The day I put a cardboard box over my head

In the days immediately following my sudden loss of peripheral vision (see the “First day”) I found any bright light or moving object in my right visual field almost unbearable.

These stimuli seemed to leave miniature copies of themselves which persisted for a long while after the actual light or object itself was removed. In the case of a moving object I seemed to see many tiny replicas of it moving in slow motion, as though illuminated by a strobe light.

I found this quite horribly disturbing. At first I just held up my hand to shield the right hand side of my face but then I became quite desperate and decided I needed a pair of blinkers. So I made a set, something like horse blinkers, out of a cardboard box, and they helped quite a bit although obviously I couldn’t wear them outside in the street.

Later when searching the internet I found a case of a woman with right homonymous hemianopia, which is the condition I have, who constructed a cardboard mask for her spectacles in order to reduce the light entering from the right. So I am not alone.

These symptoms disappeared after a couple of days and I was very glad to see them go. The hallucinations that gradually took over from them are far more bearable.


About partialinsight

One evening I had a stroke. Half my sight vanished overnight. Adapting made me grasp how amazing the visual system and brain are. It also taught me to understand disability completely differently and I'm grateful for the lesson.
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