In January 2015, I suffered a concussion at my work. In the two years following my concussion I had ongoing physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and I spent six weeks at the Toronto Rehabilitation Centre Head Institute undergoing intensive rehabilitation from a multidisciplinary approach. Two years after my concussion I still had daily headaches. I was unable to cope in busy, noisy or stimulating environments, and I couldn’t handle many visual stimuli (such as bright lights, moving screens, scrolling on computers). I couldn’t multi-task (something I had previously excelled at). I had trouble with many eye movements such as looking back and forth between people at family dinners or meetings and looking up or down hurt my eyes. I also had difficulty with seeing things that were not directly in front of me and I constantly bumped into furniture and door frames and fell over objects in my path.
WSIB finally referred me to Dr. Wareham for assessment. I was so impressed with his thoroughness. For the first time, a medical professional was testing for and identifying problems that no one else had thought to look for! He identified me as having Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome and a Visual Midline Shift. For the first time, a professional was able to explain what I was experiencing and why! I began wearing prism lenses and in January 2017 I started my visual therapy. At first, my progress was slow but steady and I began achieving one small goal after another. Even though the exercises gave me a headache and sometimes made me feel dizzy, I felt great satisfaction as I conquered each goal. Within a few months, exercises that had seemed so difficult now seemed easy.
As my therapy progressed, I began seeing improvements in my everyday life. I became able to participate for longer periods of time at large family dinners. I could drive in the rain with windshield wipers on without getting a bad headache. I could order a coffee at Tim Hortons without getting a headache from the moving tv screens overhead. I bumped into furniture and fell over things less frequently. It was so exciting to see the improvements, and I began to progress more quickly through my therapy!
After a year and a half, I was nearing the end of my therapy, and the biggest changes began to occur. In some indefinable way, my brain began to feel “right” again. I felt like myself. I became able to multitask again. I found myself able to cope in demanding situations and I began to challenge myself with activities that I had never dreamed that I would do again (drumming exercise class at the gym?! Wow!).
My visual therapy has been an incredibly exciting and life-changing journey. I am so grateful for the expertise of Dr. Wareham who was able to identify exactly where my problems lay and who gave me frequent assessments to determine what my next steps of therapy would be. I am so impressed with the skills of my therapists Sherri-Lyn and Jenne, who were able to analyze all of my responses and fine-tune and adapt my exercises for maximum benefit, and who brought humor and warmth to our weekly sessions. The entire team at Pupils Vision exemplifies professionalism, caring, and dedication. I can’t thank them enough!