Travels to Chicago: Stage 2 Brainwear

As I recently faced a significant health road block being Covid, I was unable to post or invest any energy into my brain injury recovery. I have faced many road blocks and setbacks over the course of this recovery but the most recent one turned out to grant me a new perspective. As much as I try to be mindful and grateful for the many seemingly little things on any given day, I am reminded that we truly cannot think of everything. I am reminded that there is much to be grateful for and so much beauty around us. I am happy to report I am finally getting back on track and I am excited.

With that said, there are a few blog posts that are long overdue. The following post details my return trip to Chicago to the Mind Eye Institute for re-evaluation that took place in November. With the help of my Mom, I was able to make it a day trip for the appointment. It was a very long, exhausting and painful day but one that ended on an sweet note…stay tuned!

At the time of my re-evaluation, I had worn my Stage 1 glasses for 12 weeks. By that point I had determined these were glasses from hell. I also determined that these were glasses from heaven or a far-off place that produces miracles. To say my Stage 1 glasses had already had a profound impact on my life is an understatement. 

Some things on testing at the appointment got better and some things got worse. While some things worsened, I would say overall I felt like I was where I should be. I am grateful for the changes and am looking forward to more positive changes. 

I was prescribed a completely new pair of glasses as the Stage 1 glasses set the foundation and my brain was ready for the next level. I was prescribed “Stage 2” glasses that would require a similar transition as the first. The transition into my Stage 2 glasses was supposed to begin early December but unfortunately due to Covid, I was unable to begin the transition and still have yet to start. Also very unfortunately, I have not worn any glasses at all since November as I outgrew Stage 1 and they caused debilitating symptoms so I had to stop wearing them as a result. While I have lost some of the improvements made from Stage 1 and many of the unpleasant symptoms have returned full force, some have stuck. To me, that is something to celebrate.

As difficult as Stage 1 was, I welcome the challenge of Stage 2. The start date is not yet determined. I wasn’t completely comfortable in my Stage 1 glasses though was finally able to wear them all day! It took six weeks to build up my wear time from one second with my eyes closed. Stage 2 will likely be a similar experience and I am anticipating the first 4-6 weeks to be the hardest and most painful. 

Now back to the sweet note the trip ended on. After these long, strenuous appointments, my brain usually likes some carbs or sugar which is a rare indulgence for me. As I was too exhausted to even speak or walk and was developing a bad headache, I somehow mustered enough energy to see what this little natural bodega near our gate had to offer. This unexpected find at the airport felt like a reward. I managed to find a bar of chocolate suitable to my dietary restrictions called Vgan Milk Chocolate that my Mom and I shared. It is amazing and almost as good as the chocolate my sister brings us home from Switzerland! It was like I had found the golden ticket. This bar of chocolate could have even gotten Grandpa Joe to jump out of the bed after 20 years! If you don’t get this reference, please go watch Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

In future posts I will discuss all that I experienced with my Stage 1 glasses and as I progress along with Stage 2, I will share that experience as well. This detailing takes a significant amount of time and energy as it is a lot to condense. Hopefully the changes experienced from Stage 2 will be even more profound than Stage 1. In my next blog post, I will finally share Part II of my blog post series on surgery and anesthesia use in brain injury patients.

2 thoughts on “Travels to Chicago: Stage 2 Brainwear

  1. As usual your post is fantastic! Thank you for persisting and posting through these rough times. Please keep us updated, I’m debating the Chicago trip myself and hearing about your experience is really important to me.

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