Friday 29 January 2016

A Letter To My Son, After a Horrible Experience.

On Wednesday we picked up your glasses from Specsavers Spud, something so easily done, but something that was a little difficult for you. When I picked you up from school, and you asked if your glasses was ready, you asked me with a worried but excited smile.

You was excited to be able to see properly again.

You was scared because of what happened at the opticians a few weeks before.

Two weeks ago, I took you to your very first opticians appointment to go and pick some new glasses and of course to get your eyes checked. You've worn glasses since you was a baby, and most probably will need them for the rest of your life, however, you'd never had the full opticians experience as the hospital use to sort out your prescription for you!

Previously, we would go to your appointment at the eye department located in the hospital, be given a prescription and head off to the opticians to go and pick some glasses. However after your operation, you was discharged from the eye department, and now it was time for us to fly solo.

You've seen your two younger cousins with their cool character glasses, and wanted some character glasses of your own, and as mummy is a Specsavers customer herself, I decided to book you into their big store in town! You was ever so excited for their appointment, asking me question after question and counting down the days until it was time.

I picked you up from school and we got the bus to town, we made our way to the store and sat down in the waiting room, you was so excited... Then, we got called into the opticians room to get your eyes checked, and things very quickly changed.

That man was moany, impatient and not the right person to be dealing with a curious child! I explained to that man about you being sensitive to light, about your operation and all the other things he needed to know, but I doubt he listened.

That man got annoyed with you for not keeping your head 100% straight, you're a child, even I struggle to keep my head straight and without meaning it, my head slowly drifts to one side or the other. That man made you upset.

The more anxious you got, the more your small body got upset.

I looked at you, you was looking at me, your eyes telling me what you wanted to say, rescue me mummy, get this man away from me.

What do I do!? I know you're a sensitive soul, so I told myself to see what was next.

That man started to turn your head himself, how dare he touch my babies face, put your head into a position to stare straight at him. How dare he shine a light into your eyes for so long, when I told him you don't like lights in your eyes, I know only too well the problems we've had when I forget to turn the flash on the camera off.

Enough was enough.

I spoke loudly and said we will go in a minute darling.

How I wanted to lose my cool right there and then.

How I wanted to grab you from that chair and cuddle you.

How I wanted to cry with you, knowing you was on the verge of tears.

How I wish this never happened. I wished we was at home, where we would usually be after school. 

The appointment soon come to an end, with that man asking you to return in a week's time to have drops in your eyes. The drops you've had so many times in your life at the hospital, the drops you hate so much because they make your vision blurry.

Mummy was confused.

I'm a Specsavers customer myself but I wasn't a child, was this the norm? Was this what happens with every child?

You cried, you didn't want to go back. The appointment wasn't until a week's time, but every day, throughout each day, you cried, you was scared.

I made a decision, we wasn't going back.

I know you didn't need them drops. I do know you needed glasses.

I cried, I didn't know what to do. I could of booked you into another opticians, but what if the same thing happened?

I called your Senco teacher and asked her for some help. She very kindly wrote a supporting letter to whom it may concern, she talked about you, and what worked best. It was positive, and it gave me a bit of hope.

I called the Specsavers store that isn't far from our home, a much smaller one then the store in town, and sat you down to tell you. You was scared, you started to cry, you didn't want to go. I explained that your Senco teacher had written a letter to make the appointment go smoothly, but I didn't know if that was the case myself.

The time come for your appointment, I left you in the car with nanny who was visiting from Cornwall whilst I popped in the store to give them the letter. You was anxious, you wasn't keen on going in, you wanted to stay with your nanny in the car. You played with a small toy in the waiting room, and studied everything in the store, you needed a wee, in fact two, I put it down to your nerves!

We was soon called into the opticians room and was greeted by the biggest of smiles. The optician was very friendly and made you feel very welcome. We got halfway through a very successful appointment when I asked the optician if he'd seen the letter, which he hadn't. So the optician was just a nice man in general, a man who worked with both adults and children, but a man who was excellent with children.

The optician read the letter, and gave mummy a smile of reassurance. I know we could of got through that whole appointment without him reading that letter, he was amazing with you and got you talking in no time. Something many people struggle to do with you as you're very shy and usually nod your head up and down or sideways.

You left his room super excited, you even walked to the glasses stand alone, you knew I could see you, but usually you wouldn't step far away from me in places you've never been before! The optician recommended what glasses would be best for you, and you finally made a selection with one pair being Minions, and the other pair being Star Wars.

You had your eyes measured by a lovely lady, and then it was time to go home.

You smiled from ear to ear, you told your step dad about the appointment as soon as you saw him, and you couldn't wait to get to school the next day to tell your friends!

You counted down the days until we could collect your glasses. 

That day come, and again the visit was very smooth.

I'm so proud of you. You went to a branch of a company that had left you terrified, and you gave it your best shot, even though you was extremely scared.

Thank you, for trusting mummy when I told you nothing like that horrible appointment was ever going to happen again.

Thank you for believing in yourself.

I love you,
your Mummy 

I'd just like to say thank you to the staff at the Specsavers store on Shinfield Road in Reading, and a massive thank you especially to Sanjeev Vara. I know you was all doing what you do on a day to day basis anyway, but after a horrible experience from another Specsavers store, my son was terrified of a service he needed, and you took that fear away.