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.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Move along

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.

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!

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