the eclipse and visual impairment

Some days there is just no getting around it, girlie is different from many of us.

She won’t be able to enjoy the historical event coming today.  She has cortical visual impairment, aka neurological vision impairment.  Her eyes and optic nerve are perfect and in working order.

But her brain …

Her brain does not know what to do with or how to interpret the images presented to it by the eyes.  Therefore, the brain sort of “shuts down” vision.  Children with any kind of brain trauma can have some form of visual impairment.  Hers is caused by the seizures and remaining chaotic brain waves.

When she was little we were told all kinds of weird things about her vision – that for her vision was like looking through swiss cheese (holes) where she could catch glimpses of things, another funny one was that she could see things as if they were in a kaleidoscope, all jumbled up.

All of these were valiant attempts to explain something no one really understood.   Heck, the doctors barely understand still, much less have any real treatment options. Ophthalmologist can tell us all about eye problems, if it is a real eye problem, but can’t really tell us about a brain problem affecting the eyes.  Neurologists can do about the same, giving more detail about the why of the problem, but no real treatment.

When she was little, this would mean if things were too bright or too over stimulating she would keep her eyes closed while we were out and about.  She still does that from time to time depending on how much energy she has.

CVI, for short, is understood in a range,  1 being most severe to 10 being least severely affected.  Of course, girlie with all of her complexities and seizures, etc, is pretty severely affected and close to a 1 at this point in time.  Being this severely affected, girlie can pretty much only see things that are in relatively close distance to her, in a familiar environment, with familiar people, and against a dark background (to minimize visual clutter).

The Eclipse is well far away, distant objects, in a not familiar environment, too bright around the event.  Plus the fact that girlie would throw the glasses off her face.

So many factors in that she will not be able, because of her limitations to enjoy this historic event for the rest of us.

Her teachers will make an attempt, as they always should, in explaining something girlie won’t see.

There is a sense of spiritual blindness which is much the same as girlie’s neurological blindness.  Where unless presented in a familiar environment, with familiar people, in an uncluttered background, I can miss the truths that God is trying to help me see.

I pray often “open my eyes that I may see from YOUR perspective” (Psalm 119:18).  Lord, help me not to miss want you really want me to see, and to not be distracted by the things the world wants me to see.

So, in a world full of eclipse viewing today, please don’t miss what God wants you to see.

Ask Him.  He will show you.  Just keep asking.

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