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, October 12, 2020

Syntonics

 I have mentioned that I am doing light therapy. I was given a spotlight to basically stare at. 

Throughout the days, my eyes get tired. I believe my vision therapist said that our eye muscles work harder than any other muscle in your body. If you think about it, you're probably sitting somewhere, reading this blog. Your eyes are moving but the rest of your body is probably fairly stationary, unless you need to scroll once in a while. It makes sense. 

Speaking of which, as I am learning new skills with my eyes (conversion is a lot of my therapy - that means bringing my eyes towards each other / approaching cross eyed in appearance, and HOLDING it there), the muscles in my eyes start to hurt. They hurt a lot at night lately. My vision therapist said that it is likely eye strain. She said she hears this a lot from most of her patients. I have experienced eye strain my entire life. 

Decades ago - back in like 1995, I started taking an eye pill made by Vaxa, called "Ocutane." Just for kicks. They sent me a free product every month, and one monty is was Ocutane. It was vitamins for your eyes. After taking this for a few weeks, I woke up one morning and realized, "I don't feel my eyes in my face!" I had NEVER had the experience of not "feeling" my eyes. Like, we all know we have knees or elbows or whatever. Forearms, forehead .... but we don't actively FEEL it all day long. It's there when we need it. We feel it when it is hurting or when we bump it. But it isn't a constant, "yes, I am aware I have all these parts to my body, they are there because I feel them."

I remember looking around my room that morning, having this weird logic going on in my head. "I can't feel my eyes! They must have fallen out of my head! Oh no!" .... "Wait, I see my window," tap tap tap on my eyes, I think they are there.... "That is my dresser. Yes, I can see my dresser, so my eyes must still be attached.... they didn't fall out, I better look at something else just to make sure, yes, that's my door, there is my cat ...." I finally concluded that my eyes were still attached and working; they just didn't have that feeling. I finally concluded that the feeling was actually long term, permanent pain. I had experienced that my entire life! It was so bizarre to have something so familiar suddenly be GONE. 

Well, in the last few months, the eye pain has returned. It started up gradually as I was going through vision therapy. I didn't really think much of it. 

In the last month or two, it has gotten to the point where I am telling friends when I am on the phone with them, "my eyes are hurting me right now." A lot of friends want to show me something online "go to this YouTube video, it is so funny...." "did you see this meme, I will send it to you..." And I just want to have my eyes shut. I am tired of using them and want a break. So I have to tell my friends I need them to describe it to me. 

So, I told my vision therapist about the whole experience when I woke up that morning about not feeling my eyes, and she said it was probably eye strain. And I started taking a vitamin made by Bausch and Lomb. My optometrist, Dr. Davis, approved it, too. It is just vitamins. It has made my eyes feel a bit better. Maybe quite a bit better. I am still experiencing eye strain (like right now, as I type this blog post). 

Well, so I have this light therapy I do. I put on cardboard glasses. The eye piece in them has a very dark indigo filter for me to look through. I stare at the light bulb for 10 minutes. I love my Echo device. I say, "Echo, count down 10 minutes," then I turn on the lightbulb. She goes off 10 minutes later. I tell her to turn off, and then I turn off the bulb. It is super handy not to have to put on the glasses and try to see a timer to set it ... the voice activation of a timer is excellent for me!

So, then I palm my eyes in between. The goal is to get the lightbulb circle out of my eyes before I start the next one. The next set of cardboard eyeglasses has a dark forest green lens for me to look through. (In theater lighting, they would call the material this lens is made from a "gel." It is a screen made of a thin, filmy plastic that they can place over spotlights to change the lighting on a person on stage.) I stare at the lightbulb through this dark green forest filter for another 10 minutes. 

I asked over the last few months, "what is this trying to accomplish?" And I finally got the answer that it is trying to help my eyes relax from all the input they got all day. It is like a reset button. I think that's interesting. 

I have so many more things I want to say about the syntonics / light therapy! But this blog post feels long enough and veered around in a few directions that I didn't intend to go in, so I am going to sign off this post. 

I hope you're doing well, wearing your mask when you have to go out, and drinking water & staying healthy. 

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