Intermittent Exotropia :: Diplopia
A type of Strabismus
When I was born my parents noticed my right eye was closed a bit more than the other.
By the time I was 3, my parents knew mainly my right eye drifted off and this was the first time I saw my optometrist. He confirmed I needed to see a pediatric opthalmologist who diagnosed me with Exotropia.
I got glasses right away, wore a patch, and was given eye exercises and eye drops. Luckily I did not require surgery.
By first grade when I was 6, I had extreme difficulties concentrating, and very very behind in reading comprehension. Reading has never been enjoyable for me. I was told I would be held back a grade. This is when it really set in that there was something wrong with me and I was behind. My parents worked hard with me to prove I was ready by the time summer was done so when September started, I spent 2 weeks repeating first grade and had to prove I could be moved up. Luckily I did, but the emotional damage was done.
I continued to struggle with school and concentration. I always felt as though I was behind, and had to work 10 times harder and longer than others around me. The anxiety I was already born with/ taught from adults in my life plus being a highly sensitive person and emotional empath only made matters worse in my opinion.
Yet I continued to live a full childhood despite struggling a lot in school academically and emotionally. I failed most tests.
When I was 8, my optometrist noted on my medical record "moderate astigmatism and nearsighted, but normal Glaucoma test". The astigmatisms are in both eyes.
The same year during a vision screening at school, the report stated, "Eyes wander. and there is an Eye coordination Problem", and I was also screened for ADD and was diagnosed with "borderline ADD"
When I was 10, my teachers were advised to sit me in front of the classroom. I was retested for ADD and the same conclusion was found.
I remember having panic attacks because my teachers would purposely call on me to answer a question in front of the class, or read out loud when they knew I hated reading. I remember this being traumatizing. If I knew a teacher favored this type of activity in class through out the years, I would dread going to class. The anxiety of it only made everything worse.
I discuss more about the link of the "Borderline ADD" diagnosis (now officially being diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive Type), and being a HSP/Empath having anxiety disorders, and in my story, so there are factors involved that compound.
After 5th grade, my treatment with the Oplalmologost ended and there really wasn't much talk about how my Exotropia or the borderline add would fit into my life.
Anyway, I somehow made it through to middle school and high school along with other life events that changes my life.
By the time college arrived, I enrolled myself in the disability program due to the anxiety to get extra time on tests since I always failed them.
I always wore earplugs for tests also so I could block out distractions, and could concentrate a bit better.
Long story short, I eventually graduated with many degrees, and on the Dean's list. I also participated in research with my professors and a few peers in my undergrad program. We were awarded the Provost award for our presentation on our findings, and eventually got published. You can click here to view my education background in Early Childhood Development.
I went on to grad school to complete a graduate certificate.
Fast forward to today after having been through much more, including the vestibular disorders since 2018, and I am just recently being informed that eye function and the mix of conditions like mine can explain and relate to the vestibular system, brain function, and all of the impairments I have worked so hard to adapt and cope with the best I can without knowing it's importance most of my life.
This is why I fully believe in addressing root and core issues in my life. I refuse to deny these parts of my life out of fear, or shame, or what others may think of me. This is my journey.
In my case, when underlying conditions are overlooked, this is a recipe for delay and disaster, and caused more distress in my life.
The Intermittent Exotropia has been swept under the rug and other disorders and events in my life have taken presenence, but I live with this daily and feel a more holistic understanding around how the Exotropia shows up in my life.
Although this has been a rough road to say the least, I am thankful for these new insights that have been overlooked a lot of my life.
More updates in the future.