Rocks and Fences and Walls, Oh My!

My Rock

This is a picture of the rock out from under which I must have just crawled.


We’ve heard a lot about fences and walls lately, but this is not a commentary on immigration. If you want to know my views on immigrants and immigration, you can find that right here and here.

This is a post about what all three: rocks, fences, and walls, have in common – they are all barriers. Now, how do we overcome them?

“Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them.” – Author unknown

Stepping Stones

So that’s where I’m starting. In my last post, I raved about my new approach to reclaiming my life. Unfortunately, the very next day I hit another wall. I sat down to do my online brain games and WHAM! I hadn’t even gotten through the first exercise before I began to get light headed and nauseous. I rubbed my palms together as I’d been taught and placed their warmth over my eyes for a few minutes to try to settle down. I checked my posture, did my deep breathing exercises and reopened my eyes. I still wasn’t 100% back but I continued on (Noticing a pattern here?) By the time I finished my scheduled daily practice I felt really ill. BUT, it was Sunday and we had to get to church. I reminded the kids of the time and went to lie down, rest my eyes, and attempt to put something cool on my neck to quell the rising tide of my landlocked seasickness. The ten-minute drive to church did me in completely and I almost stopped twice on the way to release my morning beverage violently on the roadside. I let the kids out for Sunday school and parked in the lot for the next hour and 20 minutes attempting to keep my coffee in my stomach.

The church service was not much better: cold water on my neck, eyes closed, I willed the dizzying revolt in my eyes, my mind, and my stomach to end. Clearly, my will was not enough. I spent the next five hours in bed at home. I had pushed too hard again.

I dragged myself up to go walk the dog – the fresh air, the exercise, they are important and I felt better enough not to have to carry one of those in-flight barf bags so I went on my way. Passing the concrete wall topped with wire fencing, I argued that, though it felt like I’d hit another wall – it was merely a fence – I just needed a foothold to get over it. After all, “Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them.” The brisk air does me good when I feel sick and I soon found myself lost in conversation – with myself. OK. What do I know? Where did I go wrong this time? I practiced seven days in a row – up to a half an hour at a time – was it too much? What is nagging me about the games? I began thinking about my progress with the mind games. I had been having a particularly difficult time with the visual tracking and finding ones. In fact, it was kind of pissing me off that when I would incorrectly identify the location of something, it was either a mirror image placement (lower left instead of lower right), a hair off, or a complete opposite (lower left instead of upper right.) Those were the only mistakes I made. I wasn’t ever completely off unless I missed seeing the image on the screen. The hair-off errors are easily accounted for, but the most consistent problems were the mirror image or opposite placement identification. It’s my eyes! Could the problem be all in my eyes? Is there some kind of visual problem that goes hand in hand with a concussion? I did therapy for some of it and it made the double vision go away, but it’s still hard to really focus, and my eyes get so tired.

Duh – enter the rock. I don’t know if in the last year and a half I researched this – if I did – I don’t remember. Down the rabbit hole I raced, visual disturbances directly related to concussion, post-concussion syndrome, TBI – anything related. Eureka! It’s actually a thing. BVD – Binocular Vision Dysfunction is common among people with PCS. Your brain rejects double vision and so does your vestibular system. So when your eyes are just a little out of whack – the visual part of your brain and your vestibular system play tug of war with each other. This causes dizziness, nausea, motion sickness, anxiety in large crowds or busy spaces, sensitivity to light and glare, shadowing, overlapping or blurred vision, double vision, skipping lines or losing your place while reading, rapid fatigue while reading and difficulty with comprehension, closing or covering one eye to make it easier to see, headaches, lightheadedness, poor depth perception, lack of good balance and drifting while walking, poor coordination and clumsiness, aching eyes – especially with eye movement, head tilting and neck, upper back or shoulder pain.

Ummmmm – Rock, YOO HOO, Rock! Why didn’t I think of this before!?!?

After an exhaustive internet search of providers, I found one who tests and treats BVD relatively close to me. Today I make the phone call.

Perhaps I can use the rock to hop the wall and scale the fence – the horizon looks beautiful!

Bright Horizon

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