Continuing Our Wellness Journey & Recognizing What Your Body is Telling You
It is fall and I have missed 3 months of blogging due to health issues and realizing my limitations and learning what I can and can’t do. The featured image this week is a grouping of pumpkins that I fell in love with and had to paint. This week we will talk about limitations and concussion traumatic brain injury and hidden visual problems.
Are you continuing your journals? What feelings did your journal reveal? How is your journey of self-discovery coming along? Are you hitting roadblocks? The last week of this blog I started therapy for my post concussion syndrome and started my third set of physical therapy sessions. The physical therapy helped my weakness and started teaching my body that I have a left side. The post concussion syndrome therapy is beginning to help me and I don’t have to walk with a cane everywhere and I am waking up from my chronic fatigue. I spent the summer sleeping to heal. The vertigo is still there and new places still send me into a vertigo spin, but it is better. After Dr. Grant put tape on my glasses I started noticing changes, some good and some problems, but recovery is never just a straight forward movement. My new glasses are also helping my brain to focus and with the exercises I do every day, I am recovering slowly. The picture is of me doing “the bug” which helped take away the white fuzz in my brain. It is teaching me the innate startle reflexes I have lost. I am having to learn everything over again. How are your exercises? Have you tried any of the exercises I suggested like chair yoga or water yoga or Ta’i Chi?
Visit the Optometrists Network for the complete guide to concussions and other traumatic brain injury. I don’t want anyone to go through what I have gone through with even the doctors not recognizing or understanding that I couldn’t see correctly. Thanks to my neurologist and vision care center I am now getting the proper treatment and there is hope for at least some recovery. It has been two years since the accident.
According to the Optometrists Network and Dr. Grant, often visual problems resulting from Concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injury are overlooked during initial treatment of the injury. Frequently these problems are hidden and neglected, lengthening and impairing rehabilitation. Vision is the most important source of sensory information. The visual process involves the flow and processing of information from the eyes and body to the brain. Because there is a close relationship between vision and the brain, Traumatic Brain Injury, including Concussions and Sports-related Head Injury can disrupt the visual process, interfering with the flow and processing of information. The result is a vision problem. Symptoms indicating a vision problem are:
- Blurred or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Reading problems; decreased fluency, speed and/or comprehension
- Reading difficulties; words appear to move or change appearance
- Headaches with reading and other visual tasks
- Comprehension difficulty
- Attention and concentration difficulty
- Memory difficulty
- Double vision
- Aching eyes
- Loss of visual field
Good visual skills are necessary for efficient information processing. I kept trying harder, straining without even knowing it because the effort was subconscious. I was great at compensating but this took a toll on my brain. If the visual system is inefficient, every task can seem difficult, using more energy than required. Some of the visual skills I am affected by with my Traumatic Brain Injury include:
- the ability of the eye to move smoothly across a printed page or while following a moving object.
- looking quickly from far to near and back without blur.
- judging relative distances of objects – how far or near they are.
- monitoring and interpreting what is happening in the surrounding field of vision
- using both eyes together as a team – smoothly, equally and accurately. This is really affecting me now and the exercises are quite hard.
- keeping focused on a particular activity while interference, such as noise or motion, is present.
The list is longer but this is a good start.
OPTOMETRY AND REHABILITATION
Very few in the health care professions, including head trauma rehabilitation centers, are adequately aware of visual problems resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury and the visual-perception consequences. This resulted in incomplete treatment and frustration for me and my family.
The Grant Vision care team has been just wonderful. It was so healing to have someone look at me and say, “You can’t see.” I had been saying that for almost 2 years and no one understood. It was beyond frustrating. Through vision therapy every two weeks and my new special lenses, the flow and processing of information between my eyes and my brain is beginning to improve.
Weekly Gardening Update
My garden was wonderful and I had tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. I only had a few green peppers and no eggplant, the bugs enjoyed them. Now I am bringing my gorgeous plants in for the winter. They were just too beautiful to let freeze and start over. I brought my ceramic bird bath in and put a plant in it. It really looks cute and I put geraniums in baskets around the house.
The Road to Self-Discovery
What are your questions about Wellness or Vision Therapy? Are you dreaming of new things? Are you still making new plans? Do you take the time to dream or meditate? Have you finished everything you wanted to do? If not, why not? Share with me! Do you have any favorite healthy recipes? Do you like to garden? We still need to start decluttering. It was something else I had to delay due to therapy and the need to rest and heal. I will continue with the next steps I am taking as I did this week. I will be taking the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy today, as I hope you will. I am enjoying all my potted flowers inside now and the lovely fall colors and cooling weather.
We can learn from yesterday, enjoy, grow, and be mindful in today, and dream and plan the future. Safe journeys until next we meet again :). This will not be a weekly blog for awhile. I really like the fact that I am becoming a mindful traveler and gardener. If you like my photography and art, you can see my paintings and photography on my art website.