GAINING PERSPECTIVE THROUGH VISION THERAPY

Part 14 of a series.  Click here to start at the beginning or here to go to the previous post.

I'm quite sure no one had ever questioned Dr. Old’s methods. She warned me I wouldn’t be able to read without cheaters. But her ‘MD’ didn’t give her insight into my predicament so I insisted on a new prescription. These were my eyes and the ‘tweek’ she had made to my prescription caused them and my brain to be like kids arguing on the playground, unable to get along.

For months I have been methodically doing exercises with a vision therapist to improve my vision and have had some success. I wept like a baby when I saw a 3D image for the first time. It was like magic! The space between the ring and the wall behind it were like nothing I had ever seen. They stood on different planes and my eyes and brain took it in for the first time.

And I’ve had some failures. I’d tried weeks on end to fuse 2 pictures into 1 without success. The vision therapist didn’t call them failures, she just moved me on to another exercise, working diligently to tease my brain into doing something it has never done before and isn't sure it wants to. The therapist always encourages me and tells me how well I’m doing. Her mantra is that my brain and eyes haven’t been working together for MY WHOLE LIFE so it will take some time to change that.

Because of my insistence, Dr. Old gave me a sample contact allowing my eyes to work together and sent me on my way.

I started the next day like most of them, with a run. Immediately, I could see so much more and everything looked so clear! Each tree seemed to have exploded with space and depth between the leaves. Tree trunks were rounded and plump instead of flat like a pancake. The beauty was amazing and strange. It felt like a fantasy world and I worried it would all go away when I woke from this dream.

Instead of instinctively closing one eye to block out conflicting information, both eyes stayed open taking in twice the amount of beauty. My world had been in focus from the length of my arms in and less in focus beyond. It now held crystal clear focus beyond my reach including this new dimension of depth.

When I got home, I walked around the yard looking at each bush and tree. It was like I was in a dream seeing crazy and fascinating things. I sat on the step and stared at the bush in front of me reaching out, touching one leaf and then another to test this new perspective.

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The day after this amazing transformation, I was running along my usual route. As I passed a large tree, one of the branches jutted out towards me. I had never seen anything like it! I giggled at that silly branch as I ran by. It was as if the tree was reaching out to grab me. In my 2D world, nothing had ever come towards me that way. It filled the space between me and it.

I asked  my husband that evening to go on a walk with me. I wanted to be among the branches and leaves that surrounded me in this surprising way. Leaves had amazing colors and depth that I’d never experienced. I stared in amazement as the grasses swayed to and fro in wonderful random distances from each other.

It's difficult to explain but seeing trees occupying space has given me a different kind of understanding. Now when I look at a tree, I understand that it fills up an area. Although I've grasped this cognitively, I've never really understood it because I hadn't experienced it. I'm sure there are far reaching consequences to this insight, but my journey has just begun.

So this is the beginning. My next therapy session confirmed that I am indeed seeing more depth than ever before. But I still have a long way to go. The brain is an interesting and incredible organ. It's like a muscle that needs to be trained. It works with the eyes as it perceives and acknowledges the world. It works with the heart to create trust and faith. I need to be patient and relaxed for it to perform at its best. It's the center for understanding and logic. It's precious and marvelous. It seems limitless in capacity yet difficult to grasp.

To those of you who’ve seen depth your whole life, this may not seem very spectacular. But to me, who’s never seen it, it’s beauty is beyond imagination. Now that I’ve seen it in the trees, I can begin to imagine how this will look when my whole world comes into 3D focus.

I’m excited and hopeful for further transforming images to unfold before my eyes.

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