Almost a year into my vision loss journey, I was still fighting to restore my sight. I needed a miracle. You’ll never guess what miracle restored my vision.
Miracles and Rainbows, Hope
Empowerment is asking for help and believing in miracles and rainbows, hope. Do you sometimes forget that what you believe affects your actions? For a while, I gave in to the belief that I was powerless.
For example, I stayed up until midnight watching mystery TV shows. After a few weeks, I wondered why I was staying up so late. I missed eating breakfast with my husband. Upon reflection and a couple of good laughs, I realized that one of the few things I could control was my bedtime.
For many of my readers, COVID caused the same type of isolation I experienced during my vision loss. I was unable to drive or even walk without my husband.
It was time to act. I called my friend, Dr. Davis, a neuro-rehabilitation optometrist who specializes in vision therapy. He shared that he could help me, a rainbow! The instant Dr. Davis put prism glasses in front of my eyes, I felt my neck relax. Wow! My eyes were causing my neck pain. My body had changed to cope with my vision loss. Oh no, what could be done while waiting for my new eyeglass prescription?
Interestingly, Dr. Davis put tape on my eyeglasses, a temporary prism. I just experienced another rainbow. Best of all, my body started to calm down.
A Shocking Surprise!
Imagine my shock when my new glasses caused distress, an unwelcome surprise. My brain needed time to adjust. I struggled once again with depth perception. Caught off-guard by the intensity, I did not want to move. However, I knew that moving was exactly what I must do to calm down my body.
While walking, I once again felt like I was walking on a boat. By the end of my walks, the ground moved up and down like a roller coaster. Hard to grasp? Even though I was experiencing it, I found it hard to grasp. What did I do? I looked up ahead and relied on my husband for safety.
An explanation: While wearing therapeutic glasses, movement retrains the brain and eyes to keep up with motion. The muscles in my eyes needed the exercise of movement. When your eyes instinctively work together, you know the distance between your eyes, the ground, and objects around you. Then, stationary objects stop moving. Yeah!
Hope for Miracles, Rainbows
After a year, I began to regain some of my vision. I embraced my independence, my freedom. After a week, I felt safe walking by myself! With laughter, I shared with my husband that we still needed to hold hands. Best of all, I no longer became carsick. Even more exciting, my husband and I received our COVID shots and were free to travel.
Thus, we visited our granddaughter and other family members. It was so sweet to see our granddaughter’s face light up and to hug all our loved ones. We had a wonderful time playing, laughing, eating, and even washing the dishes. After COVID kept most of us apart for a year, being together with loved ones felt like such a miracle. There is nothing like a hug from one’s children and grandchildren.
Permanent Vision Loss
Even though my retina specialist shared there is some permanent vision loss, I received the good news that my vision should clear. Best of all, my permanent vision loss was where my left eye could do all the work. Even though my right eye was unable to see past my nose, my left eye could easily see that area. My brain would have to learn to keep my center vision clear.
However, the doctors were puzzled by my pain and lack of clear vision. Strangely without explanation, I saw a cloud move right and left all day long. Regardless of what I was doing, I saw clear & cloudy, clear & cloudy until I closed my eyes at night.
Now, I also felt stabbing knife-like pain on the right side of my skull. It hurt to move my eye to the left, up, and down. The doctors could offer no explanation. Should I be concerned?
Blessed with Miracles and Rainbows, Hope
I kept hoping the Lord would bless me with miracles and rainbows, hope. By now, the pain in my head and the right eye was becoming unbearable. I kept remembering our Vocation Bible truth from the previous summer: God is good. All the time, God is good.
During my follow-up appointment with Dr. Davis, a neuro-rehabilitation optometrist, I learned that my eyes worked much better together. I can begin vision therapy! Yipee!!
I am hopeful vision therapy will take away the pain in my neck. I am looking forward to this new phase of my life journey.
Vision therapy is like planting a garden. It is worth all the hard work.Cheri Moore
With my daughter’s encouragement, I decided to seek a second opinion. Hope helps us act. With relief, the retina specialist found nothing to explain my difficulties. Why the pain and cloud in my eye?
An Unexpected Answer
The answer was so unexpected that I was not even looking. Relief came from a friend who is a chiropractor. Unknown to me, she is trained in aligning facial and cranial bones ensuring proper movement of skull bones, a sacro-occipital technique. As she worked to align my facial bones, I remembered oral surgery removing an infected tooth.
After much tugging and another X-ray, the dental team realized the tooth had grown extra bone fusing it to my jawbone. It made sense my facial bones were out of alignment.
Within one hour, the pain in my right eye went away. Additionally, I felt a huge change in my right ear. When I spoke, my voice sounded louder and deeper. Wow! Who knew chiropractic work would be part of my vision loss journey? Healing comes in many forms and layers. I feel hopeful about what is ahead.
Hope Carries Us
Once home, I hung on to my Hope that chiropractor work may relieve the pain in my head. Kim sent me a link to find a SOTO-USA chiropractor near my home.
Unfortunately, three days after arriving home, the knife in my head became an icepick. You got to be kidding! I also felt terrible pressure at the base of my head. The pain was so bad, I went to the emergency room. Even the RN felt the ridge of inflammation from the base of my right skull all the way up to the “spot” that had been there for a year. The spot felt like a deep bruise. Thankfully, a CAT Scan failed to explain the pain in my neck and head. Time to go home and take pain medication.
The miracle I was looking for became a miracle I did not anticipate. I found a chiropractor, Christine, three hours from my home trained in the sacro-occipital technique. She understood the extent of my pain and saw me in less than two weeks. Little did I know that God was answering prayers I had not yet prayed.
As Christine worked on my skull, the icepick left replaced by knives and then a cold, icepack feeling. After three days of resting, I found walking still caused pain. The knives briefly returned inside my skull and an odd pressure. On day four, the odd pressure left. On day five, I went outside and realized, “The cloud in front of my eye was gone!” A miracle! My vision was clear; I could see out of my right eye. Now, the cloud stayed on my right side. Thank you, Lord!
Miraculously, four days later, the cloud on my right went away. I could see clearly in front of me and to my right! Yipee!! I am trusting in my Lord. He knows the work he has put upon my heart.
Empathy and Compassion
Have you ever thought about the fact that personal challenges increase our ability to provide empathy and compassion? Despite my difficulties, I believe others will benefit from the story of my vision loss.
Our stories provide opportunities to empathize with others, to truly understand. For example, I fully grasp that a young child with behaviors like anxiety, refusal to climb or play, and need for familiar environments are most likely struggling with visual processing difficulties. While they are improving their visual processing skills, they benefit from activities that help them feel safe.
Did you know that individuals of all ages with a diagnosis of autism, dyslexia, or ADHD have a high risk of experiencing near and/or far vision that blurs? A few of my clients shared they enjoyed seeing letters float off the page? That is their norm, their entertainment.
I strive to help parents and concussion clients understand the unique challenges of visual processing difficulties. Compassion mixed with truth is often a difficult balance. Thankfully, we never stop learning.
Resources and Behavioral Clues
Regardless of where someone lives, I connect them with resources. I listen as they share how reading physically costs them too much energy because the words blur and double. Thus, I find help near their home using national search engines and making phone calls.
Did you know that individuals with 20/20 vision who avoid reading may see print blur, double, or even move? When this is their norm, children and teenagers fail to share.
You can watch your loved one’s behaviors for clues. For example, I avoided walking by myself, reading, and riding in a car. When depth perception shifts and moves, stationary objects can shift and move. Just like what I experienced with the sidewalk.
Children who struggle to learn should be screened for visual processing difficulties. Remember, visual processing difficulties prevent a person from working at their level of intelligence. Each person feels emotional frustrations because they are smart. This is not an IQ issue. In fact, researchers learned that individuals with high intelligence learn how to get around their difficulties, cope. Unfortunately, the emotional cost is high.
Have fun learning What to Observe and How to Observe by using a Moore Visual Observation Activity Booklet. If there are also listening difficulties and misunderstandings, I recommend purchasing a Moore Auditory-Visual Observation Activity Booklet.
Moore Auditory-Visual Observation Activities Booklet
Build a stronger relationship with your loved one as you: “see” through activities and “hear” through their answers how their world “looks and feels” through their “eyes and ears”.
The Auditory-Visual Observation Activities help you learn about your client’s or loved one’s visual and auditory processing difficulties. Activities teach you how to observe and what to observe. Each activity provides you with the opportunity to connect and acknowledge their hard work and tenacity. Also, the next step page gives you the opportunity to talk about the ways you can help them.
All ages can improve visual processing difficulties with vision therapy. All that is required is tenacity, consistency, and hard work.