Today was a good day. Today reminded me why I’m in the field and why I do what I do. Earlier this week though, that wasn’t the case. As I work towards my certification as a vision therapist there are definitely days that are hard. Like earlier this week as I sat down to write one of my remaining papers. The topic was amblyopia and it’s isn’t something I’ve dealt with a lot in the therapy room. I’ve taken courses on the subject and have had discussions but putting words into practice and then writing about your personal experiences is daunting and overwhelming when you don’t feel like an expert. Half way through though, I realized that I was holding myself back – something I’m learning to be more mindful about. I was taking that lack of confidence and restricting what I thought I knew. As much as think about what I don’t know, I’m learning to relish and (dare I say) enjoy what I don’t and the process it takes me through. In a fit of frustration I opened up a book from my Mom’s optometry school days by Dr. Griffin and started reading the chapter on amblyopia. A few pages in, I sat back and realized that I was actually following along and keeping pace. Woah. I quickly took notes and went back to my computer and finished up my thoughts. A few short months ago, I would have gotten overwhelmed and probably called my mentor saying I felt unprepared and that I didn’t think this whole thing was a good idea. But I’ve grow so much since then and every week I get a little closer to my goal.
When I first started with patients on my own, I’d look at their chart, read over their list of deficiencies and get that same overwhelming feeling when I’m writing… the thoughts race through my mind, “will I really be able to help them with all these issues?” “am I qualified?” “what if I mess up?” and on and on. Today I’m proud to say that I had two students graduate from their programs, both of which I have seen from day one. They had come up multiple grade levels in their reading speed, fine motor abilities and processing speed. They are both in junior high and their parents were worried about high school in the near future. Both Mother’s came to me and said how much I have helped their boys’ lives for the better and even that of their families. No more struggles and late nights with homework. No more headaches, frustration and confusion. To say today was a confidence boost is an understatement. Hearing how you have directly effected a person’s life reminds me why I do what I do and why I’m working every day to improve myself as a vision therapist and why this certification will get me one step closer to helping that many more people.
– Emilie Christensen, Vision Therapist