Inbox: My VT Mailbag
Last July/August I had cataract surgery. I am pleased with improved vision and clarity. However, I ended up with double (distant) vision. My P.T. recommended I see Tom Headline. I’d like to know if you would recommend I see my eye surgeon first and if he does not have a solution, ask him for a referral in case Tom’s work can be covered by Medicare+supplemental heath insurance?
— Andrea V., Santa Cruz, CA
First of all, congratulations on your successful surgery! Your question, in terms of seeing your eye surgeon or not, is a bit above my pay grade. I’m a big advocate of letting doctors handle the doctor decisions so I will defer to your surgeon and/or optometrist to decide what is your next best move. In terms of seeing Tom Headline, you will be in great hands. I’ve known Tom for quite a while and he is highly committed to his patients. We have taught together, compared ideas on patient care, and even vacationed together along with other therapists. If there’s a way Vision Therapy can help, surely Tom will help you find it!
I recently discovered your blog and was really inspired by a couple of entries I read and I wanted to say thank you. I noticed you tend to bounce back and forth between the technical jargon, your patients, and your opinions. It’s a great mix! How do you decide when to write about what? Do you think you’ll do anymore interviews?
–Addison G., Lexington, KY
Thank you for the kind words, Addison. I’m happy some of my mumbo jumbo makes sense to someone! I wish I could tell you there is some master plan for choosing topics, but that would be a lie. Most times I’ll write about whatever is rolling around in my head, or someone will send me an email asking about a topic and I just decide to blog about it. I try to write about the technical aspects of therapy once in a while but there’s only so many ways to describe an activity or a visual function. So, the frequency of those topics tend to ebb and flow.
In terms of the interviews, the door is open for the future, but there are no immediate plans. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration process, creating those interviews is a lot of work and take a fair amount of time. Where I had an abundance of free time then, the landscape of my personal life has changed and finding a few hours to sit in front of a computer at night has become more and more difficult. The writer’s of the Mindsight Blog have been creating something similar of late and I’d encourage you to follow that blog as well as to check out the interviews. They have been very enjoyable and informative!
I’m relatively new to the optometry scene and have been surprised at how many VT blogs there are. So far I found yours, Mindsight, VisionHelp… Do y’all work together? Are you in competition?
–Stephen F., Brownsville, TX
We’re all on the same team, Stephen, so no, there’s no competition. On the contrary, we have all collaborated on projects in the past and surely if the opportunity arises again, would repeat our efforts. Luckily, there are passionate people in our profession who are willing to share their knowledge and experience freely and openly so we can all benefit. Personally, I am a follower of both the VisionHelp and the Mindsight blog and have learned a lot from reading both. The fact that you place me in the same category is humbling.
You recently wrote about leaving Texas and moving to Tennessee. Are you still in VT? Will you still be blogging?
Betty D., Birmingham, AL
Yes, I am still in VT and I still have a residence in Austin. My commute to work is now just a bit more complicated and lengthy than yours. 🙂 As I was saying to Addison (above), blogging requires a certain level of time commitment and recently it’s been more and more difficult of me to find the time. I’m still here, though, and I will still post as much as I am able.
Do you think you will be hosting another primitive reflex course at your new office?
— Chelsey W., Peachtree City, GA
Anything is possible! I’ve only been in my new office two weeks though, so it may be a bit early to make that suggestion to my new doc! 🙂
Have you ever traveled to other cities and trained therapists in their office?
Leia H., Little Rock, AR
Your question dovetails nicely off Chelsey’s, so it made sense to put them together. The short answer is, yes. Usually, doctors or therapists will contact me and ask if I’d be willing to visit for a few days and train on a certain area of therapy. If you’re interested in this, shoot me an email.
My 8 year old son suffered a concussion riding his bike a few months ago (he was wearing a helmet) and has never really been the same. His pediatrician says he is fine, but I know something is not right. Can VT help him?
Kelly S., Great Falls, MT
I am very sorry to hear this, Kelly. As the parent of a “has no fear” 12 year old boy, I can certainly feel your pain. My hope is everyone reading will let Kelly’s question serve as a reminder of why those helmets are so incredibly important. Although her son fell, there’s a small amount of comfort found in knowing he was as protected as he could be during his moment of impact.
In terms of your question, Kelly, truly your son should see a Developmental Optometrist to determine if Vision Therapy can help. As someone who has suffered a few concussions in my life, I can tell you general practitioners (including some pediatricians) don’t often have a solution for the “I feel off” complaint. Most times digging deeper into rehabilitative care (such as VT, OT, Osteopathy and other neuro-rehab minded folks) can be highly beneficial on many levels. I have such great respect for the parental intuition and if you feel your son needs more care, I’d encourage you to keep looking for the right solution. As I said, only a Developmental Optometrist can tell you if VT should be a consideration.
Thanks to all who submitted questions for this version of my mailbag. Your participation is greatly appreciated!
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