needs to roll her eyes at you - that extreme, eyeballs to the top so high she almost can't see
    THEN you drop the drop in...

    Its harder for the second eye...

    Part 2. There ARE other options than the stupid drops. Talk to the pharmacist... I've seen... spray, for one. Our doctor uses a little tab that he just has to barely touch to the edge of your eyelid.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    She was laying down when we started. it's not so much the drops but what the drops do that she's afraid of. She was able to "practice" with water drops.

    The first time, she was pretty much ambushed. Had no clue what was going to happen. The second time, she was resistant, but the nurse was able to get her to comply. This time, resistance is an understatement. Is as if the fear builds and there's no stopping it.

    Now that I think of it, a similar thing happened with injections. She never had a problem with them. Even said she'd prefer an injection over oral medication any time. When we did flu shots this past fall, that all changed. Her brother and sister went first to prove to her and remind her that it's no big deal, but she went ballistic when it came on her turn. Fortunately I was able to hold her down for that.

    She's bummin' hard right now - very disappointed in herself.
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Sometimes a professional can success where mom can't. Is there a school nurse that might be willing to work with her? Or a non-parent neighbor who has more experience with eye drops? (of course if this idea worked the Dr's office should have succeeded, but it is an idea).
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    they do have oral klonopin melt tabs. One might just get her over her anxiety enough to get through this. I know they can use the little paper tabs to dilate the eyes but that does mean getting close to the eyes. Maybe you could teach her to use the drops? That gives her the control. Then get her a really really cool pair of dark shades at the dollar store for her eyes.
  7. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Ugh. I know the toothpaste problem. difficult child only this year started using "adult" toothpaste. Until then it was only watermelon flavored. And now, it can only be gel in the stand up container. No squeeze tubes.
    For the eye drops, what I have done is have them lie down on the floor with their hands at their sides. Then I straddle their chest with my legs kind of pinning their arms. If you drop the drops into the corner of the eye, when they blink they will go in. So, it doesn't even matter if their eyes are shut. Don't know if it will work with the dilating drops, but it did for allergy drops and pinkeye drops. Hope she can get this done, and she can get past her fear.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Is there a particular reason she needs the slit-lamp test?

    My son has JIA and is supposed to get the slit-lamp test done every six months because of the risk of eye issues - but, because he is doing so well, the eye doctor said we can do the test less often. She also said that there would be eye pain if there was any retinal inflammation.

    Can she just skip it? Make it every OTHER year instead of an annually.

    If it's not really necessary, why go through all the trouble?
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    That was what I was it necessary? I don't recall my kids having that done till they were teens. Dr didn't think it was necessary.
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Stressed, that's a good position to try. If she ever gets up for it again, we'll try it that way.

    DF and H&R, I assume she NEEDS the test since the Dr insists on dilating. She was supposed to get a new prescription this last visit but since he couldn't dilate and give her full exam, it's put off til next time.

    I know pretty much nothing about eyes since I never needed glasses. Her dxes are:
    Binocular vision disorder

    She's been patching her good eye for the past 6 months with mild results.

    I just noticed that she marked the calendar with sad faces for the last two days. :( I feel so bad because I know she wants to get this done but is truly paralyzed by fear. Worst part is that since her insurance changed, she lost her therapist. Uhg, UHG!
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, yes, considering she has a history of eye issues, it would make sense to give her thorough eye exams. That changes things. I vote for using a sedative and other means of relaxation (deep breathing, etc). Best of luck.
  12. idohope

    idohope Member

    No good advice just sympathy. My difficult child has run out (literally of course) of a dental appointment and an eye exam. The eye exam was just a vision test and we were sitting in the waiting room and the assistant came and said you can go back now and out she ran into the parking lot (pouring rain of course) and refused to come back in. Every annual physical exam visit is a battle and tantrums. She was required to get a shot this year. difficult children personal policy is no shots unless required by law. And school said she could not come back until she had the shot. Her extra curriculum activities were enough motivation there (no school no activities). (Like she would care that she was not allowed back in school haha) But it would also not have happened without an excellent nurse who was warned ahead of difficult child anxiety and told her she needed to control the fear and not let the fear control her.

    Sounds like your difficult child is at least acknowledging that she wants to comply on some level but cant and I think that gives you something to work with. Maybe try
    [h=3]What To Do When You Worry Too Much:
    A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety[/h](available on Amazon) seemed like a good book to me although my difficult child threw it across the room and refused to read it or work on it with me.
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    LOL I know mine would too. I had pulled out the "bag of tricks" she learned and loved from therapy, but in the heat of the moment, all she would do is growl.
  14. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I dont' know what to suggest. When I was 5 I got an eye infection and needed drops for something like two weeks. I was freaked out (since I still have this memory it must have been traumatic). Unfortunately, I cannot remember how my mom got the drops in my eyes. I suspect I was held down.....but that contributes to the trauma. It sounds like you are doing everything you can. Like Janet said, maybe some anti-anxiety medications will help her get over that.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    by the way - the way the whole cycle is currently set up, is also working against her. Book appointment, try and get drops in... timed to coincide with a big trip to get there... anxiety is through the roof before you start.

    THEY need to work with YOU. Yes, they can shift their schedule around at whatever minute you walk in the door. They need to commit to that much. THEN, you can "practice". Maybe get one eye today, and not the other... and then... WOW - we got them both, let's go see the Dr... and it works.

  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Cubsgirl, trauma is exactly what I'm trying to prevent. ESPECIALLY since she will need life long eye care.

    Insane, in an ideal world........ You see, most doctors are just like teachers. If the kid is non-compliant, it's the parent's fault.

    Anyway, GOOD NEWS! I found something called an optomap retinal scanner. Found it yesterday while researching, but when searching that and my county, nothing came up, so I figured there were no providers locally. Wrong! My friend suggested it this morning, said she had it done at Lenscrafters for like $45. WOOT! Sure enough they do do it, but for $35! Double WOOT! Problem is that internet research states that some doctors don't believe it's a viable alternative. I have a feeling this guy will be one of those, so I might have to change doctors specifically looking for one who will accept this test and takes our insurance.

    Keep fingers crossed!
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Such a bummer, I remember as a kid having such intense fear that the dentist couldn't examine me. For eye drops here we just close our eyes, put them in the corners so there is no drop that goes directly into the eye then he opens and they slide in. but if her fear is about what they do, then that trick may not work.

    If I can get ahold of my cousin, I will ask her (she is an eye dr.) if there are child friendly alternatives.....
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know I am going to get yelled at here and that is okay. If the new thingy you found is able to do what is needed, then go for it aby all means. But if drops are what s needed for her health, then maybe you need to force the issue.

    I have a policy with all my kids that they are kids and husband and I are the parents. When it comes to medical things, parents make the decisions. We listen to kids, we care about their concerns and we explain in as much detail as is appropriate what is going to happen and why and do waht we can to make thigns easy for a child.

    But if the choice is holding my child down to force drops in or risking having her lose her sight, well, my child will be held and forced. I will make every effort to allow the child to submit but if after 2 or 3 appts the child is still unable to get over the anxiety, phobias, difficult child issues or other thigns, then the test still has to be done.

    I won't spend an afternoon cajoling a 2yo with a 104.5 degree fever to take a dose of tylenol and I won't spend weeks trying to get a 9yo to allow eye drops to be put in. Not if there is a real medical need for them. There have been times when a child balked the way that your difficult child is, when they truly could not submit. It was anxiety based, and all the back and forth, we will do it at X time, we will do it this way, just increased the anxiety.

    So I had husband or my mom or my dad help, or once had all 3 of them help, and we held Wiz and he got the medication he needed. It wasn't fun and he hated it and us for a few days. He finally realized that we did it because the long term consequences for not doing it were serious and it was in his best interest. I also did this with Jessica twice. We all hated it, but I did it because they needed to have it done.

    My parents did this with my brother because he had some really bad shots wth one round of ear problems and would run screaming away from the office (as in literally ran down the street one time when I was six) if he saw a needle.

    After the procedure is forced, we all talked through what happened, how it was NOT as awful as it was feared to be, and that it HAD to ahppen. My kids had the freedom to freak out and they did NOT have the responsibility of potentially doing long term damage to themselves by not allowing a medication or exam. by being able to freak out and still having it done to them, my kids did eventually stop freaking so much.

    By now this has become a HUGE monster under the bed for your daughter, Kiesta. Each tme it is discussed and it is tried but it fails, it becomes a bigger deal and is more and more scary. She knows t is very important, and having to power to stop something very very important is scary to a child. She s seeing that you are more afraid of her anxiety than of the possible long term damage caused by an untreated eye problem that could only be diagnosis'd by this exam.

    My kids still got the reward for having it done. They knew they were not alone with the responsibility to submit, and that if they were unable to allow the drops to be put in or the shot to be given or the medication Occupational Therapist (OT) be given, then because we loved them we would make sure they got it anyway.

    it sounds barbaric to force the medication on a child, but really it is not. The message was that we loved the child enough to make sure they got the medical care they needed even if they stood in their own way. they could trust us to make sure that they woudl have what they NEEDED, even if the person we had to fight was themselves, or the problem we needed to fight was their own fears anxiety. by giving in and letting them not have the procedure, we fed the fears. We let them think the fears were realistic and the procedure/medication/test/whatever was truly something to be feared.

    we NEVER had someone that our child didn't know do the holding down. It was always me and husband or gma or gpa. If a nurse or technician was helping to reestrain the child then that person was as far from the child's face and line of sight as possible, so that the child knew that this was important and we loved them enough to not let them hurt themselves by not having this done.

    I udnerstand wanting it to be easy for her. I don't think this will happen unless she is forced, at elast not for a time or two. IF this other method is able to give the needed info and do what is needed, go for it. But if it isn't, you are feeding her fear by allowing her to keep refusing and postponing the drops. Each time you are not successful, you are teaching her that they are a big, bad thing to be afraid of. Once she has them in and the exam done, give her the reward and elt her know that next time it will be easier.

    Now you can all leap on me telling me how wrong it is to force a 9yo to allow a medically necessary procedure to be done. It is okay. I understand why you think that. I just think it woudl be a far greater wrong to allow the child to have a year or more's damage to her eyes to be done if the test at thsi time could help stop or prevent it. Kids are just not able to make the tough calls on medical decisions or other serious issues. It is why they are kids and we are parents.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Susie... you just made me SUPER thankful that I have two kids who are absolutely troupers when it comes to all this medical stuff. Zero medications compliance issues, Zero working against dentists etc. (had a few years of challenges getting xrays... it's not like we got off scott free). One kid has 7 scripts... with side-effects to manage. The other has on-going procedures with periodic major pain with each procedure. I can't imagine having to deal with anxiety and panic attacks and pushback on top of it all... I just cannot imagine.
  20. keista

    keista New Member

    Susie, I won't leap on you, but will say that I have been there done that. The last time I tried forcing medication into DD2, I got hurt, she got hurt, and the medication did NOT get into her body.

    At the moment, this is my big problem. It's just me. Even if family were around, they would not be able to stomach holding this child down. I know for 100% fact that if FDH were still here, he'd be worse than useless in this matter.

    LOGICALLY she knows this might be annoying, and hurt temporarily, but it's a necessary procedure and she's lived through it twice before, so she can get through this again. But logic goes out the window at the moment of truth. She is not pleased with herself.

    Talking to more ppl, it turns out that the optomap scanner is becoming the gold standard for optometrists. At least those that can afford the machine. When I was telling my friend this story she had to think twice about the last time she had her eyes dilated. It's been years!

    So, all I have to do is convince the ophthalmologist to accept this digital scan (which creates a permanent record of what the retinal looks like) instead of the personal look-see into DD2's dilated eyes. If he won't, I'll be shopping for an ophthalmologist that will.