Back to School: An Eye-Opening Visit to the Optometrist
These school holidays I have been on a mission to tick as many of those ‘we’ll-do-that-during-school-holidays’ jobs off my list. You know the kind of jobs I mean – reorganising the pantry, dentist check ups for everyone, finally getting around to taking the twins for an eye test, those kinds of things.
Whilst sitting in the Optometrist’s waiting room a few days ago another argument broke out between the boys over a plastic car, and despite trying to diffuse the situation, Charlie had a deep frown etched across his little brow by the time the optometrist called us into her room for our appointment.
The bickering wasn’t anything new of course. But I had noticed that over the last few days Charlie was getting cranky at the slightest thing. He was irritable and even the smallest altercation with his brother seemed to upset him more than usual.
“You look tired today Charlie,” said the optometrist as he took his turn in the chair.
“I am,” he sulked, still not willing to let the plastic car affair go.
“He hasn’t really been himself the last few days,” I say.
“I hope he isn’t coming down with something. He has been getting up in the middle of the night and coming into my room, which he hasn’t done for years. Even when he goes back to sleep he is grinding his teeth and thrashing about.”
The optometrist swivelled in her chair to face me.
“This is going to sound strange,” she said “But have you checked him for W-O-R-M-S?”
“Um…no?” I answered no doubt looking completely bewildered.
“Well, they can cause irritability, restless sleep, and they are much more common in kids of this age then you may think. Plus, they are highly contagious,” she said looking over at Toby. “You’ll have to treat the whole family.”
“Really?” I said looking astonished. “I would never have known that those symptoms could be related to wor…you-know-whats! It certainly is really out of character for him. I’ll pop into the pharmacy on the way home.”
“I always give my kids the Combantrin chocolate squares,” she whispered as we got up to leave. “They won’t even know! Just make sure you don’t leave it hanging around. It tastes so good, they will try to come back for more!”
True to the optometrist’s word, nobody batted an eyelid when I passed around the chocolate squares after dinner that night. I’m not sure I would have been able to tell the difference myself, had I not known.
The good news is that Charlie is back to his usual self, no more meltdowns, no more night waking, no more tired, grumpy boy (and exhausted mama!) and I have added a reminder to my iPhone, to check the boys more regularly. At least now I have a much better idea of the symptoms to look out for.
Do you check your children regularly for worms?
Always read the label, use only as directed, if symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. 2680/14