Finding The Right Doctor
Just like everything else when I began this whole ordeal back in March of 2018, I didn’t start with the right eye doctor either!
Luckily, I ended up getting into the TBI program at Sinai. They refer all their TBI patients with vision issues to Dr.Eric Singman at John Hopkin’s Wilmer Eye Institue.
My first appointment with Dr.Sigman, I explained my symptoms. Double vision, no depth perception and lack of peripheral vision. All of these things he said were common with brain injury (that was good to hear).
He explained my brain trying to heal its self like two wires that need to be connected in order to work. It doesn’t matter how close the ends of the wire get until they touch. The wire is not going to work. Meaning it would take time for my vision to improve, just like all my other symptoms.
I had started some simple eye training exercises with my PT. The first time I saw Dr. Singman he said I needed to stop all the eye training for now, that it was too soon. The combination of my migraines, jacked up vision and dizziness was just too much at that point. Eye exercises just flared up all those symptoms worse.
The second time I saw Dr. Singman, there was no change in my vision at all. Again, he explained to me that until those wires connect things just won’t work right. That takes times and I just need to be patient.
He still seemed hopeful that in time I would see improvement. Though he still wasn’t ready for me to start on eye training exercises again.
Today was my third appointment with Dr.Singman. There were small improvements in my vision. Nothing momentous, but a small improvement is a big deal after how long it has been.
This made Dr.Singman feel more hopeful for my vision to improve. He also gave me the okay to do eye training exercises again.
The first new exercise is to put a cotton ball in a pie plate. Slowly tip the plate back and forth and follow the movement of the cotton ball with my eyes.
The next exercise is called a Labyrinth. Basically, I have to print a picture of one online or use a picture pulled up on my computer screen. I’m supposed to trace around the labyrinth with my finger and follow with my eyes. It is not like a maze where you have to decide which way to go. There are no dead ends.
Neither of these sound too bad! He did suggest that I can start to use the brock string again (the beads on a string thingy that I hate so much).
He stressed that I should literally only do the exercises for one or two minutes at a time. That my eyes strain so easy that I have to take it really slow. Straining my eyes and flaring up my symptoms will not do me any good. So slow and steady it is!
5 Month Follow Up
Dr. Singman anticipates the progress being so slow that he did not have me schedule a follow-up appointment until December! Kind of disheartening to think of it taking that long to make any progress. Though it does make sense since it took me a year and a half to see the little improvements we saw today.
No Promises But Still Hopeful
Dr. Singman has never promised me that my eyes will get back to normal. He seems to remain hopeful each time. Stressing that being a younger person should help with my ability to heal. He always stresses that healing from TBI, in all its different aspects is always a slow process. Just to be patient and keep working at it. Slow and steady…I feel like slow is an exaggeration of my speed of progress. It’s like my body and brain are healing at the speed of a turtle trying to walk across the road!
Highly Recommend Dr.Singman
Dr.Singman is one of the nicest doctors I have met throughout this whole TBI ordeal. His bedside manner is wonderful. He is a super pleasant person to work with. It is very apparent that he really is concerned for me as his patient and wants to see me improve.
Just like all the other doctors I have worked with through this process, I’m so grateful to have found them. It does get a little tiring feeling like it is appointment after appointment, but never much new feedback. I have learned that rehab from a brain injury is a lesson in a lot of things! One of those things is being patient. The other is celebrating even the smallest progress and as usual to keep on keepin’ on!