Wow Vision Therapy Blog

Serena’s Success Story

By: Serena

I came to Wow Vision after years of on-and-off dizziness and going to many kinds of doctors who either did not help me or just thought I had migraines. I had an MRI and other tests that were all normal. I even went to a regular eye doctor who said it was not my eyes, just migraines. I also went to a vision office that put me in prism glasses, which ended up not working. 

My attacks would start suddenly and last for months at a time. During those months, I was dizzy to the point of being off balance every minute, 24/7, until it would finally gradually get better. 

The worst months were very devastating because they took away my ability to read, write, use my phone, watch any movement, do everyday tasks, and even to walk. I could not write or read one single letter without getting dizzy. For example, I could not write a word to put on the grocery list, meaning I had to look away either while I wrote or ask my husband or son to write it for me. 

So, my husband not only had to do the grocery shopping, but he had to try to read my writing on the list! Someone had to read my texts to me and look up anything I needed because I could barely look at my phone to press the button to answer a call. I could not look at lights or glare off surfaces, so we had to cover the digital clocks and shiny surfaces in the house with black tape. I could not even use aluminum foil because it was too shiny. My mom cleaned for me because even the simplest of tasks, like taking down Christmas ornaments, made my eyes too “busy.” If I wanted to file my nails, I could only do one nail per day, or I would get dizzy. Watching 10 seconds of TV made me dizzy for two days. I am telling you all of that so that you can see how bad I was and what Wow Vision had to bring me back from.

I am a wife and a mother, so I still took care of my family and homeschooled my son, but it was very difficult for me, and my husband had to help me with everything. I was desperate to get my life back, and so after going to doctors far and wide for help, we found Wow Vision Therapy ten minutes from my house! 

When I found Dr. Fortenbacher, I could only sit on the couch and stare straight ahead. So, you can imagine how amazing it was when I met with Dr. Fortenbacher, and he said that it was pretty straightforward to him that I had a convergence insufficiency and that they could fix it and have me using virtual reality when they were done!!! I was praying for a miracle, and I truly believe that Jesus led me to Wow Vision so I could get my life back.

My first vision therapy session was the next week, and my therapist was Dr. Sana. When I first met her, I came into therapy afraid of the world – everything seemed like a danger to me. One unexpected bright light in a store could make me dizzy for a week. I could not even look Dr. Sana in the eyes because it was hard to focus on people’s eyes. She was so understanding and said I did not need to look anyone in the eyes there. She was so compassionate, and I realized I had to go at a very slow pace to tolerate any therapy. I was so afraid to do anything and was so dizzy, but Dr. Sana always greeted me with smiles and a cheery disposition and was excited to see me. I am amazed that she saw how I could not even look at my hand to sign my name, and she knew she could help me and get me whole again. 

I started with very simple exercises by looking at a pen, and I had to build up my tolerance at home. As the weeks and months went by, I started feeling better and better and started being able to do more and more. 

We worked on convergence, divergence, eye jumps, eye pursuits, periphery work, and movement exercises. I was always asking for more at-home exercises because I wanted so badly to be normal. 

Dr. Sana was so great at pushing me but not making me feel bad if I had to go slower. She had such confidence, and I felt like she knew she could get me to where I wanted to be, even though, in the beginning, it seemed so far away. 

I eventually started to be able to read and write again – what a gift! 

Homeschooling and everyday tasks became easier. I started to be able to click a few buttons on my phone, walk faster, turn faster, and watch TV again, and the lights became less harmful to me. I started to see my abilities coming back! This was so exciting and motivated me because now I knew that the therapy was working and that if it could get me to be able to do these things a little bit, then it could get me all the way normal! 

I finally got to start adding screen time during therapy, and eventually, it came time for me to get in a virtual reality helmet! Guess what – it was actually easy! Dr. Sana slowly built up my abilities and fixed my convergence insufficiency so that I could handle it. Dr. Fortenbacher was right – they had me doing virtual reality, and I had never done that in my life!

Now I can read and write as much as I want to, scroll on my phone, watch a movie with my family, move normally, and have my Christmas lights on in my house! 

There are still things I am careful with until I work my way up to them, such as looking at flashing lights and using a computer. I am still working on being able to watch unsteady camera work on my home videos for as long as I want to because being able to watch that much movement is the last piece of the puzzle. I know I will be able to because of the exercises and tools they have given me. 

I am so thankful that I did not quit when therapy was hard and so grateful to all the staff at Wow Vision Therapy for making it a warm, welcoming, and fun place to go. Thank you so much to Dr. Sana and Dr. Fortenbacher for giving me my abilities back! 

Wow Vision Therapy has been such a blessing from God, and I hope that others read my story and go to Wow Vision to receive their miracle too!


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