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, March 29, 2021

 I got a letter from my optometrist, Dr. Tod Davis. It talked about what I did in 2020 to help my vision. 

Before I started going to therapy, I had no 3D vision. 

According to what he wrote (and as I have thought about it, he is right) - I now have 3D vision up to maybe 4 feet away. And after that, things "flatten out" again. (Like looking at a post card or a wall mural, 4 feet away from you. This is a HUGE improvement for me!

I largely judge how far something is from me by how big it is. 

Also, on this update, it talked about how my eyes fatigue when things are closer than 12 inches to my face, and fatigue even more when things are 6 inches to my face. 

All I know is that I have to nap almost every day to recover from fatigue. I also know my eyes hurt by the end of the day. 

Since leaving Vision Therapy, I am noticing that my eyes hurt a lot more than they did. Or perhaps I am noticing it more than I did before I started therapy, because it was my normal to have pain in my eyes. It's like the muscles around my eyes hurt. My left one is hurting right now as I type this. 

It is helpful and fascinating to me to have his diagnosis, because it helps me understand what I am going through, to see it in words. And it's helpful because people want to know what I am struggling with and why I can't see things, or what I am experiencing. 

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate you who read my blog. Thank you for being here!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Moving

I am spending this week boxing my possessions - I am moving during the next few weeks. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

It is definitely interesting to handle every single possession you own and think about: give? donate? keep? trash? call a friend? 

This is definitely making me examine (for the umpteenth time) what my priorities in life are. 

I think I have found my biggest priorities are: my boys, my violin, my dog, my medicines, a pen & paper,  and my phone. Well, okay, my clothing too. πŸ˜…πŸ˜†πŸ˜‡

It will be interesting to live my new life without most of my possessions. I will be flitting between hotels and "couch surfing" until I can find a place to rent.

I think with the Corona Virus moratorium, landlords can't kick out renters for non-payment, and it's affecting how many places come online to rent or buy. Every place I apply has 8 people apply within the first hour that it's listed, and probably at least 30 before they figure out which applicant to approve!

But I need to move. I have been wanting to move for 2 very long years. So now is the time and I am looking forward to this next chapter.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Healing Anxiety

Every time I turn around, I hear the word "anxiety." I was diagnosed with anxiety (along with myriad other things) around age 44 I think it was. 

There are many remedies for anxiety. One of them is medicines. I have been on several. One of them is probably taking baths, who knows.


I keep hearing about breathing. My most recent therapist has told me to breathe down to my belly, really fill my lungs. And that talks to something at the base of my spine and tells my body, "I am safe." She told me on several occasions to do this with her and to picture the action of "zooming in." Where you have 4 corners on a device (or 4 points of impact at your butt or hips or whatever) and you pinch and zoom. She says: "Widen and soften." 

So I breathe and think of this pinch and zoom and say to myself: "widen and soften." This is how to tell our bodies to relax.

My vision therapist, A., has also had me concentrate on breathing. When it was time for me to pause my vision therapy, she gave me a book. I am moving and it appears I have already packed the book! But there is a chapter in the book on breathing. She marked it with a sticky note. Maybe she really wants me to get this hint. πŸ˜†πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

Well, just now, a few folks recommended this video, and I watched it. And it goes right along with the other things I have said. The YouTuber is a pleasure to watch and listen to. 

I hope this video is enjoyable to you too. It's about 4 minutes long. 

Anxiety Remedy | Correct Shallow Breathing

I am enjoying the arrival of the Spring weather where I am. Perhaps you are too, unless you're in the Denver area and you're piled under new snow! πŸ˜‚

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

My Computer

My computer has been doing round trips between Houston and my house now for about a month, and it’s causing issues with my blog. 

I find minor things in my blog posts that I want to edit. I edit it with the app on my phone. The post gets republished. And the date and time stamp are all off, and now my posts are all out of order. 

I just got off the phone with support about my missing computer. I look forward to hopefully receiving it this week!

Then I can go in and edit my posts’ dates. 

Hopefully this issue is bothering only me and no one else is noticing.  πŸ€žπŸΌπŸ€žπŸΌπŸ€žπŸΌ

A Year Later

A year ago, the people in the United States were just starting to learn about the Corona Virus. Today, I have been up for only a few hours, and already - several people have mentioned on my social media accounts, how they are feeling strange and full of anxiety. “A feeling of foreboding,” someone said. 


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=11ShKhzBBx0leSiZdzlVkJyuJeK6UVn50


It got me thinking about how last week, I saw a meme go around that had a black background and white words. The meme said: “a year ago, this was our last normal week, and no one knew it.” Also last week, several friends posted “this was the last time I went out,” and shared photos of their happy occasions. Just now, my social media reminded me of my son’s first color guard competition from last year at this time. That was the last time he was able to perform in public with his team. 


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1MXACJJ3NNmPoZaGkLRNREkGW0tkdQrTC

My sons have largely stayed home ever since. I am considered high risk because of my heart problems. I qualify for the 1B vaccination schedule and was almost able to try to get an appointment for the vaccination last week. But the week before, I was given a Tdap booster for a burn on my arm. And it turns out that you cannot have the Covid-19 shot within a month of any other shot. So, I will wait some more. 

Have you read the book, “The Body Keeps the Score,” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. It’s an excellent book.  It talks about how our bodies remember things from our past, even if our brain forgets it. 

For instance, I am rapidly nearing my 50s (and I am super cool with that!), and I only just last year figured out why I get so sad just before my birthday — before I was 2 years old, my mom left. She left my dad and they divorced soon after. I stayed with my dad. I am positive that as a baby, I must have cried so much for my mom after she left. 

Here is another example - Sept 11, 2001. I was a newly wed and I worked in a building a stone’s throw from the local Washington-Dulles Airport. Our building was evacuated shortly after I arrived at work. 

A year later, “The Virginia Sniper” was in the news. I was pregnant with my first son. The Virginia Sniper shot and killed a woman at the Home Depot where I had been 24 hours previously. We had parked right where she had parked. 

I still struggle to fill my gas pump - I am on high alert at the gas stations and I want to hide in my car instead of stand outside it, pumping my gas - because that good family man, a guy who drove a taxi, was shot at killed while filling up his car. 

Autumn used to be my favorite season. But both of these incidents happened during the fall - two years in a row. I struggle to love the fall now as much as I once did. 

And this year, I am seeing people say how they feel full of anxiety and they can’t pin it on anything. 

I have put my own pieces together - it’s How I See Things - through my own lens - and I am pointing out that it is probably to do with our country, neighbors, family, community finding out about and getting information about the Corona Virus last year. Our world changed quite drastically a year ago. 

Your body remembers. Your mind may not have been able to put this together but your body remembers. Just understand that this is what’s going on, and the trauma can start to move through you and you can begin to live your life and not have to experience this trauma every year at this time. 

I am hopeful that this year, when the weather turns nice right before my June birthday, that I won’t be sad for the first time ever. Hopefully I will feel happy and normal to match what my mind feels, and hopefully my body will be able to follow suit and not feel sad, down and depressed. Because I have now identified what that was about (I think) and I can move through the trauma and not continue to experience it every year. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Guard and Visual Memory

So it turns out that I have no visual memory. Imagine getting to the end of a paragraph of text, and you have no idea what the beginning of the paragraph said. 

School was full of that kind of thing for me. I would read and re-read and re-read, sometimes for 20 minutes - the same paragraph and still have no clue what I had read. It was so frustrating. 

I had been a ballerina from about 2nd or 3rd grade through my junior year in high school. I loved it! 

My sophomore year in high school, I went to try outs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wanted to be one of the dancing fairies. I figured I had enough dance experience and I could do it. 

They showed us some choreography out in the hall. And I just KNEW I wouldn’t be able to learn it so quickly. They gave us about 20 minutes or so to work it out with each other. I didn’t know where to turn or how to get help. 

When we got on stage, I missed a turn or did the wrong thing. Then I blanked out. Then I ran backstage and just started crying. I was hysterical, frankly. I was so discouraged. 

Some really great gals came and told me to try again. They were so re-assuring. I knew I had messed up. And I knew I couldn’t do better. I knew other gals on that stage deserved to be able to be those fairies and I would flub it up. 

I didn’t go back out. I ended up doing makeup for the production. When the next production came out - “Little Shop of Horrors,” I played keyboard for it. (I’m a musician too.)

So, now I am a mom of two teen boys. My older boy has been a competitive dancer in his past. He is amazing. He learns choreography the first time he sees it. He always has. He amazes me. It must be so wonderful to see and understand something the first time you see it. 

He hasn’t done competitive dance for a while now. But he is a senior in high school and has discovered guard. 

Tonight, I went to a rehearsal for their upcoming competitions. I got to take photos of the kids. 

My son has told me that when the coach shows them new choreography, the coach tells the students to practice, and the coach walks away. The students turn to my son and he teaches it to them. 

He has visual memory. That’s amazing. I am so glad my son doesn’t have to deal with my disabilities that frustrate and drain my energy all day, every day. I am so tired of fighting to do things, and others do them so easily. And it’s because my eyes just don’t take in what others can see so easily. 

Please don’t ever take your own eyesight for granted. It’s a valuable tool. Worthy of being appreciated. 

I hope you get to see many beautiful things today, and maybe these photos of my son will be one of those things.

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18V7xgK45DjDu34HoFpEVDvyGlLDPC9Mfhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1m95JhQPKgvVqwaiW2Y1bUnqeRPkNfzKL

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...