Meet Vicky! Vicky recently came to the PRI Vision Center as a result of a referral from a Postural Restoration Certified physical therapist in North Carolina, Kim Keyser, DPT, PRC, OCS. She was kind enough to let us record and share some of her first dynamic vision assessments with Ron and Dr. Heidi. There are 7 parts that we will release over the next couple of weeks and each segment is only 5 or 6 minutes long.
As Kim worked with Vicky, she quickly recognized that Vicky would need an integrated approach to find resolution to her complaints. Some of Vicky’s complaints included double vision when reading, headaches, feelings of disorientation, right-sided pain in various areas from her head to her ankle, and tailbone pain when sitting. Vicky stated, “I get exhausted at the end of the day where my eyes and brain just can’t do anything else. “ Like many of our patients, Vicky has spent a great deal of her time, energy, and other resources searching for answers. She has had many professionals involved in her care, many of whom have helped her symptoms, but weren’t able to resolve the complaints that have dogged Vicky for years. It isn’t that the care given hasn’t been appropriate. Rather, as we often see, there are limitations to many approaches because only one of the involved systems is addressed at a time. PRI Vision works by first, being integrative, and second, by focusing on changing the input to the brain. This subsequently modifies the output from the brain through the autonomic nervous system to the body.
Some of Vicky’s pertinent history and concerns:
• Elementary school—comments were made then that she was not working up to her ability
• Double vision beginning in high school; surgery for this on the left eye at age 25
• Fell on her tailbone at age 38
• Motor vehicle accidents:
o 21 yrs old: car flipped over guard rail and had head, neck and shoulder pain that resolved with no lasting effects identified
o 40 yrs old: rear-ended resulting in whiplash
• Began having problems reading around age 48. Has had vision therapy with more than one doctor, and prisms to increase the ability for her two eyes to work together. Some VT has helped, although more recently she feels that the harder she worked to get her two eyes together, the more the left eye didn’t cooperate and the worse she felt overall. Prisms, a widely-used option in glasses to aid with double vision, made things much worse for her overall symptoms, including HA, eye pain, nausea, and disorientation.
• Diagnosed with adrenal overload/whole body inflammation. This has been determined to potentially be the cause of pain and difficulty with movement in her wrists, hands, ankles, and feet. Treatment is aimed at calming the sympathetic nervous system and balancing organ and chemical function.
• Has a crown on one of her lower molars that will not stay in position properly, even though it has been replaced numerous times.
• Can only sleep on her back with all extremities straight and can’t tolerate pressure from sheets or blankets on her ankle.
• Other previous and ongoing treatment modalities include: Traditional medicine, Holistic medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy, ophthalmology, optometry, neurology, acupuncture, and biofeedback
Looking at this complex history, especially the visual components, it became clear that a significant reason for Vicky being where she is today is her eye teaming difficulty. The comments in elementary school that she wasn’t “performing up to potential” are typical of what I hear working with children who have visual-related learning problems. This culminated in experiencing double vision in high school, which made her eye teaming problem obvious, maybe for the first time. What this tells me is that for a very long time, Vicky has not known how to correctly manage, process, and react to the visual information from the world around her. Add on the trauma to both her upper body and her tailbone, and her level of challenges regarding her faulty perception of space was magnified. When you consider all of these significant challenges, it’s no surprise her whole body operates in the sympathetically-driven “Fight or Flight” mode most of the time.
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