He tested me, and for the first time since I was nine years old, the vision in my left eye has improved.
As far as we can figure, the headaches are caused by the fact that my brain is adjusting to using two functional eyes, instead of just one. My optometrist took this in stride, but I think this is one of those low-flying miracles that comes in under the radar, and so goes almost undetected.
In order to explain how this qualifies for the Our Lady of Somewhat Unlikely Events chronicles, this might be a good time to reveal how I got legally blind in the left eye. If you have no taste for gore, skip the rest of this paragraph. When I was a kid, my older sister was a champion swimmer. I was not, but my parents thought I should suffer just the same, so off to practices I went. I hated it. I did not try. One night when I was coming in (slowly) from the end of a lap, the girl who was supposed to dive in after I hit the boards got a little excited, and dove in before I made it to the end of the pool. She dove right into me, hands outstretched. Her fingers and fingernails impaled my left eye. I remember the world went red, and I remember screaming.
Within weeks, my vision in the left eye showed a decline, which continued throughout my life. Until now.
While I was explaining my symptoms to the optometrist, I told him "Oh, I got a new camera, too, and it has this diopter adjustment thingy which allows me to walk around and take pictures without my glasses on. Which is great, because using a camera viewfinder while wearing glasses is a pain in the ass."
I am such a dumbass that for a few minutes after I told him this, I didn't realize the importance of what I had just said. Or of what I had been doing.
This is huge.
Until recently, I didn't walk around my house without my glasses on. It felt uncomfortable. I couldn't see the floor, and never felt confident about my footing (I have dogs. They have toys. The toys sound like tortured children when you step on them unexpectedly. And they make you trip). I certainly could not walk around The World without glasses, since even my house felt hazardous.
I went out and walked around with my new camera and took pictures, all without wearing glasses. Twice. And I didn't even realize I was doing something new. Before, I had enough trouble just identifying what was in front of me without squinting. Now I could not only walk around confidently, I could determine what was worth photographing, and actually frame a shot, with naked eyes.
We suspect that my newfound comfort with maneuvering around sans lenses comes from the fact that I now have at least partial 3-D vision. So I am walking in space, not looking at a flat screen with not much information on it.
Further, this shift occurred during dark, grim days with no sunlight. Previously, I always noticed a difference in my visual acuity - and fatigue - between bright and dim lighting.
In fact, I wear my glasses so infrequently indoors that I now spend 87.6% of my time looking for the bloody things, because I take them off and leave them and then do so many activities bare-eyed that I forget where I put them.
So, my optometrist advised me to keep on doing these things I didn't realize I was doing, to see what happens. The headaches will probably resolve when my brain catches up with what's going on in my eyes, since a lot of vision consists of the connection between the brain and the eyes, not just the eyeballs themselves.
I never thought paying for vision therapy would be like buying an upgraded pair of eyes.
Will it change my photography? Or will the new camera? So far, I haven't noticed any artistic changes to my picture-taking like I have seen with painting. However, my photos used to be often Holga-fied; I have always gravitated to the misty, moody, flawed, indistinct, obscure, and blurry, because that's what the world looked like to me. I had never visited that planet where people take those sharp, National Geographic-like photos. Maybe now I will. I have a new camera, and I have new eyes.