How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

My son

My son has now started vision therapy. It is interesting to hear what he does. 

I have a lot of things going on in my head and can’t seem to come up with a longer blog post. Thank you for understanding that my ability to write blog posts ebbs and flows. 

Also, he and I just ate half a pineapple. I showed him how to cut it. He tried some slices. And then we both enjoyed it together! Yummmmm. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dsP5-RKqBzpeRw-sPU_uXmKtyJlPeLSrhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1b7G91SmWg39c6jK_AJfey8zxVuhzMSTi

Now I am looking forward to Easter and upside-down pineapple cake. 🌲🍎

Monday, February 8, 2021

Pause

I did vision therapy from the spring of 2019 until January of 2021. My vision doctor, Dr. Davis, underestimated how much time I would need in vision therapy. 

A few weeks before vision therapy ended, I felt sad that it was ending because I felt like I was finally starting to make progress. And I also started to feel that we were building stamina and beginning new habits with my eye muscles. 

My vision therapist asked me if I felt I could use more therapy and I completely agreed. 

We talked about it and both mutually agreed that my life has been in turmoil in so many ways and maybe taking a break from therapy for now was a good idea. And give my life some time to calm down. Then I could have some healing space in my life for the many ways I need that. 

After a while, I could resume therapy for another 6 months to a year. 

So I am taking a break with vision therapy. I am now concentrating on things in my life OTHER than therapy, including trying to find a new home for my boys and me to live in. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dccfLcfgB23doCCuFx2tyf63t9mtu1lw

I find a nice place that checks all the boxes, and by the time I find out about it, 4-5 people have already applied. It costs $30-40 for each application for me. It turns out that now that my son is 18, I will have to pay this same fee for him to apply too. Sigh. It’s so expensive. Did you know that this application fee is also a way to keep a neighborhood more, well, snooty? A poor person couldn’t afford all this nickel and diming and application fees (over and over, only to be refused each time as I have). The fees add up!

So I found another house. Loved it. Checked all the boxes. And 4 applications were already in. I didn’t even get the opportunity to apply for this one — they chose someone the next day. 

It’s a crazy housing market right now. 

I hope, in the Spring, that enough houses will come on the market and I can get one for my boys and me and others can get their houses too. 

Anyway, so, for now, I am concentrating on finding a new home to live in. 

I hope you’re having a nice and cozy winter and I will post again next week. 💛

Monday, February 1, 2021

Spinning

Do you remember being a little kid having fun spinning in chairs?
 

My grandparents’ house had these cool wicker barstools at their kitchen counter and I spun and spun and spun on those things. 

Growing up, my favorite summer fun fair ride was the one that is a big cylinder. Everyone lines on the inside of the wall of the cylinder. It gets spun and the centripetal force keeps everyone glued to the walls. And the floor drops down. I loved that ride!

On the cool playgrounds, there was a big metal circle merry-go-round with metal bars to hang onto. I loved those too! I had my own technique of sitting pretzel-legged around one of the bats and hugging it so I could stay on and spin extra fast. That was my talent. 

As I have grown up, my life has given me fewer and fewer times to exercise this fun spin experience. I see astronauts in movies or tv shows in those spinning contraptions and I have to admit, I am always jealous. I would love one of those things in my home so I could spin any time I want to. 

Early in my vision therapy journey, one of the things I was diagnosed as having issues with is proprecoception issues. I think that’s the right word. It has to do with either my inner ear or where I am in space. One or both of those. 

The first time my vision therapist had me spin, I stood up and looked about a foot or two away from myself, at the ground / carpet. And she had me spin once. Slowly. I got dizzy. It made me feel so sad that I couldn’t spin like I used to. I used to be able to stand up in my grandmother’s front yard by her garden where she was weeding, and spin and spin and spin until I got so dizzy. And I would try to stand up, dizzy, but sometimes I would fall down. 

And here I was at the vision doctor therapy room and I could barely spin 2 times in a row, slowly. 
My therapist had me turn very carefully with my feet, a slow quarter turn at a time. 

Later, she put me on a big, square wooden plank suspended from chains overhead. I sat on it, pretzel-legged, with my eyes closed, and she spun me so slowly. 

The first few times she did this, I could only go maybe 70% or the way around. Not all the way around. 

As time went by, we were able to get me up to 3 spins around I think. Nice, slow spins. 

I need to remember to try to spin myself in my own office chair at my desk. It would be fun to remember to do it more often, and see if I can get back to the place I remember of spinning on those wicker bar stools at my grandparents’ house when I was a little kid. 

Centripetal force is so much fun. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Parenting

I may or may not have mentioned that I have 2 kids. Well, this week, one of them stopped officially being a kid. He is now 18 years old!


Earlier this month, he passed his drivers license test so now he can drive without me helping him. And now, all of a sudden, he can vote, travel, get a job and open a bank account without my signature. Holy moly. 

I read a few years ago that with parenting - days are slow but years go fast. I agree completely. 

To celebrate, I am taking both of my boys to pizza for dinner at our favorite locally owned pizza place. It was the birthday boy’s choice to go to pizza. I am so glad that he hasn’t outgrown a love of pizza. 

His school has been full-time remote this years thanks to the whole Covid-19 situation. Today is his first school activity in approximately a year - he is on a team sport. They have met over zoom a few times and tonight they are doing a 15-person practice together. My son drove us to the school. It happens to be his elementary school from way back when. 

It is his senior year in high school because holy moly, of course it is, and he is one of the two leaders on this sports team this year. 

I spend the bulk of my days just trying to get through them, thanks to my disabilities, end also parenting and the perpetual feeding and cleaning up after feeding 2 teen age boys. (Don’t start lecturing me on making them clean up - they do a LOT now, because they know I can’t do everything and they are capable, helpful and kind. Maybe how we worked that out could be a future blog post. Remind me if I forget.)

Wow. I am now a parent of a full grown 18 year old adult. 

The night before he turned 18, before midnight, he brought me a cup of tea and brought himself one too. We sat in my bed together, those last 15 minutes of him being 17, talking about the end of his childhood and how it went too fast for both of us. Around 11:58pm, he told me he was ready. But mostly because it was inevitable. 

Then at midnight, we sort of looked at each other and realized he could now legally vote in the next election. He told me some plans for the future. Those plans seem to change every time he tells them to me. I am fine with that. 

I realized that my parenting isn’t done yet. Not by a long shot. It’s just going to start looking different at some point here. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Move along

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rESnB_rvqUbhQPym-woVvO7cT7cq0Udj

I have struggled for years with what I now know is called “visual memory.”

Recently, I have been looking at homes to move in to. I walk in and notice the floors (hardwood or carpet?) and where the coat closet is. Where the kitchen is. Is there a sliding door to the back yard that is hopefully fenced so my dog can have a space where she is off leash outside ...

Several times recently, I have gotten 10-15 minutes away from seeing the property. And I realize: I cannot remember what the cabinets or kitchen counter look like. 

This is important, because I have such trouble looking at things that aren’t a pattern. Granite, for instance, has got to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. My current kitchen has a black granite counter top. The bathroom has a horrible beige gray countertop with white and blue veining and spots all over it. Both are, to me; about as ugly as such a thing can be. 

I had a local friend (who has since moved) who used to be a Realtor. I asked her one time what she thought of these 2 granite countertops. She said “they are beautiful! I love them!”

I think I am the odd one out who just thinks granite has got to be the ugliest thing ever. 

So when I am looking for a place to move, I would like to know if it is a kitchen counter I will be able to endure for a number of years, or will I wake up one day and realize I can’t stand it?

My vision therapist has been trying to get me to do something for visual memory. It’s called “geo boards.”

A shape is presented in my packet. I have a peg board that is 5 x 5. I am supposed to recreate this shape on to the peg board. Then. I am supposed to draw it on a write on - wipe off grid with dots. 

I just haven’t made it a priority to remember to do this activity. I did at first, for a while. But let it go over time. I asked my therapist “what is the purpose of this?” And like many other things, she wasn’t forth -coming about it. She likes my brain to take on the puzzle and learn the way a child does - by exploring. 

Yesterday I was at vision therapy and I mentioned the whole thing about moving and hating granite and how I can’t even remember what I see even 5-10 minutes later. As I told her about this, I realized THIS must be what those geoboards are for! 

She said “that’s what the geoboards are for!” And I laughed because seconds before she said it, I had realized that. 

THEN she said That it made sense to her that I wouldn’t have know that those were for helping my vision memory, since I don’t have any vision memory. I didn’t quite understand what she said. I told her that, and she re-explained it. I don’t understand why it made sense to her that I wouldn’t have known it was to help me with Vision memory. But for some reason, it clicked for her. 🤷‍♀️

Well, now I need to make a renewed effort to do those geoboards. I will get a photo of them the next time I pull them out to use them. 

In the meantime, I went on Amazon and did a quick search. I have the purple board at home. Here is a photo of the geoboards from a quick search on Amazon. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WtGrW5k3s2v5Fk3hjunHun1Bom5WWYXr

Friday, January 1, 2021

Improvement on my Light Sensitivity

I may have mentioned that I have a sensitivity to light. When I first went to Dr. Tod Davis of Virginia Vision Therapy, he diagnosed me (for over an hour) with all kinds of things including suppression, diplopia (this means "double vision"), dissociation, and light sensitivity. He asked me if I keep the house kind of dark. I laughed, because it has long bothered the room mate I have been living with for quite a while. 

Yes. I keep the house dark. I may have mentioned in a previous blog post that I had a declutter expert come, and she uncovered the windows. I believe I talked about the fact that I had windows covered thanks to something that folks who are older (as I am - I am rapidly approaching 50) who dissociate. 

Well, she took down various things from all of my windows. Her whole message for decluttering is to Lighten Up! She likes to let the light in. I thought I did too, but between her decluttering with me, and Dr. Davis teaching me that folks who dissociate cover their windows & like the dark ... it's true. I had covered my windows. One window was covered completely with a 5 rack shelf holding spindly plants. I didn't think about it blocking the light - but it truly was. 

After my declutter expert left, I covered the windows back up with some rather opaque contact paper. Then I got to thinking about it. (I learn things a bit slowly, over time.) 

I bought myself a light therapy lamp for helping with Seasonal Affect Disorder (I am just coming to terms with the fact that I may have this too). My friend Katie of the Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists recommended a lamp to heal with Seasonal Affect Disorder. I mentioned this in a post about Light Therapy

Well, I bought a similar one to hers by the same brand - "Happy Light." I haven't been using it every day, but I use it regularly. Maybe 3-5 days per week for 15+ minutes. I just put the lamp on and do my paperwork or look at the clothes in my closet or play with my dog or something. I would like to think it's helping. 

Well, between that lamp and the Syntonics work I did, I believe I am getting less light sensitive! 

I used to drive down the road at night and be so angry at the headlights blaring at me. They hurt my eyes and I couldn't see a thing. Or I wasn't able to sleep at night if the room wasn't completely dark. I had black blinds up and those were covered by heavy brown curtains. The room still wasn't dark enough. 

I have covered all those infernal lights that electronics all seem to sport these days - those hideous blue lights that burn my pupils. I covered all of them (at the suggestion of a smart friend who knows about such things) with red electrical tape. Every tiny little effort I did, made the room more and more dark. And I still wore a black, silk sleep mask and still suffered from the room that had too much light. Maybe it was a bright moon that night, or maybe the hall light was on, peeping in under the door, who knows. Drove me crazy - FOR YEARS. 

Well, I think all of the efforts I have been making now have had really good results! 

I am now able to sleep with the black blinds on the window, partially open. And I have pretty sheer curtains over instead of the heavy brown curtains. 

I haven't been angry in awhile at cars with their headlights blaring at me at night. Come to think of it, I don't drive at night because I actually have lousy night vision. (I know it's lousy, because my kids can see just fine and I feel completely blind.) I am driving less and less at night, when I can help it. Thankfully, my older son is starting to drive now. So if we need to go somewhere at night, it's likely he can drive us. He drove us to the grocery store last week and to my friend's house to deliver a present, last night!

I don't know how to explain or quantify this, but I can tell I am no longer sensitive to the light the way I once was. I don't know if it's the syntonics that I did or the Happy Light that I am using these days. But it's nice to wake up in the morning and have some light i
n my room so I don't have to figure out how to get a lamp on when I can't see anything. 

My windows aren't nearly as covered up as they have been for so long, either. That's nice too. I like looking out the windows and seeing Mother Nature. I have beautiful trees in my yard and I love looking at them. 

I guess that's it for this week's blog post. 

I have a lot lot lot LOT going on in my life right now and I apologize that I have missed a blog post or two. My focus hasn't quite been on my vision therapy as it once was. 

I only have 3 more sessions to go! Then my son will start. While he has similar challenges to mine (diplopia, lack of 3D), his issues manifest with different symptoms to mine. He walks into furniture a few times a week. I feel sorry for him. I still walk into furniture too, but not nearly as much as I used to. I hope vision therapy will help him with that. I am confident it will, in fact.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! Happy 2021!


Friday, December 25, 2020

Let There Be Peace On Earth



A special post. My family is now spread across the United States. (I also have family spread across Canada, but I haven’t met most of them, sadly. Some day!)

One of my brothers lives on the west coast of the United States. I live on the East Coast of the United States. 

I sent him this music. He played it on his keyboard - piano style. And I listened to his music on my earbuds and played violin. I put them together using iMovie. 

I hope you will enjoy this music. 

I wish you a beautiful and comforting holiday season!

Flickering Eyesight

So, I have known for a long time that my eyes don’t work together. It has taken me almost 50 years to be able to describe what I see to peop...