Saturday, November 8, 2008

1 or 2? 2 or 3? 3 or 4?

Here's some music to listen to while you read this post. I'm in a Willie Nelson mood today:

So, I went to the eye doctor yesterday. I've always had very good vision, just a very slight nearsightedness that bothered me in college a bit trying to see the board at the front of the big classrooms at UT. So I hadn't been in about 7 years, but no biggie.

The only thing I knew I had wrong is that my binocular vision was a bit off. For instance, when they tested my vision at the DPS for my driver's license, I couldn't see the test properly in the little viewfinder thing. But it's never really been an issue for me in normal everyday life, so I never dealt with it. I just avoided situations where hand-eye coordination was critical.

And now that I'm looking at putting myself in goal, I figured I could just play some catch, do a little juggling, and I'd get better at seeing the puck. But I guess in the back of my head, I was kinda feeling like the problem was getting worse (stubbing my toe more often, watching TV with one eye at night because when they're tired, they even less want to focus on the same thing at once) and felt like it might be problem for playing goal.

Well, it turns out I have pretty jacked up binocular impairment. This just means that the two images my eyes see don't come together to form one image in my head like it does for most people. It forms two and my brain has to filter one of them out. So, you can imagine how difficult under those circumstances it is to put your hand on something that's hurtling toward you with considerable velocity when your brain is trying to assess which image is the right one and convey that to the rest of the body to get in front of it.

It's a significant issue for a goaltender. And of course, now that I know what it is and how bad it is, I'm constantly aware of it. Such is the fixation of a hypochondriac like me.

I had a little meltdown about it this morning but am getting a grip on myself and forging ahead. After some research, it turns out that there's something called Vision Therapy and there's a well-respected practitioner here in Houston, who even has a sports vision specialty. The only catch is that, as far as I can tell, this therapy is not covered under either vision insurance or regular medical insurance. It really should be treated like physical therapy or something of that nature but I don't think it is. It isn't a deal-breaker but it's a factor. As if goalie gear isn't expensive enough, I gotta now go drop $? to get binocular vision.

The good thing is that apparently, once you're treated, you're treated for life. It's not a problem that comes back over time or that you have to keep getting treated to maintain.

So, I'm probably going to see about getting a consultation with these folks and see if it would be beneficial to get treatment, but I'm also still going to get in net as soon as possible. I figure what better way to gauge improvement than by putting my vision to the ultimate test. So, let me apologize to my team in advance for my deformed eyeballs.

And those glasses I thought I needed? Apparently my distance vision is still as good as it was in college, so anything I miss watching the game from press row is just me being an inattentive dumbass. Now THAT is a let down...

Okay, I feel better. How about a little goaltending song? Ahhh, to be back in a Hip mood. Yes.


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