Before Christmas we went 'home' to Langley so Matthew could see his pediatrician for his every-three-month checkup. Mainly we see her that often to discuss developments in his ADHD condition, new symptoms, medication dosage, and (most of all) his growth; height and weight. He has always been tiny, but has in more recent years fallen right off the chart. His medication, which helps him focus by increasing blood flow to the ADHD affected part of his brain, also stimulates metabolism and decreases appetite. This has obvious ramifications when your child is already below the 3rd percentile in height and weight, even on Asian only growth charts. So we see the pedi every three months to monitor his growth while he's on this medication and to discuss the other stuff I mentioned above.
While we were in town we also made appointments for all six of us to see the dentist and the optometrist. We were overdue for both, since we could so rarely scrape together enough funds for teeth and eyes during the two years we were in our (lovely) previous house because we were so house poor.
I need a root canal and a filling, and Matthew needs a filling too. My back molars hurt me so bad, and have for about six months but we were a little busy and a little distracted recently, so I haven't been paying that much attention to the pain in my jaw.
Teeth, however, are fixable. At least to a greater degree than my eyes, which are also not so fabulous. I knew I needed new glasses but didn't know why; it turns out my previous lenses were heat damaged and the coating was warped; thus I could not really see that well out of them. My optometrist is a friend of ours; he noted that the previous two times I visited him, I was pregnant, so we didn't do the eyedrops/look at the retina part of the exam. So it had been five years since he had a good look at the back of my eyes. Sometime in the past five years my retinas developed blisters on them. The optometrist said that blisters could be from a number of things, but that most often they see them in someone who lives with a very high level of stress. When the blisters heal, they scar. I have both scars and blisters.
The two years that we owned our previous house were filled with heavy levels of financial stress. Either that took its toll on my eyes, or my postpartum anxiety with Riley did. Either way, it sucks. The blisters are okay for now, and the scarring is minor. But I have to be careful. It worries me to be only 35 (oops, 36. Thank you, birthday) and have bunches of decades of life ahead of me and blisters on my eyes already. I'm supposed to eat lots of kale, colourful vegetables, and exercise often. And try to keep my stress level as minimal as possible. The optometrist looked at my kids and kind of laughed. He has three of his own. He knows.
We're here, now. No longer house poor. No longer stretching $40 impossibly far. With a view that calms me every time I look out the window, and no traffic, no road rage, no crime, no violence, and no criticism for free running our kids. So hopefully my eyes can heal while we're here.
Oh! And Riley needs glasses! Not quite yet, but will likely need some by the time he hits grade one and has to see the board at the front of a classroom on a regular basis. He's going to look so cute.