I remember when we found out Ellie needed glasses like it was yesterday. She was still 4 and it was the first time I ever heard the word astigmatism. Throughout the years Ellie has always had cute glasses and rocked the look but I'm pretty sure she was 5 the first time she asked if she could have contacts.
She's a dancer, a volleyball player and a typical active 11 year old. Glasses get in the way. Last year at our annual eye exam with MyEyeDr. she asked about contacts and the doctor told her that kids could get contacts as early as 11. She didn't stop talking about it for the entire school year.
When we scheduled Ellie's eye exam for 6th grade, we went in knowing that Ellie's end game was contacts.
The eye exam was just like any other eye exam. MyEyeDr. did the usual tests and discovered that her eyes have actually gotten worse over the year. Her current glasses weren't helping all that much and she was a great candidate for contacts.
Ellie was excited, yet pretty nervous about this new adventure. We scheduled Contact Class for the next day and she went home with some information to read and videos to watch to prepare for the big day. To take your contacts home you must get them in and out three times within an hour appointment.
Practice Makes Perfect
Full disclosure, I have perfect vision. I've never put a contact in or wore anything other than fake glasses in elementary school when it was all the rage. Of course I've watched other people put in contacts but I had never witnessed anyone try to do it before. Especially not an 11 year old.
At Contact Class #1 (as you'll see there will be many!) Ellie got the technique down but couldn't quite get herself to actually touch her eye to put it in place.
At class #2, the eye doctor coached her to get one contact in but then the eye doctor had to remove it. It was at about this point where I started to think she would in fact be going to 6th grade with glasses.
Class #3 was a break through. She got them both in and out once. It took the entire hour so we had to go back to Class #4.
This was when I actually believed there was a chance she wouldn't go to 6th grade with glasses. She was so proud of herself, but I think everyone around her was just as excited!
By class #4 (or our 5th time visiting MyEyeDr. in less than a month), we were regulars. Will knew where the hopscotch was and the kids made themselves right at home.
Ellie walked in confident but it took her about 15 minutes to get the first one in. The second went in faster and she got them both out on her first try. That's when it clicked and all came together. She got them in and out again and we were all cheering!
Monica is Ellie's Fairy Godmother of Contacts and coached her every step of the way. She was beyond patient and always had faith that she would be able to do her contacts.
We left Contact Class #4 with contacts and big smiles.
On Her Own
Ellie will tell you she was a little nervous to go home and be all on her own. But I think we were all pleasantly surprised that she is rocking the contacts!
It's rare that she does't get both contacts in and out on her first try.
For the first day of sixth grade she went to school without glasses. She does bring her contact case, solution and glasses in her back pack just in case but she's never had an issue.
I strongly believe that if it wasn't for the expertise and patience of the staff at MyEyeDr., Ellie would have started sixth grade with glasses. As a mom, I got frustrated but Monica at MyEyeDr. always knew Ellie would get it and she was right!
The Contact Class is a great idea that really makes sure the person is very comfortable and can do their own contacts independently before they are sent off on their own. When we left with Ellie's contacts we both knew that she could do them without any stress. I think if we would have gone home with contacts the first day, she would have given up and would have worn glasses on the first day of school.
Thanks again to MyEyeDr. for sponsoring this post and being a great partner. To find the location nearest you visit MyEyeDr.com.