Thursday, April 27, 2006

A dispatch from the Libertarian front lines...

A couple of months ago the county sent someone to conduct visual screening throughout the county--even, apparently, private schools. We received a report that the screener had detected possible issues with the Bear's vision.

That set off immediate warning bells with me since I'm nearsighted and I know that myopia (nearsightedness) is a genetically dominant trait. I have watched in absolute amazement and gratitude as Junior approaches 14 with perfect vision. Possibly my "dirty" gene is mitigated by the fact that my wife possesses the vision of an eagle. Nonetheless, we immediately scheduled an appointment with a pediatric opthamologist.

For those not familiar with it, there are optometrists and opthamologists. I routinely go to optometrists, who conduct a vision assessment and prescribe and fit glasses. Opthamologists are MDs who can conduct a full medical examination of the eye. So we went the full route and had her evaluated by an opthamologist, including the infamous eye drops that make daylight look like a nuclear burst.

The opthamologist gave her a clean bill, with the usual disclaimer of "right now". She may someday need glasses, but as we speak, she's good to go. As one who has worn glasses for almost 40 years now, I hope that she never has to.

But nothing is ever good enough for the nanny state that the Democrats have created here.

Today I got a note, sent through the school by the county, demanding that I provide the school (It's a private school that has nothing to do with the county) with proof that I've either had her seen by an "eye professional" (whatever that is) or have scheduled an appointment with an "eye professional".

In retrospect, the first note may have had a piece on the bottom to be filled out documenting the fact that we'd had her evaluated, but I honestly doubt it. My wife has a very good eye for that sort of thing and has none of my "Eff you" response to overreaching authoritarianism. She'd have filled it out and submitted it.

So where we stand now is that the county is demanding that I provide evidence that I have followed up on the findings of some minimally trained troglodyte who conducts mass screenings of children throughout the county. Yes, I've followed up. I had her evaluated by an MD, thank you. And I will never, ever, ever skimp on health care for my children. More to the point, I know what it's like to sit in a classroom and not be able to read the blackboard. That was when my parents realized I needed glasses. I will react immediately should that ever occur with one of my children.

I intend to have a very interesting phone conversation with the county tomorrow. I would never *not* take her to the doctor, but I'll be a stone sonuvabitch if I know how the county can force me to submit proof that I've taken her to someone with the nebulous title of "eye professional".

More to come.

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