I have been barely writing for over a month because I had an optometrist visit that sent me into several weeks of emotional paralysis.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for yet another second opinion. I counted how many health professionals I’ve consulted about my vision therapy, strabismus and side effects since commencing VT in January 2010 and I counted 12. Yes, twelve. Two developmental optometrists, three ophthalmologists, two neurologists, one neuro-ophthalmologist, one psychologist, one acupuncturist, one homeopath, and one Ayurvedic doctor. So when friends and family told me to get a second opinion, I laughed. Oh, I’ve already had many second opinions, ten of them. Most of the medical professionals had never ever seen a case like mine. Bad start. Being an enigma in medicine sucks. There’s no better way to say it. I even had a couple sessions with a hypnotherapist thinking that she could help me in case I had some medical block to

Below is what I wrote to a friend after the visit for my 11th second opinion.

I visited another developmental optometrist who collaborates with my current optometrist and whose office is located near his. The appointment was not good. Basically, I’m a very tough case. (As though I didn’t already know this…) But she doesn’t think I am hopeless and doesn’t think I should give up vision therapy. However, she’s not sure what I can achieve if I switch to her. She had one patient similar to me and that patient worked w/her for a couple of years and never developed central fusion. The patient then moved away and the doctor doesn’t know if she ever got full stereopsis. (I have peripheral fusion and that’s why I am fascinated by trees when I am in a moving vehicle because I see them come towards me and envelop me in a canopy above.) I wasn’t totally heartbroken but I got what I expected. When I spoke to the doctor by phone, she said she could tell my case would be a hard one. When I left the office, I was tearing and thought to myself, half in jest, “I need divine intervention.” I went to the Palestinian green grocer across the street from the eye doctor, bought some foods and then went for a walk at the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

The call for divine intervention ceased being partially a joke to being real. I see no compelling reason to switch eye doctors but I also am not totally motivated to do my exercises everyday and often have to force myself to do them, like a kid who doesn’t want to do his/her piano practice. I can’t take any more medical opinions. I need a solution. So far, the only person who thinks I can get to full stereopsis with central fusion is my current optometrist. I need an act of whatever divinity or inner force I can find to show me the path to getting my brain to work in 3D. I’ve never been a religious person. But I seriously have done all that I can do as a patient and something else is going to have to lead me.

When I asked the doctor about my side effects, she said none of them surprised her. She said my verbal confusion resembles that of her brain injury patients who are much worse off than I am. But she had no words of wisdom for how I can keep my languages straight and at least speak English without pausing and mixing up my syntax.


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