Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eyes, Disorganization, Getting Lost and Getting Found

Tacony-Palmyra bridge, taken from the Philadel...Image via Wikipedia
I went to see Dr. Hertzberg, a developmental optometrist. My trip to see her illustrates how my visual problems and organizational problems impact my life. This time it is a little humorous. At the turnpike, jumped in my car, drove down Route 1 to the turnpike. I got all confused. I wasn't sure whether I should take the fork in the road that goes to New Jersey or continue towards Harrisburg. I've driven down this route a number of times before so I shouldn't be so confused. But I am. And I only have a few seconds to make a decision. I take the fork in the road to the left. I start thinking about something else I forget what but my mind was only partially engaged on my driving. Things start to look a lot less familiar and I am definitely missing familiar landmarks. I start to get a horrible, sinking sensation that I am not where I should be. I continue on. Things are really not looking familiar. And the next thing I know is that a very large bridge looms in front of me. I see a welcome sign for New Jersey. I begin to curse. Then I enter the hell that is New Jersey highways. I can't turn around. There should be a sign, "abandon all hope ye who enter here". You just can't turn around easily in New Jersey. There are these darn Jersey barriers that prohibit left-hand turns. So I keep driving and driving and driving. I notice I'm running late. Finally I find a place to turn around. I turn around and then start pondering what to do next. Should I., should I go? I'm running late but maybe I won't be too late. So I continue on. Back over the bridge. Back on the sharp hike. And I start speeding at 80 miles an hour around the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I'm trying to catch up. I know I'm running late and I start to panic. Maybe I should go home. Maybe I should. I press on. I make Mike exits and turns correctly. And I end up in front of her office 40 minutes late. I start to panic. Maybe her receptionist is going to be really mean. Maybe I'll get yelled at. But I figure while maybe I'll just go when and see if I can reschedule the appointment. Fine. So I go to grab my purse and I realized I forgot my purse. I have been driving not driving a speeding down the New Jersey around the Pennsylvania Turnpike without my purse, without my wallet, without my driver's license. Thank God, no cops stopped me. But here I am in front of the new doctor's office with no checkbook, credit card, or ATM card. I want to have a meltdown like a child. I want to stamp my feet. I want to throw my keys on the ground. If there were a pile of blocks, I would run over and kicked them. But I'm an adult (at least theoretically). So I suck it in. What to do next? I stop. I sit on the bench and ponder my options. I could go home. Or, I could go in and maybe they will be really angry with me for screwing up their schedule.  So, I decided I'll face the music. I'll just go in and reschedule.

So I go in. Fortunately, the optometrist and receptionists are very very kind people. And I explained my story about why I was late. Fortunately, they had a client, a little boy, who had a hard time sitting still so they took him for. I got in the chair and everyone was so nice to me. Dr. Hertzberg heard my story. Normally I would not tell another adult about this thought since it relates to visual problems I told her my story. Well, it turns out that my eyes are truly bad. I have convergence insufficiency, problems with visual tracking, problems with filling out forms, problems with eye teaming, and no 3-D depth perception.

The sad thing about all this is that the therapy to correct these problems has  existed since the 1960s.
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