Actually I don't know if scalpels are used in strabismus surgery. Maybe they use something else equally sharp and horrifying.
We went for our second opinion this week. Kiddo was pretty well-behaved, I must say. We read a Highlights together in the waiting room (infinitely more interesting than Rachael Ray on the TV) and after we headed to the examining room, he was perfectly happy to play with the toys in it while hanging out in the big chair. He answered the opthalmologist's questions like a pro. Even after getting his eyes dilated, he shrugged it off pretty quickly and bopped around the rear waiting room -- clearly designed for dilated kids and bored mamas, with more toys and a few magazines -- not even trying to escape and run wild through the place, which he's been known to do. The opthalmologist was impressed, calling him both smart and mature for his age. Excuse me while I bask in that for a minute.
Of course, he also said kiddo absolutely needs surgery. Excuse me while I freak.
He said 25 percent of kids with this problem grow out of it more or less on their own, and the trick is figuring out whether the kid you're looking at is in the 25 percent or the 75 percent that need intervention. He also said he doesn't think patching ever works and he's had kids come to him after patching, vision therapy and glasses but he's never had to redo a surgery. And that the parents most against the surgery in the first place tend to be happiest with the results.
It's a half-hour procedure, they put the kid under for it, he's been doing it for years, etc. and yada and yikes.
I can't argue the fact that kiddo's eyes are worse. And obviously patching only worked for a little while, and you can't patch an eye indefinitely unless your name is One-Eyed Willie. And boy, there was absolutely no hesitation on the doctor's part; about five seconds into the exam he was talking surgery.
So there's the second opinion. The pediatrician recommended yet another specialist if we wanted to explore the issue further; do we try for a third?
Better writers than me have already weighed in on the late lamented Mr. Salinger, but I thought I'd note that I just reread "Catcher" a couple months ago and liked it all over again. Holden's such a screwed-up kid, but you can see the wry, caring adult he might actually become if he can manage to survive to adulthood. I especially like when he offers to buy the nuns a drink, which is both kinda creepy and a nobly failed attempt to be as sophisticated and gentlemanly as the adults he hates.
I think I'd like to be the catcher in the rye too. Except I'm old enough to know you can't always save people from themselves.