I want to write a letter to Google. “Dear Google, thank you for helping me when so many doctors couldn’t.”
I had a headache everyday since I was four-years-old. I also had car sickness, felt anxious and uncomfortable often, and was intolerant of florescent lighting (that made school difficult). Since I was young I had many holistic and western doctors offering ideas. Many ideas circled around my TMJ issues, allergy to mold, and elimination diets.
In recent years I kept feeling worse and worse. In June 2013 I got a concussion and just couldn’t seem to feel better. I was getting dizzy spells that lasted for days- always triggered by either a boat or car ride. I was “Googling” every day. Symptoms. Diets. Supplements. What else can I search? I went to specialists and holistic doctors. I went on the most strict elimination diet ever. Nothing was helping. In February 2014 I promised to go one month with no Googling. I thought maybe my obsessive thoughts about my health were making things worse. My doctor wanted me to take anti-anxiety meds but I insisted that we had to find out what was wrong- not medicate an unknown illness.
I was flat out on the couch in March with dizziness that would not let up. I quit driving. “One more Google search”, I told myself. I searched, “headache, dizzy, vision”. Vertical Heterophoria popped up. The list of symptoms was like a personal biography. I made arrangements immediately to see the closest specialist, 4 hours away.
Vertical Heterophoria is a neurological condition caused by the eyes being vertically misaligned. (You can read about it here). The treatment is eyeglasses- prisms. The prisms are added in stages, so the eyes can progressively relax.
While my prescription was changing frequently I wore these clips on top of the glasses to avoid the expense of buying new lenses every three days. At one point I had two sets of clips at once. That was very heavy and painful.
I am still in the process of recovery. The dizziness is gone. My anxiety is gone (it turns out that is a symptom of the condition). My pain is improving. I can “see” the light at the end of this very long tunnel. I had to do 9 steps of prisms to reach this point. Each one made me very nauseous and my face and neck pain was terrible each time. So many years of adapting to this disorder to undo! My eyes and brain are learning to work a new way and I have periods of double vision (most likely temporary). Craniosacral work helps a lot. I will keep learning and discovering what helps and what doesn’t.
As my dad says, “We were looking for a software problem when all along it was a hardware issue.” (For the computer nerds out there.)
When I take my glasses off I am reminded of the nightmare I had been living. A few seconds without them and I feel very glad to put them back on!
My daughter has vertical heterophoria too. She starts treatment this week. The head tilt is a classic symptom of the condition. I am so grateful we can help her early in life.
Thank you for listening to my story. Back to food next time!
If you are out there, wishing you knew what was wrong with your health, longing to write a success story on someone’s webpage, please do not give up. You are not imagining this and somewhere out there is your answer.