I think it's a good thing.
If not used properly I suppose being sensitive could keep me from putting on my big girl pants and facing the world. Or it could have me getting defensive at every little thing thinking that somehow things are personal.
This past week Liam had his yearly eye exam at Duke. I'm not sure the position/title of the first person we see when we go but we always see someone in training who does some tests and records it all in his chart. This time the lady put up a large Minnie Mouse toy that spun around and lit up. She moved it left, right, up and down seeing if Liam would track it. He did it all but the going up. He doesn't visually move his eyes up.
Then she asked me if he would reach out and touch Minnie. I told her that yes he would, but that I would have to tell him to do it (he just doesn't do it on his own because of how much work it takes).
She then put Minnie in front of him and I asked him to touch Minnie. As he started to move his arms she put Minnie back on the counter and started to write in his chart. For about a half a second I was flabbergasted and then went into advocate mode. I told her that he has CP and you have to give him time. He can't just reach out and grab something the moment we ask. He has to think about it, then think about what arm to use, how far he needs to reach, and then he has to think about activating the right muscles. It's a complex process for him and you have to give him time!
I took Minnie off the counter and put it back in front of Liam who was still trying to bring his arms into place. He looked at Minnie and smiled and slowly got his hand onto her as the lady exclaims, "Oh, look at him go for it!".
After that she said they had to dilate his eyes.
And then she asked me, "Should I just put the drops in his eyes or do you want me to tell him what I am doing?"
Seriously? You have to ask me that?
I. was. perturbed.
Of course you tell him what you are doing!! He is a human being! He can hear. He can see. And he can certainly feel your hand prying his eye lids apart. Why on earth wouldn't you tell him what you are going to do to him??
I told her so with out so many exclamation marks.
This is a pediatric ophthalmology department. You assume that all patients understand what you are doing and saying and you treat every patient the same: with respect, kindness and patience...just like you would want to be treated.
If she didn't know that before. I hope she understands that now.
*That is Liam's needed correction for his near sightedness. It's unchanged from last year.