Visiting the Doctor and Dentist

After much procrastination, we finally scheduled our doctor and dental appointment for the last week of our Singapore stay, right after coming back after a week of being in Malaysia visiting J’s relatives and my parents.

The next day, we went to a local polyclinic so he can get one of the injections he missed. We used to bring him to a pediatrician nearby but after enduring the doctor’s tardiness, blase attitude and on top of all that, outrageous bills, I thought we might as well give the government run clinic a try.

The clinic was much bigger than I thought and we barely had to wait even though there were quite a number of people in the waiting room. I’m not sure if it was because we had an appointment or if young children had priority over other patients. We first went to the immunization room where the nurse helped to perform the 4 year old growth and developmental assessments. The nurse interviewing me was a little stern and seemed almost bored as she went through the list in the health booklet. Near the end, Calvin was asked if he could hop on one leg. We said he hasn’t really tried it before so Calvin gave it a try. His first try was a short little hop before he landed on both feet. He decided to keep on trying while talking and explaining to the nurse that he needed to practice in his usual verbosity. That finally charmed a chuckle out of the stern nurse.

The 4 year old check also included an eye test since Singapore kids are often myopic. To our surprise and dismay, we found that he is myopic and that his left eye was much worse than the right, which could lead to lazy eye. Premature children have a higher chance of myopia so maybe that is it. Or could be plain genetics at work since we are both myopic.

The doctor at the clinic did not refer us to the refraction clinic despite the results. He was quite young and most children get their referrals through the staff from the Health Promotion Board who visits kindergartens to perform eye checkups. By the time I realized we needed a referral and not just pop in to your neighbourhood optician for his followup eye check, we were already set to fly off to the USA. After some thought, we decided to get him checked next year since he doesn’t do much near work right now and I highly doubt he will wear glasses when we are outdoors even if we got him a prescription.

A day after the doctor’s visit, we brought him to a rather well known pediatric dentist at Mt Elizabeth. It s more expensive than a regular dentist but she is good with children and the clinic is outfitted to entertain kids – TV on the ceiling above the dentist chair, TV, toys and even a Wii at the waiting area. She commented that he has a perfect bite and his teeth looks fine. She was telling me that we should give him a toothpaste with flouride instead of the kids toothpaste and other tips to keep his teeth healthy. Calvin was a little squirmy when she used the electric toothbrush on him but he was a real champ throughout the visit.


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