Driving to Boston for an appointment with Dr. Walton has never been, or never will be, difficult or a burden. It's our thing.
Autumn 2007. Owen is a couple months old. He has had two surgeries on his right eye, both when he was 3 weeks old. He was born with pediatric glaucoma, and regular doctor visits and eye pressure checks are necessary to preserve his vision. Pressure goes up, surgery is done.
But why Boston? Why Dr. Walton? Can't anyone in Albany do the pressure checks?
One time in October or early November of 2007, we started to notice a little more cloudiness in Owen's eye, a sign that eye pressure may be rising. We called Dr. Walton. What do we do? For our conviencence we decide to make an appointment with the eye doctor here in town who initially diagnosed Owen with pediatric glaucoma.
He's a nice doctor, and I'm sure he does what needs to be done to help children with eye problems. We arrive at his office, and check in. We wait a bit in the same waiting room where we were told that Owen would be blind, and then we are brought to an exam room. A nurse comes in with some papers and asks us some questions.
Yes. Pediatric glaucoma. We see Dr. Walton in Boston. Owen had an Ahmed valve implant on September 11th, and a reformation of the anterior chamber on September 14th.
She takes notes.
We just noticed that his eye looks a bit cloudy and we were concerned. Right. We typically see Dr. Walton, but we figured we would be seen here in Albany for convinence.
Nurse leaves, and we wait.
Enter medical student. He takes notes.
Yes. Pediatric glaucoma. We see Dr. Walton in Boston. Owen had an Ahmed valve implant on September 11th, and a reformation of the anterior chamber on September 14th. We just noticed that his eye looks a bit cloudy and we were concerned. Right. We typically see Dr. Walton, but we figured we would be seen here in Albany for convinence.
He's a nice guy, and will probably make a good doctor some day. Just not today. He performs a cursory examination.
The doctor enters. We tell him our story. He exams Owen's eye again. The glaucoma doctor from an office upstairs enters and checks our son too. Pressure check finally occurs. Things are ok. Keep an eye on things, and follow up with Dr. Walton.
It took several different levels of medical professionals to get the information we needed. Several different people, all recording our same story.
We vow never to have another doctor examine our son again, unless under the guidence of Dr. Walton.
An office visit with Dr. Walton is something special. You enter the office to the tiny waiting room, greeted by the crayons on the small table, the pile of New England-themed books, and the countless photos on the walls. Sometimes Dr. Walton is at the desk waiting. Sometimes he is in the exam area, and you simply know to sit and wait. We often wait with other families who are going through the same thing that we are. Glaucoma, cataracts, blindness. Children who are wearing patches and glasses and doing kid things.
There's something different about this office. No multi-level practitioners running around. No receptionist. Just you, some other families, and Dr. Walton. And during the examiniation, you know that you are watching a master at work. He moves swiftly and with confidence. He sometimes stammers when he talks, but you know right away that he knows what the deal is. He speaks as if you are family, and he cares for his patients as if he was caring for his own children.
During one office visit, when Dr. Walton first met our 2 year-old Josie, he took some time to check her eyes, just to be sure. When Leah, our baby, came along when Owen was 3, he checked her eyes too. He just cares for kids and their families.
So, we have our doctor in Boston, we have our routine, and we have our little family with the son who was born with cloudy eyes. Preserving his vision takes some effort, but it never is a burden. The marathon continues.