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, June 29, 2020

Taking a break

There is so much going on in my head, in my area of the country, in my country, in the world. 

I cannot organize thoughts right now to write on this blog.

I hope everyone is safe and staying healthy.

When I find I have more to say about my vision issues and can organize my thoughts, I will resume writing. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Light Therapy

I have been doing light therapy as part of my vision therapy. We started at once a week at the vision therapy practice, I think 3 minutes per round.

So, you may have heard of light therapy for folks who have Seasonal Affect Disorder. Some folks get sad or depressed during the winter months because there is less sunlight. My friend Katie of the Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists uses this lamp:

Some folks use lamps like that one, to combat the long winter months and feel more happy because they have more light in their life during the winter.

Light therapy, it turns out, can do more than just help a person feel more happy during the winter months!

It turns out that light therapy can treat skin issues too, and a variety of other things. I had light therapy on my exzema and some other things on my skin that I can't remember now specifically what they were. It basically bleached some red patches on my skin and worked in conjunction with a topical cream solution I use twice a day.

Light therapy, according to WebMd, can also treat migraines, acne, neck pain, dementia, strokes... all kinds of things! Wow!

My vision therapy team has loaned me a lamp with a lightbulb in it. When I first did this, I used a bright pen light to shine light through specific glasses I wear. Then, they told me to use a non-LED bulb at 25 watts at home. I set one up.

And now they have loaned me the correct lamp. It's a nice portable little lamp. I am supposed to work my way slowly up to 20 minutes per session, per pair of glasses.

The first pair of glasses is a deep indigo color. I love looking at the bulb through the relaxing indigo color. It's quite beautiful. The glasses say on them: "Upsilon-Omega." Then, I rest my eyes by palming them. Then I put on the second pair of glasses, they are a deep forest green color, and stare at the lightbulb. The green glasses say on them: "Mu-Upsilon." I am not as much a fan of the green glasses.

I have to do these specific glasses. I think the case where they store the glasses at the vision therapist office has 20-30 pairs of different types of glasses. So this two pairs are my specific "prescription." I am not entirely sure what they are doing.

The green may be making me less sensitive to bright light outside and thus have fewer migraines. I am not sure. The blue may be helping me see better out of my right eye, especially. I don't think I have written the blog post yet about how I cannot see in the dark at all. I really can't, and especially can't see out of my right eye in the dark.

I figured this out when my son was trying to show me something and it was evening. He had to hold my hand and guide me around bushes, trees and a neighbor's house to go see something. Oh wait, he actually wanted me to Smell something; not see it. I think someone had been vaping and he thought it smelled good but he didn't know what it was. When he got me back to that place, the scent was gone. I am guessing it was a vape pen that smelled like vanilla or something.

But that was the night I realized I seriously can't see in the dark as well as probably normal people can.

It's funny, because I keep the lights dim in the house all the time. I walk around in the dark or have minimal nightlights in the outlets that are movement-sensitive, so they turn on just so I can see where I'm going at night.

I think this blog post has wandered all over the place. I think I will need to do another blog post about this topic. Maybe on a day when my ADHD brain is a bit more organized!!

This Covid-19 quarantine is doing quite the number on my thinking / my thoughts. Everything is in a jumble.

I type this blog post at the end of April; I think I have been self-quarantining for almost 2 months now. I wish I had written down the date that I started. It's been a while.

I wonder if by the time this is read, if I will still be in quarantine. Probably. The date for Virginia to stop the quarantine, as far as I know, is June 10. At least it was the last time I checked.

Best wishes to all. Please leave me a comment so I know you're reading.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Vision Therapy at Home

I went to Vision Therapy twice after I had already started self-isolating at home. At first, the Optometrist's office was able to stay open. But then practices like his, which aren't deemed (vital?) had to shut down.

I talked with them on the phone two weeks in a row after that, to discuss my treatment while I'm at home.

And now I am trying to do my treatment while I am at home. My treatment consists of so many kinds of things, and I wish I had photos or whatever of all the different things. I wish I spent more time doing these things. Alas, there is just so much going on in my life and I don't do the self-care things the way I am supposed to.

I wasn't brought up with the term "self-care," so I am just now learning what it is, and what it means. This is what self-care means to me - after years of paying attention and trying to understand it:

  • take your medicines at the proper times
  • sleep a healthy amount of sleep for you
  • take a nap if you need to (I can't fully sleep at night so often need to nap. I can't help it; it's part of my Complex PTSD to not be able to sleep well at night.)
  • eat good food, not only junk
  • exercise or do something active during your days (this is the skill I am the worst at)

And now, with vision therapy, I have new Self-Care items to add to the list.

Here is one of them: it's called the Moro Reflex.

This woman explains what the Moro Reflex is so well, and shows an advanced exercise.

The first movement he does is similar to what I am doing. This is another Moro Reflex exercise:

Several months ago, early in my vision therapy, my therapist actually had me doing these: Carpet Angels. (Like snow angels, but on the carpet.) So this is a more basic exercise, a baby step up to more complex Moro Splat reflexes.

Here is another video with different information about the Carpet Angels:

So, this is one thing I am supposed to be doing every day, 20 times per day in my self-isolation version of Vision Therapy.

I need to be better about doing these things. There is just so much going on in my life that everything else always seems like the priority.

Also, after doing meals and dishes, I have to give my heart a rest because it races so often and just needs to calm down for a while before I start the next thing. This happens to me constantly. I wouldn't wish a heart problem on anyone.

I finally understand that saying: "Youth is wasted on the young." I used to love things like rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, camping, water skiing, snow skiing, ice skating. And now my heart gets all excited at loading the dish washer. Yep, my life is just THAT exciting. My body isn't what it once was, thanks to heart issues.

Anyway, I hope this blog post helps many people out there. It works well for folks who are on the Autism Spectrum as well as folks who have been traumatized as children or as adults and have a big startle reflex. One of the videos says that it helps folks like me who have bad short-term memory. I can't often interpret what I am looking at, since I see it in ways that other folks don't have to worry about seeing it. I see it from my left eye, my right eye, and then both together but the object is transposed on top of itself in an odd way. My brain then has to interpret what those 3 different things I just saw were. It's complex, and it means I can't retain a lot of things long term in my head.

So, this Moro Splat exercise is supposed to help me with having better short term memory, too.

Stay safe. Stay home. Wear a mask.

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Park the Car

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that someone pointed out to me 20 years ago that I park crooked. I have always parked crooked. I can't do any better.

A few months ago, some random man in a parking lot actually started hassling me after accusing me of parking too close to the line. I told him, "I have vision issues and I can't do better." Which of course was an invitation to him to tell me his life story and all of his woes. That will teach me to sit in my car and check social media for a few minutes after having pizza with a friend!

In the words of Mark Twain: "But I digress."

[A sepia toned photo of Mark Twain sitting on a chair in clearing.]

Well, a few weeks ago, maybe 3 months now? I am seriously beginning to lose track of time.... I noticed that I have started consistently parking about 3-4 feet from the end of the parking space. You know how you pull in, and there is a white painted line and your car can go forward until you reach it, then you nicely stop before you go over that white line?

I started parking about 3 or 4 feet away from it. Before reaching it. Consistently. For weeks! I couldn't, for the life of me, get up to the line. I knew I was doing this, and I would inch forward, inch forward, inch forward. And then park. Get out of the car, and I was still several feet away from that darn line.

I used to park so crooked. I am probably still doing that. And: in addition to that, I am now parking towards the outer edge of a parking spot and not all the way IN the parking spot.

I am definitely starting to perceive space differently. It is weird to know these things intellectually but not know how to fix them quickly or easily.

I guess I will just keep doing the exercises and practicing with the tools I have and over time, maybe I will see the way a healthy-eyed person sees. Or at least MORE like the way a healthy-eyed person sees!

I can only hope.

I will leave you with this funny thing -- my younger son suddenly has a thing for Boston accents. I had us watch "Good Will Hunting." It was fun to watch my boys try to figure out where they had seen the main character (Will Hunting) in other movies. I finally had to tell them: "He is the main character in "The Martian." I am, of course, talking about Matt Damon.

In Boston, they don't say, "Park the Car," the way the majority of Americans do. So, in the words of a true Bostonian, I will leave you these words: "Pahk the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd."

My boys were surprised to see this line in the movie.
They didn't know where the reference came from, but they have heard the line,
"How do you like them apples?" planty of times before.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Constellations in the sky

Do we see constellations in the sky in 3D?

The stars are up there in 3 dimensions (or more?) But don't we see them, with our naked eyes, in 2 dimensions?

I wonder if most people see the space and distance between stars? Maybe if they use binoculars? I wonder if we all see the stars the same way?

Except some people might be like Vincent Van Gogh, and see streaks and floaters and other beautiful things, so the stars take on the appearance of singing, visually. (I beg that you will indulge me with my creative words on this matter; after all, we are talking about Vincent Van Gogh's vision.)

I love the constellations. I wonder if they will become more beautiful to me than ever before, as the trees did, that one time, for 24 hours.

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...