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.

Monday, April 27, 2020

My life changed for 24 hours - Part 1

I was at vision therapy, doing a lot of exercises with a substitute vision therapist, C.

He had me doing exercises that vision therapist, A, does with me weekly. She puts prism glasses on my eyes.

[A photo of 2 pairs of black-framed Prism Glasses sitting side by side on a white surface; the glasses are very thick on one side and have normal thickness on the other side.] 
[Photo from the website:]

The spheres on the glasses rotate a full 360 degrees. And can be dialed in to a number on the top. I haven't studied what A does with it each time, But she has me put them on, walk around, do tasks, and then I take them off. She adjusts the dial / rotates the lenses to a different number, and has me do maybe the same task, maybe a different task.

Every time these glasses get put on me, the vision therapist says to me: "what changed?" Sometimes I say the room is tilting to the left. Sometimes, it tilts to the right. Sometimes the room looks like a giant smile, other times it looks like a giant frown. Sometimes it looks all squished - like a hall of mirrors at a carnival. The room changes drastically with prisms distorting the light. It's bizarre.

We do this probably for 15-20 minutes of each of my vision therapy visits.

Some of the prism glasses aren't as thick. I think those are sort of a beginner set of glasses. I think the point of those was to make sure I wouldn't get nauseous with the glasses changing what I see, so they were a weaker version.

Recently, she has put a very thick pair on me, and dialed them around to different settings. She is gradually getting me used to seeing things differently, and keeping me from getting nauseous while doing it! She is magic!!

Well, I had a substitute vision therapist at a recent appointment. And he put on the fat prism glasses on my face. He rotated them so that the room was completely squished on the right side! It was crazy!

I was walking with a wide berth to the right of me. I think the right of me was about 10 feet of room. But it looked like it was maybe 6 inches. I didn't want to run in to anything as I walked across the room (that was my task), so I went as far left as I felt I could go and not bother other patients and therapists in the room, and still not stub my toe on things or bump into the table or the file cabinet, and such. It was quite wonky.

I got to the other side of the room. I looked at a plant and the window at the edge of the room. I know the middle of the window is a straight metal piece. But the glasses made it look like a curved letter "C." My vision therapist had me trace the metal shape with my hand. "Does it feel curved?" I decided that it did feel curved. He said, "great! That means your brain is starting to trust what your eyes see!" It's bizarre when you know something is straight: up and down. Perpendicular to the floor. But it looks like a left-handed letter "C." and when you touch it, and follow the lines, you think your hand is curving like the letter "C" to follow the curve you're looking at. The whole thing feels psychedelic.

He took off the glasses and rotated them the other way. Now, the same side of the room was still just as squished, but I was approaching it from the other angle. So weird. Now it was the side of the room to the left of me. But previously, I had walked with that side of the room to the right of me. It was still squished and I gave it a wide berth.

After doing these things, he had me doing an exercise. I have decided this blog post is just about long enough, so I will share that exercise in the next blog post. Please look for it, because my brain and my eyes did something so remarkable, that I want to share it in its own post.

I can't wait for you to read next week's blog post! What happened for me was very exciting.

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