I finally got to see the neuro-ophthamologist and it was quite a fascinating experience. I’ve been wondering what my actual deficit is because sometimes I think I can see certain things and other times not at all. For instance I can’t see my left hand if I just bend my arm at the elbow and hold it up. It turns out that I didn’t lose the ENTIRE left periphery, though as you can see from the picture, quite a bit of it. What I did lose though, is essentially the lower left quadrant of BOTH eyes, which I hadn’t realized at all. All of the black areas in the chart are where I have a visual deficit now, including that interesting spot on the right side of the right eye. I’ll have to now revisit my brain book and the visual processing path to further investigate the crossing of the optic nerves and the optic chiasm and such.
One very interesting thing we learned is that each state has different rules about driving, specifically some require a visual screen test like this one whereas others do not. So LEGALLY I would not be able to drive in Virginia any longer, but New Jersey does not have the requirement so I could still legally drive there. Think about that for a second! Do you know what the law is in your own state?
I am definitely not driving anytime soon, though, if ever again. My blind area aside, I would be much more concerned with my reaction times, given my slower processing of visual information overall. The doc was pleasantly surprised to hear that I have pulled myself from driving, as clearly the opposite is the norm, in terms of people driving when they really shouldn’t be.
Bottom line overall is that the loss seen here is essentially permanent. I will be getting glasses to correct the eyesight in general once I finish the radiation, my brain has settled, and I can get a useful prescription. I see my future non-driving life as an adjustment, but not much of one at all given the public transportation in the DC Metro area anyway and the self-driving cars coming anyway.
I the most amusing part of it is that because I’m left handed, the most natural place for me to put stuff and look is directly in the place where I cannot see anymore. I guess it is time for me to become a right handed person and join the majority of the world…good thing I’m fairly ambidextrous already. I just have to laugh at the circumstances. things could clearly be worse. I’m happy to start getting some data to work with. 🙂