[A photo of me walking a rail at Vision Therapy. The rail is a long plank of wood that has been painted a very light blue. I am a blonde gal wearing funky prisms glasses with a bright orange band around my head, and I am also wearing a dress with blue roses, and fuzzy socks. Behind me is a platform for people to sit on and swing as another aspect of vision therapy.]
One of the first things we did with vision therapy was teach me how to use a walk rail. I had no idea I had challenges walking. I mean, I do know that when I was a kid, every day I walked in to walls and furniture.
I remember being a teenager, and waking up and walking right in to my dresser, then walking into the wall that jutted out in front of my room in the hallway. (It was the wall on the outside of my brother's closet, in the room next to mine; but for me to walk down the hallway, I needed to walk around this corner.) I walked into that wall every single day.
So, one morning, I happened to pay attention to my body. (It wasn't something I did very often; see posts on dissasociation - I will probably post on it many times over the course of this blog.)
I woke up, and got out of bed to walk to the bathroom. I walked straight into my dresser, maneuvered myself around it, and walked straight into the wall outside my room instead of walking around either obstruction.
I decided I was done walking into these things. I couldn't probably help myself completely and stop walking into everything, but I could at least stop myself from walking into my dresser and this wall.
I knew blind people would count their steps and have their entire house memorized so they wouldn't have to walk into their furniture. Surely I could figure out a way to stop walking into things in my own home. I decided right then and there to approach them more slowly and take my time and walk around them.
I never walked into that dresser or that wall again. Don't get me wrong, I still walk into things. A lot. I have bruises up and down my legs. I don't even notice that I walk into things. I will see a bruise sometimes and wonder what I walked into. I often walk into the dishwasher door and the coffee table. And who knows what else.
I would figure when the vision therapist told me I had trouble walking, that THIS was what they were referring to.
The way this vision therapist seems to work is they start me on activities, but won't necessarily say what it is or why we are doing something. I know it would help me, personally, if I knew why we were doing something. But I guess their methodology is that they want me to improve organically. Improve by doing things, rather than telling me what they are trying to improve.
It reminds me of the early scene in the movie, "The Karate Kid," where the student is learning "Wax on, wax off." He doesn't know he is learning Karate right then - he just thinks he is waxing a car. Maybe my vision therapist is like my Vision Master - she is showing my body how to do things. And then, it will naturally improve in doing things when I am going about my business during days, outside of the vision therapy room.
I will be talking about the vision rail many times in these blog posts. Recently, when I was walking it, my vision therapist told me how she saw improvement, and THEN, I understood why she hadn't told me what she was going for. I will share all of that, too.
My vision rail looks like a floor level balance beam. And: I don't walk ON it. I walk next to it in certain, specific ways.