How far is too far to travel for optometric vision therapy? The answer to that question is a very individualized one, as I was reminded yesterday when seeing Mei for her one month post-VT progress evaluation. For eight months, Mei and her mom would take two NJ Transit trains each way to come to our office weekly for vision therapy. Given train schedules and the hour’s in-office therapy time, they wound up building a day around it, coming in at 11AM, going for lunch and some shopping, and then traveling back home.
I blogged about Lyme literacy last year with Mei’s case in mind, incorporating this useful chart from a patient who blogged about her symptoms.
As Dr. William Padula astutely noted in his presentation to the ILADS Conference in 2011, the role of vision is too often absent in considerations of posture, balance, and neuro-cognitive issues in tick borne infections. As much as her mom was inspired by Dr. Padula’s presentation, Mei simply wasn’t well enough to endure the regular trips required to Connecticut from New Jersey for treatment. So in June of 2016, I received a detailed letter from her mom asking me to think about Mei’s case and to decide if I was willing to “step into this morass called tick infections”. I did, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Simply put, Mei and her mom have enriched not only my life, but that of our entire office staff. Nor do I mean financially, but from the standpoint of being energized by a family’s determination to get their lives back on track.
Mei built a special bond with Eunice, who is one of the most skilled and caring optometric vision therapists I have had the pleasure of apprenticing over the course of nearly 40 years. Very often, for patients struggling with intermittent esotropia to the extent that Mei experienced, we advise pursuing every possible angle toward relaxation. Mei reminded me yesterday that this doesn’t have to be limited to “conventional” avenues such as yoga, incense candles, or aromatherapeutic baths, but can extend to kickboxing!
Having become quite proficient with bird-inspired woodcut arts & crafts, Mei presented me with a gift yesterday that is worth much more than money could buy. Sharing in this way is the culmination of what makes what we all do so special.