My 2011 Visit to the Vision Specialists of Michigan

I decided to keep a journal on hand, to keep a record of my initial trip to Bloomfield Hills, and the Vision Specialists of Michigan (VSoM). The following excerpts are from that journal.

My mind’s been racing with the possibility of finding relief of chronic daily headaches, neck pain, dizziness, eye strain, face pain, etc. Seems like asking a lot of one form of treatment.

A recommendation by someone online led me to the VSoM. After finding their website, and watching a couple videos, I filled out and submitted a questionnaire. It stated that I would be contacted with the results, so I expected an email. The next morning I received a telephone call from Dr Debby. She said they suggest people visit their facility if they score above 15. I scored a 59! I asked if she knew of anyone specializing in Vertical Heterophoria closer to my home, but she did not.

Like most individuals dealing with years of chronic pain, I despise the word “cure” when it’s used in reference to illnesses or diseases. But if this treatment rids me of, or at least significantly reduces the occurrence and strength of my chronic head pain, dizziness, imbalance, and eye strain, then it will be the closest thing to a cure I’ve ever experienced.

The appointment has been set for November 9, 2011. I purchased my airline tickets, and booked a three night stay at the Marriott close to the VSoM.

Woke up with an ice pick in my right eye.

If all goes well, my eye exam will be covered as a medical necessity since it is due to illness or injury – one that spans decades. All these years of needing to rest in a dark room…it all makes sense now. My eyes will feel such relief and release soon. I hope I don’t start crying, but I more than likely will. Tears of joy, as well as from acknowledging all the many years I’ve wasted, seeing shitty doctors too quick to write a prescription, suggest therapy, or blame me for my illnesses.

Fuck! I’m like a kid waiting to open a present 12am Christmas morning. I had to laugh at myself earlier because I considered starting to walk toward Michigan, so I’d feel closer. There will no longer be enough hours in the day, when I’m able to use my eyes correctly, especially if the pain and dizziness dissipates. When you’re in pain, the hours don’t always pass quickly enough. Someone who has never experienced this could never understand.

Can’t believe I’m leaving in just a few days!

The doc visit is an hour away! Enjoying a little breakfast before the taxi arrives. I woke up every couple of hours last night, and once I was wide awake at 3am I decided I might as well stay up. I watched television and tinkered with the hotel room coffee maker, so I could enjoy some calming tea.

Had my initial visit, and Dr Debby is incredible! After a battery of tests, she diagnosed me with Vertical Heterophoria and thinks we have the right prescription to start me on the road to recovery.

After trying a few prisms and lenses, I felt more confident getting out of my chair and walking around the building – I even felt taller! Anxiety levels dropped as did some eye strain, dizziness, and neck tension. It ain’t pretty, but the contraption below served its purpose. What a beauty, huh?!

My first pair of glasses have arrived, and they are being properly fitted to my face now.

I saw the full moon without squinting or crossing my eyes (for clarity) for the first time in my 37 years. I can also write from a distance for the first time, thanks to progression lenses. It feels very awkward, but with practice I know that will change.

Once I got to my hotel room I was completely drained, but I had to capture the moment…

I have a follow-up with Dr Debby tomorrow morning. Reading and writing are unfortunately killing me at the moment, so I’m going for a walk. Hopefully the beautiful evergreens and autumn leaves will temporarily help me forget my migraine. Plus it’s good practice with my new glasses.

Dr Debby invited me to an office get-together; hope this migraine lets up so I can enjoy myself and meet more of her patients. I already met 27 year old Monte from Florida and a few others who also had to travel far distances by car or plane to get here.

My eyes are relieved and exhausted at the same time. During my follow-up, we tried a few different lenses and prisms, but soon after reading a magazine I felt very dizzy and nauseous. Dr Debby said my left eye is most happy with the prescription at the moment, and that’s okay.

During my first visit with Dr Debby, I joked about skipping my motion sickness medication for the flight home. Well, I did just that, and I’m happy to report I experienced zero motion sickness or dizziness!

Once my medical records arrive, I can share my official diagnosis. Everything has been a whirlwind of questions, exams, emotions, hormonal migraines, bad food, horrible sleep, etc., so I’m allowing myself this time to rest and detox.

I am still dealing with light sensitivity headaches, as well as those triggered by poor diet, so I’m working hard to get my diet back on track. I do feel incredible being able to use my eyes properly for the first time in decades. The world is much clearer and I see painless days ahead once we continue to tweak my prescription, and figure out the best way to reduce glare and photophobia symptoms.

Just a quick update with my official diagnoses:
Vertical Heterophoria, right eye nearsightedness, left eye farsightedness, astigmatism in both eyes, and presbyopia in both eyes.

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