We’re blind to our blindness. We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.
Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter.
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no…
Cheshire Cat: Or, you could ask the March Hare, in that direction.
Alice: Oh, thank you. I think I’ll see him…
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he’s mad, too.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.
[laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]
Cheshire Cat: You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.
In Visual Terms…
It seems that my particular form of perceptual challenge is called homonymous hemianopia.
Hemianopia means blindness in one half of the visual field. The most common form of this is homonymous hemianopia, which means that the vision loss is on the same side of each eye. Research shows that eight to ten percent of stroke survivors have homonymous hemianopia.
It’s as if when i attempt to read, I’m looking through a partially closed door into a room, or in my case, the page beyond. I fully well realize the completely-furnished page exists out there, and yet I can only glimpse what’s behind the door by craning around the opening to get a peek. The term ‘hassle’ doesn’t do justice to qualify the exertion required to read across a single line of text.
This past week I was evaluated by an opthalmologist for this condition. Confirmation of any diagnosis is now making its way through the healthcare system, and I will one day hope to have a more definitive understanding of this perceptual malady, as well as access to any and all available remedies. Meanwhile, my neck muscles are getting a real workout.
And , as promised, I turn to you, my friends, for any insights or experiences that might open the door a bit wider …