Seeing life through a filter

Rather than some kind of semi stuck up metaphor, I’m being very genuine with my title. I see life, literally, through filters. 

Wearing glasses brings a series of interesting challenges (glasses need windscreen wipers, AM I RIGHT?) but wearing coloured glasses over the top of those for light filtering is another load of sunshine all together. 

Sometimes because of the light I find myself taking photos to look at later simply because the only way for me to look at them properly is later, in the shade at home, because I can’t see them well enough when I’m out and about. 

My visual impairment is a strange one. At first I was told I had Functional Neurology Disorder, and that my eyes and brain were just not communicating properly with each other. More recently I’ve been told that it is constant migraine causing the visual issues. Having spent a few months monitoring symptoms, pain, flares, medication reactions, and correlation between noticeable migraine increase and visual impairment increase, I’m in agreement with this theory. I’ve had to be very attentive to my migraines to get to a point so I can try and notice a flare coming on, to minimize them as much as possible. Sounds great, right? 

The sunlight however has other plans. 

My pupils are overly large and so take in too much light at all tines of the year, but the summer is – surprisingly, as we live in soggy Britain – far worse. I don an ever so attractive large floppy hat along with my big black glasses in some attempt to block out some light. I’ve had to rely on my cane a lot more, and this in itself worries me, just because my hands have a tendancy to go numb, so it isn’t always a worry free opposition. 

And so this time of year finds me looking through two filters; those that make my vision “correct” (minus my migraine), and those that filter the light. The people sitting just a few metres away on another bench may be sitting, free from the bother of glasses sweat (yes this is a thing), enjoying the sunshine, whilst I am tugging my hat down lower, adjusting my glasses and wondering how many triptans I need for the school run. 

It is unimaginable to me, because of my visual experience of life, how people can lay in the sun for hours and claim it is relaxing. The people who say they count down till summer all year may as well be an alien species for all I can relate to them. I find it intriguing to a degree – but have no intention of testing that lifestyle out, I respect the wonky bizarre vision I possess – how very different the outlooks and experiences of life can be, and the division between sun lovers and jumper lovers is a prime wonderful example. I’m sure an anthropology student somewhere wrote a dissertation on it.

It’s a strange thought that everyone in the world may be viewing things – again, literally – differently, seeing through different filters, which disrupt viewing anyway; using my own glasses as an example, life doesn’t really have a multi coloured edging. Shame, really. 


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