Mum has, to use the fancy term, homonymous hemianopsia. Which is a fancy way of saying she is only seeing out of half of her eyes. In her case it’s the left side, as it often is with strokes.
That’s her biggest handicap, if you like, that’s come out of the stroke. You may be forgiven for thinking it’s some sott of tourettes, because she can often be found yelling “of course it’s on the fucking left” when she can’t find things. But no, it’s just boring old homonymous hemianopsia.
There are a number of techniques employed to get people to scan to the left more. I’ve spent all week sitting on mum’s left, for example. Or standing to her left while we’ve been doing things around the house. I’ve got her the Kindle to read, but I’ve also stuck sudoku, some crosswords and a wordsearch on there for her. All with the crafty hidden benefit of getting her to scan left.
And mum’s tame therapist has got a variety of exercises for her to do. All designed to help with scanning.
There’s one that mum hates. With a passion. It involves a group of shapes which are then placed within circles. Mum turned on me today when we tried it. It’s the only thing in a week filled with things where me saying “no, try that again” has caused a visibly angry reaction in my mother.
I chickened out of completing that particular test with her. I couldn’t do it. At the back of my mind I’m thinking I need to keep her calm and her blood pressure low.
I’ve had to leave an apologetic note for the therapist…